Can You Sleep While Your Newborn Sleeps

How Can I Boost My Own Energy

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep

Taking care of a new baby around the clock is a big job! That can often mean your own self-care falls behind. Just like a baby, parents can benefit from routines, too. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep up on your fluids and try to make healthier food choices. Science shows that our food choices greatly affect how we feel.
  • Try to get some physical activity. Exercise can go a long way. Even a little walk can help clear your mind and get you reenergized.
  • Get sleep whenever you can. We cant say it enough you need sleep, too. This can be hard because there are always things to do after you finally get your baby to sleep. But, sleep train yourself right alongside them. This means if you are excessively tired, sleep while your baby sleeps. Chores around the house can wait.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine as an artificial energy boost. Caffeine impacts your ability to sleep and, if youre breastfeeding, can contribute to your babys fussiness.

When To Wake A Baby For Feeding

Newborns often cluster-feed, which means that they may eat several times over the course of 12 hours or nurse for an extended period. Most newborns should eat every 23 hours or more if a pediatrician recommends so or if the baby is not gaining enough weight.

Feeding a newborn whenever they show hunger cues such as rooting, sucking, or sticking out their tongue is the best way to ensure that they get enough food.

It is not necessary to wake most older newborns up to eat. However, those younger than 1 month old or so may not wake up when they feel hungry. Babies younger than 4 weeks old should not go longer than 45 hours without food.

To wake a baby up to eat, try brushing the side of their cheek. This can trigger the rooting reflex. Most babies dislike having their feet stroked. So, if stroking the cheek does not work, try gently wiggling the babys toes or gently stroking the bottoms of their feet.

Food needs vary from baby to baby. Parents and caregivers should consult a pediatrician or nursing expert, who can offer individual advice based on the needs and development of the baby.

Sleep Between One And Three Months

As your baby becomes more wakeful during the day, their sleep pattern may change. They might start having longer sleeps at night maybe even around four to five hours.

Most babies still need night feeds, and help to settle back to sleep.

If your baby was premature, or had a low birth weight, your doctor might recommend you only let your baby sleep for a certain amount of time before waking them for feeds.

Don’t Miss: How Many Ounces For Newborn

Can You Sleep Train While Room

When your baby is a newborn, shell need to feed frequently through the night, and shell continue to wake up overnight in need of a bottle or a nursing session for at least a few months.

But once your baby reaches the 4- to 6-month mark, she may be waking out of habit, not because she needs to. This ritual isnt a healthy long-term strategy for your baby , and at some point shes going to have to learn to get back to sleep on her own.

The AAPs recommendation that infants stay in the same room with their parents for at least six months may further dampen your hopes of ever getting any sleep. Thats where sleep training comes in.

Sleep training, also known as sleep teaching or soothing training, means teaching your baby to fall back to sleep on her own when she wakes up at night. The goal is for you and your little one to get more sleep, even though at first, you may have to deal with some tears.

Your baby should be at least 4- to 6 months old before beginning sleep training, because by that age she probably no longer needs nighttime feedings , she’s developmentally ready and she understands that crying usually leads to being held. Sleep training isnt healthy or appropriate for younger babies or newborns.

Remember that sleep training is a personal decision that may or may not be right for your family. If you’re not comfortable sleep training your baby, or decide against it for any other reason, that’s fine.

How Did Sleep Become So Controversial


For most of human history, McKenna writes, parents slept close to their babies for their safety and protection, as well as for parents own ease of breastfeeding and sleeping. The particular arrangements variedsome parents slept nestled with their babies on the same bed, mat, or rug others placed their babies in a hammock or basket within arms reach still others placed them in a sidecar arrangement next to the adult bed. But all of them slept within sensory range of their babies.

About 500 years ago, Western societies diverged from the rest of the world regarding family sleep, McKenna explains. Historical records from northern Europe show that Catholic priests heard confessions from destitute women who had overlain onto their newborns, suffocating them in a desperate attempt to limit their family sizethey just couldnt support another child. So the church ordered that babies should sleep in a separate cradle until the age of three.

Over time, other Western trends converged with that decree: Rising affluence and the value on independence and individualism made separate bedrooms fashionable. In addition, Freudian psychology privileged the marriage bed and claimed that babies would be harmed if they were exposed to parents sexuality. Religious and psychological opinion said that children should not be coddled or indulged but required severe discipline to grow up .

Read Also: How To Treat Newborn Baby Acne

Not Recommended For Sleep

Using baby slings and carriers is popular, and babies often fall asleep while being carried in them. If you use one, be sure to use it safely. Babies, especially who are less than 4 months old, or who were born prematurely or with a medical condition, have poor neck control and are at a higher risk of suffocation.

Keep your baby visible at all times. Make sure your baby is in an upright position. You should be able to see your babys face make sure it is not pressed into your body, your clothes or the carrier. Check your baby often and watch for overheating. For more information, visit .

Overheating increases your babys risk of SIDS

Swaddling is sometimes used to calm babies, but can also be a risk. Babies can get tangled or covered in the blanket if it comes loose, or can roll onto their tummy while still swaddled. These are risks for suffocation. If you swaddle your baby, be sure to do it safely:

  • Use a lightweight blanket. Make sure it stays well away from the babys nose and mouth.
  • Wrap your baby so they can still move their hips and legs.
  • Leave your babys hands free so they can show you when they are hungry.
  • It is very important to stop swaddling before your baby can roll. Swaddling is not safe for babies when they are on their tummies.

Dont Play The Blame Game

Brooding about the situation will make it harder for you to fall asleep when you are given the opportunity. And its wrong-headed, too: You might be doing everything you can to get more sleep, and still be stuck with a baby who sleeps less than average.

Research suggests that the amount of sleep we get at night is strongly influenced by genetics , and, as mentioned above, there is a lot of individual variation among newborns.

Recommended Reading: How Often Do Newborns Wake Up At Night

The Real Reason Why Sleep When The Baby Sleeps Doesnt Work For Moms

I need little pockets of time to check in with myself and make sure that I am doing okay, too.

ByDiana Spalding, CNM March 8, 2021

I did a lot of thingsbefore I became a parent that I dont do now that I have three kids.

For example, I oftenstayed up until whenever I pleased because I could just sleep in the next morning and wake up as rested as I needed to be.

Those days are gone.Sigh. A newfound source of stress in my life has become getting into bed early enoughbecause those kids are waking up at the same time no matter what I do, and there is only so much coffee I can respectably drink before 9 am. Right?

Pre-kids, in my totally well-rested and well-intentioned state, I also used to give the advice that now makes me laugh, cryand cringe, all at the same time: Sleep when the baby sleeps.

And then I had a baby.

Sorrrrryyyyyyyyy about that one.

In my defense, and the defense of everyone out there still saying this, the premise is soundyou need and deserve rest, so whenever you get the chance you should take advantage of the opportunity and sleep.

But I quickly discovered that when the baby sleeps is the only time that ismineand sometimes I dont want to sleep through that.

I love being a mom. I love my children with all my heart. I am also a personwith needs and wants that quite frankly dont get addressed when my kids are awake.

But not when they are asleep. That time is mine.

For me, thats when my kids are sleeping.

Whatever my answer is becomes my priority.

Should I Wake Up With My Baby Every Time They Wake Up At Night

How can I get my newborn to sleep at night?

During the first 12 months, babies develop quickly, and their sleep patterns change rapidly. Its important to understand that all babies briefly awaken several times a night. Some babies are able to soothe themselves back to sleep after they wake up. Other babies learn to signal their parents for help to settle them back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night. However, it is best to let the newborn comfort himself or herself back to sleep rather than develop a need or association with a parent or guardian.

Read Also: Where To Buy Newborn Clothes

Putting Your Baby To Sleep

Most babies will sleep after a feed. Place your baby into their own bed when you have fed and winded them. This is an opportunity for you to rest when your baby is sleeping.

Your baby may be awake for 1 to 2 hours between sleeps.

Make sure your baby is in a safe sleep position to help prevent cot death. Never put them to sleep on their tummy

Teach Your Baby The Difference Between Day And Night

As previously mentioned, your newborn will sleep whenever and wherever they want and thats the way it should be. How else are they going to get all the sleep they need?

But when your baby is about 2 months old, you can use daytime and nighttime behaviors to gently nudge your baby toward a more normal sleep schedule. Thats because most babies start to develop sleep patterns when they are 2 months old. By the time babies are 3-6 months old, their naps, bedtime and wakeup times are pretty consistent.

Helping your baby distinguish between night and day goes a long way in establishing good sleep patterns. Daytime is therefore playtime be as active as possible during the day. Open up the shades, let the sunshine pour in and make some noise while your baby is sleeping. Make noise around a sleeping baby? I know, it sounds crazy. But this is a good way to help your baby realize that it is daytime.

Then at night, be as quiet as possible. When youre up for middle-of-the-night feedings it should be all business. Change your baby without cooing, playing or chatting. Your focus is to get them back to sleep quickly rather than playing with them.

Don’t Miss: How To Help Newborn With Cough

How Long Will My Newborn Sleep

Newborns should get 1417 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Some newborns may sleep up to 1819 hours a day.

Newborns wake every couple of hours to eat. Breastfed babies feed often, about every 23 hours. Bottle-fed babies tend to feed less often, about every 34 hours.

Newborns who sleep for longer stretches should be awakened to feed. Wake your baby every 34 hours to eat until he or she shows good weight gain, which usually happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it’s OK to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.

The first months of a baby’s life can be the hardest for parents, who might get up many times at night to tend to the baby. Each baby has a different sleep pattern. Some start to sleep “through the night” by 23 months of age, but some don’t.

What If My Baby Won’t Sleep In A Crib

Baby 411 : Your Baby, Birth to Age 1! Everything You ...

Sometimes babies just dont want to transition from Mom or Dads cozy arms into their own crib, no matter how cute it looks.

If thats the case, blur the lines between you and the baby bed. Try calming him down in your arms until he’s drowsy, then gently place him directly onto the bed without losing skin-to-skin contact.

A little massage or patting should help him nod off too. Make sure the temperature in your baby’s room is comfortably warm. Dim the lights and put on a white noise machine or fan to drown out ambient sounds.

Swaddling baby or putting him into a sleep sack before placing him in the crib may make him feel extra secure and, hopefully, encourage him to fall asleep in his bed.

Read Also: What Causes Sids In Newborns

Does My Baby Sleep Too Much

Some babies are better sleepers than others. They might not wake up for meals in favor of sleep, though. Youll need to be extra careful during the first couple of weeks and assess their progress.

Keep an eye on your babys diapers. Their urine shouldnt be too yellow , and there should be an adequate number of stools of the right color. Mustard in color and seedy texture are normal.

A baby who doesnt sleep enough will be clingy and whiny. Or, they might be hyper and hard to soothe. A sleepy baby doesnt have these issues, but can make parents antsy by sleeping too soundly.

It takes at least six months for a baby to establish their own circadian rhythm. But if yours seems to be oblivious to any differences between night and day, a bit of help might be just what they need to get used to feeding at regular intervals and thriving.

If youre dealing with an overly sleepy baby, youll first need to make sure there are no medical issues causing them to sleep all the time.

Jaundice, infections, and any medical procedures, such as circumcision, can make your baby sleepier than usual.

Your pediatrician will check if your baby is gaining enough weight. If not, you might need to wake them up to eat every three hours depending on your doctors recommendations.

Here are some things you can try to promote regular sleeping schedules:

You can also try to monitor their rapid eye movement sleep stage. This is the light sleep stage.

Related Posts

Popular Articles