Your Newborn's Sleep Schedule
How Long Should My Newborn Sleep?
During the first 10 to 14 days, most newborns will sleep more than they do anything else (as much as 18 to 22 hours a day). Some babies, on the other hand, are awake for longer periods of time with no apparent problems. In either case, it is best to allow your child to determine the amount of sleep wanted and needed.
What Sleep Position is Best for My Newborn?
The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that infants be placed on their backs when sleeping. Back sleeping has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in infants. When laying your baby down to sleep, always place them on their back. Remember, back is best.
Never use a pillow or blanket in the infant’s bassinet or crib. The same goes for stuffed animals or toys. You may think that by putting a stuffed animal in your baby's crib, you are giving them something to comfort them throughout the night. This could actually be a suffocation hazard. While bumpers may make your crib look nice, they are actually not safe for your baby. They can cause choking, suffocation, or strangulation. Your crib should only consist of a tight fitted sheet over the mattress.
When Will My Baby Begin Sleeping Through the Night?
Most babies will begin sleeping through the night between 6 and 9 months. By around 6 months, most babies no longer require middle of the night feedings, so longer stretches of sleep are more likely. However, every baby is different. Some two month old babies may sleep for 5-6 hours at a time, while other babies may still wake up every several hours during the night at 10 months.
An important thing to note is that in the first few months of life, your baby needs the night time feedings. In order to maintain healthy growth, weight gain, and development, feedings every few hours are necessary and very important.
You may have heard that starting solid food will make a baby sleep through the night. There is no evidence that this is true.
We recommend that you do not routinely hold or rock your baby until he/she falls asleep. You should put the baby down when sleepy and allow him/her to fall asleep alone. This will allow the baby to learn to go to sleep without stimulation; therefore, should the baby wake up at night, he/she may go back to sleep without your assistance.