Parents of newborn babies will know that babies, although cute, don’t really do much. All they do throughout the day is mostly eat and sleep; they barely stay awake. Now, this might be quite worrisome for first-time parents, as they may think that their baby is sleeping too much. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some parents may also feel that their babies are not sleeping enough, owing to all the sleepless nights they are subjected to! However, it is completely normal for newborn babies to be sleeping a lot. In fact, on average, newborn babies can sleep up to 18 to 22 hours a day!
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The estimated sleep cycle of a newborn baby up to 4 months
- Newborn babies sleep for an average of 16 to 18 hours. This is just an average estimate, it is completely normal if your baby sleeps more or less than this.
- Out of these total hours of sleep, babies get around 8 to 9 hours of sleep at night.
- As we have all seen, babies nap a lot! So, they get around 7 to 9 hours of sleep from their nap time. They can nap for a stretch of around 3 to 4 hours, resulting in around 3 to 5 naps for the whole day.
What to do as parents
- Allow your child to sleep as much as possible.
- Your child has not developed a body clock as yet, so make sure you wake them up from time to time to ensure proper feeding. Now, there is a certain method in which you must wake your baby. To wake your child up, you can try brushing the side of their cheek. This triggers the rooting reflex in them. If this method does not work, you can try gently wriggling their toes or gently brushing your fingers along the baby’s feet.
To Know More: About Baby Sleep Patterns: Everything You Need to Know
Now, as the child grows older, you must try and set them into a sleep schedule. This will make the process of making your child fall asleep for longer stretches at regular intervals easier. You must be wondering how you can do that. Well, it’s not that difficult! Follow these easy steps to get your newborn to fall asleep.
Set a routine:
This is the best way to get your child to sleep in a scheduled manner. Now, one of the ways to do this is to adjust the lighting. Lighting plays an important role in the child’s development of a sleep schedule. Expose them to bright lights during the day time. About thirty minutes before bedtime, dim the lights, and make the surroundings darker than usual. Babies develop their internal clock through cues from their surroundings.
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Try soothing techniques:
Lullabies, patting, and bouncing usually helps babies to fall asleep. Infants are too young to have developed a sense of self-soothing. However, make sure that you do not continue this practice for too long; after the first few weeks, you must allow the baby to learn the process of self-soothing.
Allow your baby to comfort themselves:
Sometimes, babies wake up in the middle of their sleep and create a little fuss. Do not rush to their aid immediately. Allow your baby to figure it out themselves and go back to sleep. Wait for a few minutes, if this does not work, then you can go assist your baby. Even then, make sure that the method you opt for is not very intrusive. Opt for methods like a simple pat or shushing.
Now while sleeping for the most part of the day is common for babies, if you feel like your baby is sleeping too much, don’t entirely dismiss it. Trust your instinct. If you feel like the amount your baby is sleeping is not normal, do not shy away from calling your doctor. Here are some of the symptoms which show that your baby needs professional attention.
- Your baby is breathing very loudly and gasping and wheezing for air.
- Your baby’s skin sinks around their ribs when they are sleeping.
- Your baby has a fever.
- Your baby’s nostrils flare when they are breathing and you think they may have inhaled something toxic.
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All in all, make sure that while you continue to remain attentive to your baby’s sleep schedule, you do not fret too much over it. If required, you can maintain a sleep log for your child. If you feel like something is wrong, consult your doctor. Otherwise, you can just sit and admire how absolutely adorable your little one looks when they’re fast asleep!
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