Newborn Sleep

A baby is considered Newborn from birth until three months. Your newborn will probably sleep about sixteen hours a day divided into three or four hour naps evenly spaced between feedings.

For the first few weeks after birth, your baby doesn’t know the difference between day and night. His stomach is so tiny that it only holds enough to satisfy him for three to four hours, regardless of the time. This means that there is no escaping night waking and round-the-clock feeding during this early stage of your baby’s development. But even at this early stage you can start teaching your baby that night-time is for sleeping and the day is for play. You can do this by making night feedings and activities like diaper change as subdued as possible, keeping the lights dim or out and the diaper changes as short as possible. You might not see a very huge change for a while, but it would eventually payoff.

If your baby is napping longer than three to four hours, particularly in the late afternoon, wake him up and play with him so that he can learn to save his extra sleep for nighttime. You would also notice that your baby would sleep more during the first 2 weeks and then start to have longer wake-up time after week 2. He would start to feed more often and have longer alert periods.


Newborn Feeding

Your newborn would need to feed more frequently than an older child hence the night wakings. But this is perfectly natural. Don’t try to feed your newborn on a strict schedule, feed them on demand and follow your instincts. Unless your baby goes more than 2 to 3 hours without feeding, there is nothing to worry about.

Breast-fed babies usually feed more frequently than formula-fed babies. Because it takes longer for their stomach to digest the formula than it takes to digest breast-milk. This leaves them feeling fuller for a little longer than breast-fed babies.

For breast-fed babies, feeding them on demand in the first few weeks after birth, ensures your milk supply is well established. For formula-fed babies, they just need between 20-30 ounces of milk daily in the newborn stage with feeding intervals of about 3 hours. Ensure your baby gets as much breast milk and/or formula that he needs to give him a healthy development and ensure he sleeps well.

Newborn Feeding and Sleep Schedule

Your baby’s sleep needs – total sleep required, length of sleep, number of feedings could vary depending on your baby’s personality an temperament. Nap lengths would also depend on if your baby is breast fed or formula fed. Some formula fed babies might sleep longer than breast fed babies. Your baby would sleep for any where from 30-45 minutes to 3 to four hours day or night. Babies that eat more tend to sleep a lot longer and this could have a lot to do with the amount of breast milk that mom produces or stores.

9:00 AM               –    Wake and Feed
10:00 AM             –    Nap (60 – 90 minutes)
11:30 AM              –    Wake
12:30 PM              –    Feed and Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
1:30 PM                –    Wake
3:00 PM                –    Feed and Nap (60 – 90 minutes)
4:30 PM                –    Wake and Feed
6:00 PM               –     Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
6:00 PM               –     Wake
7:30 PM                –    Feed and Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
8:30 PM                –    Wake
9:30 PM                –    Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
10:00 PM              –    Wake and Feed
11:30 PM               –    Feed and Bedtime
4:30 AM                 –    Feed and Right back to sleep
7:30 AM                 –    Feed and Right back to sleep

*Try to make wake time and bedtime consistent. Wake your baby around the same time every day and put him to bed around the same time as well, to help him synchronize his internal clock with the day and night system.

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