- by Dr Gowher Pebbles n Pearl Pediatrics and Child Care
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- May 18 2017
Help your Newborn Baby Sleep
When your baby is first born, he will sleep more than be awake. They sleep about 16 hours per day and wake time includes any feedings. As the weeks go by, they will be able to stay up longer, but still sleep 14-16 hours in a 24-hour period by one month of age. By 3 months old, the average amount of sleep in 24 hours is still 14 hours.
Here are some tips that might help you through this trying moments:
- The first week or so, your newborn baby will most likely hardly be awake, but after the first week or two, the first step with your newborn is to keep wake times very short. You should soothe your baby for sleep after just 1-2 hours of wake time. You should look for signs that she is getting sleepy and start soothing her. If you wait until she is fussy, cranky or crying, you are actually too late! An overtired baby will have more trouble settling down and going to sleep and staying asleep.
- To help mimic the feeling of the womb, it helps to swaddle your newborn baby. This basically means to wrap him up in a blanket.
- Although you might be tempted to keep things quiet and darker for your newborn to nap well, it might prolong the day/night confusion that almost all newborns will have. Day/Night confusion can last up to 6 weeks. When she was in mom’s tummy, mom’s movements lulled her to sleep and when mom was resting, she was awake. When she comes out, she doesn’t know she should act in the complete opposite manner. So, keep days bright and upbeat and nights, dark and boring, and it will help your newborn sort out her days and nights faster.
- If he is taking longer to sort out days and nights, you can further speed up the process by limiting naps to no longer than 3-4 hours during the day.
- To help your newborn baby sort out day and night sleeping even more, you may want to develop a play routine after she eats during the day. Keep her awake 30 minutes after feeding by playing, singing, bathing, etc. Again, the light stimulating her eyes will help her sort out that daylight is for being awake.
- Sometimes it helps to have your newborn in the room with you for quick access for middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. This also can help give him more comfort being close by as he will be able to hear and smell you.
- White noise is made up of the sounds like a fan whirring, vacuum cleaner, hair-dryer, etc. It helps a newborn sleep because inside mom’s womb was all white noise. The sound of her blood flow, heart beating, etc.
- For particularly fussy babies, it helps to “wear” baby using a sling. They get very folded up in a sling, but again, it mimics the womb and babies love it!
- Mom’s movements lulled baby to sleep while in the womb, so try using a swing.
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