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New born sleep patterns & how to help your new born sleep
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New born sleep patterns & how to help your new born sleep

Alternative Text By: Dr. Rajiv Chhabra | August 24, 2018

The average newborn sleeps most of the day and night approx. 23-23.5 hours out of 24 hours waking only for feedings every few hours. It is often difficult for new parents to know how long and how often a newborn should sleep. Unfortunately, all kids are different and that there is no set schedule at first and many newborns have their days and nights confused—they think they are supposed to be awake at night and sleep during the day. I attribute to a theory- when a baby is inside womb, mom is walking and working during daytime which acts as a swing so kids sleep during day time and when night time this swing is no longer working, they are awake and that’s the reason probably mom feels lot of kicks.

average newborn sleeps most of the day and night

Newborns and young infants have a small stomach and must wake every 2.5 hours to feed. Never put a baby to bed with a bottle propped for feeding. This is a dangerous practice that can lead to ear infections and choking.

Baby sleep cycles are far shorter than those of adults, and babies spend more time in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is thought to be necessary for the developing brain. Keeping a tight swaddle prevents babies from startling themselves awake, helping the newborn baby sleep both better and longer. It is also proven to be the ideal position for better mental, emotional and moral development.

If the baby sleeps past the 2.5 hours, I would recommend to wake the child up, feed him, keep him awake for a bit, and then lay him down for another nap.

Choose a pre-nap routine that works for you

Creating consistent routines for your baby will help bring order to a very chaotic world. Choose a pre-nap routine that works for you. A pre-nap routine may include taking the baby to his room, close the blinds or curtains, swaddle the baby, turn on the white noise, sing a quick song (e.g. Twinkle, twinkle), give a few cuddles, and say your sleepy words.

The most important way to encourage your baby to sleep well in the long run is to teach him to fall asleep independently, which is essentially the beginnings of teaching independent sleep.

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This content has been certified by our panelist Dr. Rajiv Chhabra

Dr. Rajiv Chhabra

20 years of experience

Consultant - Paediatric & Neonatal Intensivist Head of Department - Paediatrics Artemis Hospitals

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