Naturally, newborns will spend more of their time while sounding asleep than they do being alert. The sleeping duration varies from one newborn to another and may happen either in small but deep chunks or on an irregular schedule. Among the many tasks involved in taking care of a newborn, one of the most demanding tasks is managing the newborn’s sleeping pattern. That’s particularly true because newborn babies are yet to adapt to schedules and the rhythms of day-to-day life.
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When newborns fail to sleep at the right time, it may affect their time sleeping, either oversleeping or undersleeping. It’s not a wonder to realize that some people get worried when their newborn baby sleeps too much or too little. It’s okay to keep a sleep log if you’re concerned about the newborn’s sleeping habits since it can help determine if the baby is spending adequate time sleeping, oversleeping, or undersleeping. Here are a few essential concepts you should know about the newborn’s sleep schedule. What’s included?
· How long should a newborn usually sleep?
· How can I know that my newborn is sleeping a lot?
· What are some of the factors that can trigger a newborn to sleep too much
· Should I wake my newborn for feeding?
· How do I wake up my newborn for feeding?
· Final thought.
How long should a newborn usually sleep?
Experts suggest that newborns sleep at least 14 to 17 hours every day. So, are newborns supposed to sleep a lot? Typically, most newborns will sleep about 8-9 hours during the day and 8 hours at night. Most newborns also wake up about every 3 hours either to feed or due to hostile temperature. However, this sleeping timescale may vary from one newborn to another in that some newborns may sleep only for 12 hours a day while others will sleep for about 19 hours in a day. It’s important to note that sometimes the newborns may sleep less or more than their average sleeping duration depending on factors such as disruption from their regular routines or illness. On average, most newborns will sleep in gusts of about 30-45 minutes and as much as 3-4 hours. During the first two weeks after birth, it’s normal for the newborn to wake up only to feed and resume to sleep immediately.
Gradually, as the newborn matures into an infant, they develop and learn how to observe a sleeping schedule. They eventually get accustomed to sleeping at night, although sometimes they will sleep in the afternoon. Infants may still wake up several times at night to feed, and this can disrupt their sleeping schedule. Ideally, this can continue happening until the infant is about six months old or more. Besides, the sleeping pattern can significantly vary from one infant to another.
How can I know that my newborn is sleeping a lot?
Typically, when a newborn occasionally sleeps more than the recommended time by experts, it shouldn’t be a reason to raise alarms unless they’re other suggestive symptoms that something is wrong with them. Here are some common reasons why an average newborn may sleep more than the recommended sleep time.
What are some of the factors that can trigger a newborn to sleep too much?
A significant developmental leap/ a growth spurt.
A minor sickness, e.g., cold
After receiving an immunization
A respiratory infection causes breathing complications hence failure to get adequate or quality sleep.
Newborn babies who have Jaundice are also known to sleep too much. Typically, babies with Jaundice tend to have yellow skin or/and a yellow cast on the white part of the eye.
Other common signs of severe Jaundice in infants include
A fussy or irritable baby
Having a persistent trouble eating
Ideally, failure to feed the newborn babies well can become dehydrated, thus losing much of their weight, negatively affecting their chances of thriving. That’s one of the reasons why some people try to work out to determine if their baby is getting adequate and nutritious food since this can ultimately affect their sleep.
Here’s how to determine whether the baby is getting adequate to eat, whether formula-fed or breastfed.
The infant seems extremely sluggish and unresponsive
The infant is over 6 weeks old, and they are gaining below 6 ounces every week.
They don’t soil at least four deep wet diapers every day.
They do not become calmer even after feeding them.
Although rare, some medical conditions can affect a newborn sleeping pattern. For instance, heart or breathing disorders may significantly affect the sleeping pattern. Besides, premature babies may have a varying sleeping pattern than normal term infants.
When should I wake my newborn for feeding?
Newborns should be fed after every 2-3 hours. This is particularly true because most newborns usually cluster-feed, which implies that they may feed more than once within 1 to 2 hours or even breastfeed for an extended period. Experts recommend feeding your newborn at least 2-3 hours, alternatively 8 to 12 times in a day. However, the pediatrician can recommend you feed the infant more than the recommended duration, especially if they’re not adding enough weight. Its highly recommend to feed the newborn whenever they show hunger cues, including sticking, rooting, or sucking out the tongue, since this will ensure they get enough food before sleeping. It’s therefore essential to wake up an older infant to eat, but infants younger than 4 weeks can wake up themselves when they need to eat. However, infants aged less than 4 weeks should go for more than 5 hours without eating.
How do I wake up my newborn for feeding?
Waking up a baby to eat is simple! Try to brush both sides of their cheeks since this can activate their rooting reflex. Many babies dislike being stroked on their feed, so if brushing their cheeks fail, you can try to wiggle their toes or even stroking the lower feet gently.
Finding the appropriate newborns sleeping pattern is one of the most demanding challenges many people face. However, most newborns will eventually settle into a comfortable but individual sleeping routine over time. Gradually, the infant caregivers and parents understand both the standard and abnormal things about their babies.