Does it ever come to a point that you wish you were just a little baby again so you could have that quality of sleep you badly need? How lucky you are to be able to do it like the old times, isn’t it? Newborn babies, without so much to do yet, spend most of their time getting that beauty rest that most adults would trade their souls for.
People think that it’s perfectly normal for babies to sleep all day but how much sleep is normal for newborns? Are they really that privileged to sleep for that long or could there be alarming reasons? If you’re a new parent, here are the answers to the questions you’re looking for.
How much sleep is normal for a newborn baby?
A two-week old baby sleeps for an average of 16-18 hours a day but as days pass by, their sleep would be frequently interrupted, causing them to only have a maximum of four hours a stretch. They may or may not develop a sleeping pattern yet that is synchronised to our normal daylight hours.
Different babies have different sleeping habits. Some of them might need more sleep while others can be awake for a longer period of time. As they reach their third month, it’s still normal for them to have 13-15 hours of sleep throughout the whole day which is divided into long stretches of naps.
When do babies develop normal sleeping patterns?
Adults follow a 24-hour sleep cycle which is ruled by the circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is an internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle which basically tells your brain when to feel sleep or stay alert. Usually, this natural process coincides with the day and night patterns. Daylight helps you to be awake while the darkness of the night will signal your body to rest.
However, babies don’t have the same sleeping patterns as adults because when they are still in the womb, their sleep depends on their mothers’ active and passive hours and the so-called intimate maternal connection. This connection is interrupted when they are born and it would be helpful for parents if they will stick into a practical sleep schedule.
Should I wake my baby up when he sleeps more than usual?
As mentioned, a baby’s sleeping routine may not be formed yet and they usually sleep for a maximum of four hours, which is generally healthy. If you suspect something alarming, especially in connection to an existing medical condition, this should be brought to a medical doctor’s attention. But more often than not, an interrupted baby’s sleep in the morning would be difficult for parents who want to rest at nighttime.
What should I do to keep my baby asleep at night?
As your baby grows, his sleeping pattern will continue to change. Parents dread the challenge of having to stay awake to watch over a baby who is active at night and to avoid this, which can be difficult to do, you have to design a nighttime routine for your child.
Avoid letting your baby take a nap close to bedtime because he will most likely be awake for the rest of the night. Also, prevent yourself from rocking or feeding your baby to induce sleep because your baby will require you to do the same thing whenever he wakes up.
What should I do to help my baby synchronize with the 24-hour sleep cycle?
If you want to have a baby-like sleep at night as well, you can do the following tips to help your child be in-sync with your normal sleep schedule.
Cut off your baby’s activities at night
Stimulating the senses of your baby at night tends them to stay alert. When bedtime comes, make sure that the atmosphere inside your child’s room is sleep-ready, too. Minimize the noise and turn off the lights to prepare a restful and peaceful night for your baby.
If the baby gets awake at night, do not make much noise that will make him fully awake again.
Include your baby in your daylight routine
Another way for your baby to sleep in-sync to your usual bedtime routine is to help them adapt to parent-baby activity patterns. As much as possible, do all morning activities as scheduled so that your child will be practiced to respond during that particular time. Doing this will lead to the development of the baby’s circadian rhythm.
Expose your child to normal lighting patterns.
Like in adults, light can also help signal sleep in babies. Having a full blast lighting in a baby’s room at night will not make him sleep soundly. Also, keeping him in a dark and quiet room during the day will only induce sleep. Let your baby spend time outside to receive a healthy amount of sunlight so that his body can distinguish day from night.