How Long Do Newborns Sleep – For the first three months of its life, a baby will sleep 16 to 17 hours a day. Giving birth and raising kids is one of the most rewarding of human experiences. At the same time, having a baby is also one of the most disruptive and stressful events a woman can go through. Having to care for a newborn baby is doubly stressful without the benefit of experience. That’s why a woman’s first pregnancy, however joyful it may be, is also a time of great fear and anxiety, understandably. A brand new mom might constantly second-guess herself and her ability to properly care for her newborn infant. There is simply no shortage of concerns a first-time mom will ponder. Her newborn’s sleep pattern is surely one of those.
A Babies Sleep Pattern Prior To Birth
In the womb, a baby is awake only about 90 to 95 percent of the day. The rest of the time, the fetus is in deep REM sleep as opposed to non-REM, the easily roused state of light sleep. Even in the womb, REM sleep for babies in the womb is no different from adults. Their little eyes move around rapidly back and forth .
The mother’s movement throughout the day will lull the fetus in her womb to sleep. At night, when the mother is sleeping and stationary, that’s usually when the baby is awake. This might explain how a newborn baby’s inverse circadian rhythm or sleep patterns occur, where they are asleep during the day and most active at nights. It started in the womb .
How Long Do Newborns Sleep?
For the first three months of its life, a baby will sleep 16 to 17 hours a day. That’s a lot of time spent sleeping! The opposite can be said about the hapless new mom and dad. Sleep deprivation amongst new parents is common because while an infant will be asleep for most of the day, they may be awake for most of the night. Sleep deprivation is especially true for exclusively breastfeeding moms. While an infant might not need a lot of milk — their stomachs are still so tiny — they will need to be fed quite often, around eight to twelve times in the course of the day . Formula-fed babies will afford their mothers more time to sleep and rest because they can share feeding duties with the dad or other care givers. Although, many breastfeeding mothers can successfully pump breast milk ahead of time and store for feeding time.
Ensure A Comfortable And Safe Sleep For Your Baby
A lot of experts have weighed in on the do’s and don’ts of infant sleep. Generally, co-sleeping or sharing a bed with your newborn is discouraged but rooming with them is. This is why most parents prefer to keep the crib in their room, at least in the first few months. Some opt for a baby bassinet or a secondary co-sleeper crib designed to attach to a bed and allow for easy access when the baby wakes up, starts to fuss, or gets hungry. Research on SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome, the unexplained death of a baby under one year old during sleep, states that it’s safer for a baby to sleep alone in a crib. This is recommended at least until the baby is one year old . Lay the baby to sleep on their back. Tummy time should be saved for when the baby is awake and active. This is to prevent any blockage of the baby’s airways or anything that might obstruct breathing. Likewise, choose a firm mattress for the crib and keep it as sparse as possible. Do away with the pillows and comforters. Your baby doesn’t need them anyway.
To keep your new baby comfortable, try to mimic the sleep environment in the womb, the baby’s home for the last nine months. The womb isn’t a sound proof echo chamber, it’s actually very noisy inside. Your infant is used to hearing noises from the mom’s digestive tract and other bodily functions. Try playing some soothing white noise to help the baby relax during sleep or nap times.
Every birth bag must have a swaddling blanket. Your baby will be using it well after birth. They are used to tight spaces so being swaddled will give them a measure of comfort and will help put them to sleep. This will also prevent them from being startled awake by their own sudden movements since it will keep their arms safely tucked to their sides. When swaddling your baby, make sure to leave enough room in the leg area so the baby can comfortably curl and move their little legs while they sleep.
One other thing you should consider buying is a newborn lounger. It doesn’t have to be some top of the line, fancy contraption. Your baby’s needs are very simple. Pick one that rocks or swings lightly since they prefer motion. This is a godsend when trying to put a baby to sleep. That way, you don’t have to be on your feet, dancing and bouncing around. For breastfeeding moms, you will need a nursing pillow or a boppy pillow. They come in many different designs but you don’t need anything complicated but rather something that will offer relief and support while you are holding your baby to your breast.
How Long Do Newborns Sleep Final Thoughts
Taking care of a baby may seem scary and complicated for a novice but for the most part, a healthy newborn baby is an uncomplicated creature. They will fall asleep and wake up for feedings. For the first few months of a baby’s life outside the womb, they call the shots when it comes to the bedtime routine and sleep schedule but over time a baby will settle into a sleep routine.
How Long Do Newborns Sleep Resources:
 How Stuff Works; Alertness in the Womb.
 Romper; 12 Toys from Walmart.com To Keep Your Toddler Occupied No Matter What, Kate Brierley, August 22, 2018.
 Kids Health from Nemours; Breastfeeding FAQs: How Much and How Often, Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD.
 Mayo Clinic; Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).