How Should A Newborn Baby Sleep

Put Your Newborn In Pajamas

How much sleep should my newborn baby have? | NHS

Your newborn should wear a long-sleeve onesie or long-sleeve pajamas. Even though its cute, dont let your baby sleep in just a diaper and blanket. Most babies like to have their hands free, rather than tucked in, and long sleeves are important to keep the arms warm. A zipper or snaps will give you access to the vital diaper area. Pajamas with footies are nice if your baby tends to kick out of blankets. Pajamas will also prevent a chill if you have to unwrap him to change a diaper.

Here are some of our favorites:


Also Check: What To Prepare For Newborn Baby

Get Sunlight And Avoid Artificial Lighting At Night

Make sure you expose yourself and your baby to bright light during the day. And keep lights outor at least dimmedafter sunset.

As noted above, natural lighting helps influence newborn sleep patterns. But it also helps you keep your own circadian rhythms from drifting, which is important if you are going avoid insomnia and be a source of daytime cues for your newborn.

Stop Swaddling Before Baby Rolls

Make sure to use the right swaddling technique and always put your swaddled baby to sleep on her back, though keep in mind that there’s no evidence swaddling lowers the risk of SIDS.

You should stop by the time your baby is rolling over , which usually starts around 3 or 4 months. Swaddling can create a strangulation or suffocation hazard for older babies who are mobile enough to potentially wriggle their way out.

Want to play it extra safe? Stop at 2 months, before your baby begins to get her roll on.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

  • What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff.

Recommended Reading: Can Newborns Sleep In Dock A Tot

A Note On Sleep Patterns And Cycles

Within the first 6 weeks after birth, babies typically take a nap between their 2 or 3 hourly feeds.

For the first three weeks of a babys life, they are relying on maternal melatonin to help them prepare for sleep and their drive to sleep is strong.

Sleep cycles typically last about 45 minutes to an hour for newborns.

0-10 minutes they start to fall asleep, 10 to 20 minutes they are getting into deeper sleep.

20 to 30 minutes they are heavily asleep, 30 to 40 minutes they are coming out of heavy sleep, and 40 to 50 or 60 minutes they are in light sleep and easy to wake up.

This is why if you help baby to sleep by patting or shushing, but only do it for 5 minutes, baby wakes up or cries.

Its because they are not yet in deep sleep.

How To Get Your Baby To Sleep In A Crib

4 Ways to Help Baby Sleep Anywhere

When it comes to getting your baby to sleep in a crib, timing is critical. Experts recommend placing your baby in the crib at the first signs of drowsiness and not waiting until theyâve fallen asleep. This helps your baby learn to associate the crib as the place of sleep. To figure out how to get your baby to sleep in a crib , consider the following questions and insights:

  • Is there an obvious reason? Sometimes, your baby wonât sleep in a crib because they need something. Check whether your little one needs feeding or a diaper change, or whether they may be feeling sick.

  • Is your baby comfortable? Check that the room temperature is cool but comfortable for your baby to sleep and that your little one isnât over- or underdressed.

  • Have you tried soothing sounds? If your baby wonât sleep in their crib, try playing white noise or soothing sounds using a baby sound machine or creating white noise by turning on a fan pointed toward a wall.

  • Would a night-light help? Every baby is unique, but your baby might prefer having a night-light on as they fall asleep. A night-light can also provide enough illumination for middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes, so you avoid disturbing your baby by turning on the bedroom lights.

  • Read Also: What Is Newborn Stem Cell Preservation

    Recommended Reading: Can You Overfeed A Newborn Formula

    Can Newborns Sleep Too Much

    Many parents wonder whether their baby is sleeping too little or too much. This is an understandable concern, as you want your baby to be sleeping just the right amount.In your newbornâs first weeks, sheâll need to be fed about every three to four hours. If your newborn sleeps longer than four hours, you may need to wake her up for a feeding. Check in with your baby’s healthcare provider on this matter. Depending on your baby’s weight, age, and general state of health, your provider may recommend waking her up or letting her sleep. If your baby’s afternoon naps are longer than three or four hours, itâs a good idea to wake her up for a feeding and some playtime. Naps that are too long or too close to bedtime can make falling asleep in the evening harder.

    By Step Guide To Dressing A Newborn Baby In A Pajama

    • Unzip or unsnap your pajama.
    • Place the pajama down on the changing table while open.
    • Place your baby down on top of the pajama while supporting their neck and head.
    • Gather the foot of one side of the pajama onto your fingers, and then pull that onto your babys leg.
    • Straighten the pajama underneath your baby and then gather the arm of the pajama into your fingers and string that onto your babys arm.
    • Now do the other side, first the foot, then the arm.
    • Zip up the pajama, fastening the button at the top near the collar. If your baby stiffens up, wait it out.
    • Lift up your baby carefully while supporting the head and neck.
    • Your baby is good to go!

    Don’t Miss: How To Dream Feed Newborn

    What Are The Different Alert Phases Of A Newborn

    Babies also have differences in how alert they are during the time they are awake. When a newborn awakens at the end of the sleep cycles, there is typically a quiet alert phase. This is a time when the baby is very still, but awake and taking in the environment. During the quiet alert time, babies may look or stare at objects, and respond to sounds and motion. This phase usually progresses to the active alert phase in which the baby is attentive to sounds and sights, and moves actively. After this phase is a crying phase. The baby’s body moves erratically, and he or she may cry loudly. Babies can easily be overstimulated during the crying phase. It is usually best to find a way of calming the baby and the environment. Holding a baby close or swaddling may help calm a crying baby.

    It is usually best to feed babies before they reach the crying phase. During the crying phase, they can be so upset that they may refuse the breast or bottle. In newborns, crying is a late sign of hunger.

    Safe Sleep For Babies

    7 Sleep Tips for Newborns: Help Your Newborn Sleep

    There are about 3,500 sleep-related deaths among US babies each year.

    22% of mothers reported not placing their baby on his or her back to sleep, as recommended.

    39% of mothers reported using soft bedding when placing babies to sleep.

    There have been dramatic improvements in reducing baby deaths during sleep since the 1990s, when recommendations were introduced to place babies on their back for sleep. However, since the late 1990s, declines have slowed. Other recommended safe sleep practices today include eliminating hazards, such as keeping blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of the sleep area. Recommendations also include room sharing but not bed sharing. These practices can help lower the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome , accidental suffocation, and deaths from unknown causes. Not all caregivers follow these recommendations. Healthcare providers can counsel caregivers on safe sleep practices during pregnancy and baby care visits.

    Healthcare providers can:

    Recommended Reading: How Much Should A Newborn Baby Sleep

    Where Should My Baby Sleep

    For the first 6 months your baby should be in the same room as you when theyre asleep, both day and night. This can reduce the risk of SIDS .

    Particularly in the early weeks, you may find your baby only falls asleep in your or your partners arms, or when youre standing by the cot.

    You can start getting your baby used to going to sleep without you comforting them by putting them down before they fall asleep or when theyve just finished a feed. It may be easier to do this once your baby starts to stay alert more frequently or for longer.

    Recommended Reading: What Wipes Are Best For Newborn

    Dont Let Your Baby Overheat

    How should you dress baby for sleep? Simple is safest. Put your baby in a base layer like a one-piece sleeper, and skip the socks, hats or other accessories. Instead of a blanket, use a sleep sack or swaddle. Shell be warm enough but not too warm. Never use weighted swaddles, sleep sacks or blankets for your baby.

    A room temperature of 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit is best. To tell whether your baby is too warm, feel the nape of her neck. If she’s sweating, shes too hot.

    Recommended Reading: How To Put Your Newborn On A Schedule

    Newborns Communicate By Crying

    The average newborn cries and fusses almost three hours a day until around 3 to 6 months of age. Some newborns cry more than this.

    Newborns are usually the most unsettled during their first three months. They also have their longest periods of crying during this time.

    A lot of this crying and fussing tends to happen in the late afternoon and evening.

    Crying is a newborns main way of communicating, you should respond calmly and consistently.

    Sometimes, there is no clear reason why a newborn is crying. They may not stop crying even though you try to help them settle.

    From approximately two weeks to three to four months of age, newborns go through a stage of increased crying, which peaks around 6 to 8 weeks of age.

    The crying may be difficult to soothe. If you need to take a break, place your newborn in their cot or another safe place and take a break for a few minutes. Your self-care is important.

    This is a completely normal part of newborn development. There is no need for concern, as long as your baby is growing, gaining weight and is happy at other times.

    However, if you are worried about your newborns crying, please talk to your maternal and child health nurse, doctor or phone the Maternal and Child Health Line on 13 22 29.

    Baby Sleep Schedule: 2

    Q& A: What

    Your day should start around…

    6 to 6:30 AM

    Bedtime should be around…

    8 to 10 PM

    When to Feed: Your baby’s stomach is a little bigger now, so they’ll stay full for longer, but babies at this age still typically need to be fed every few hours – including throughout the night.

    Zen tip: Here’s when you can start implementing a baby bedtime routine. You’ve probably already picked up on the things that seem to soothe your baby. Stories? Baths? Swaddling? Try some different calming activities out and develop a nighttime routine that helps relax your baby and prepare them for sleep. Having a consistent routine is SO important for healthy sleep.

    Overstimulation in the evening can make it difficult for your baby to settle to sleep. Try bathing, cuddling, singing, playing quiet music or reading, with a clearly defined end point when you leave the room. Begin these activities before your baby is overtired in a quiet, softly lit room. – Mayo Clinic

    The Zen Swaddle makes a great addition to any bedtime routine. It’s gently weighted center and sides help soothe babies more than a traditional swaddle blanket. The weight helps to mimic your touch, so they can feel your loving embrace, even once you put them down to sleep. Additionally, the Zen Swaddle is effective in combating Moro Reflex, which is prevalent in most babies until 5 to 6 months old.

    Recommended Reading: How To Help My Newborn Sleep Longer At Night

    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.

    How Long Do Newborns Sleep A Day

    According to the AAP, newborn babies sleep an average of 16 to 17 hours a day over a 24-hour period but usually in 1-2 hour segments. And, according to The National Sleep Foundation, newborns sleep between 14 and 17 hours a day.

    As a sleep consultant for over 10 years, I want to point out that there is quite a big difference between a 3-4-week old versus a 12-week old but both are considered a newborn. Sleep needs change rapidly and, therefore, you can expect your 3-4-week old to sleep more than your 12-week-old, for example.

    This is one reason why we break down newborn sleep patterns by the week. If you compare a 1-week-old who is eating and sleeping virtually all day and night, you will see that a 6-week-old is awake much more.

    Its important to adjust your expectations as your baby grows and changes so you can make sure you are helping your newborn get the appropriate amount of sleep.

    Can your baby sleep too much? The short answer is yes but its highly unlikely. If your baby is healthy, they are likely sleeping the amount they need and babies need a LOT of sleep! If you are ever concerned, be sure to talk to your babys doctor, of course. The total amount of sleep in a 24-hour period will vary from baby to baby. Your babys average will stay relatively constant, though, meaning they will sleep approximately the same amount every day unless they are going through a growth spurt or have changed their habits.

    Don’t Miss: Why Does My Newborn Keep Crying

    What Do Newborn Sleep Patterns Look Like

    During the first day of life, most babies are alert for about an hour, and then they can fall into deep sleep for 12 to 18 hours.

    Once you bring your newborn home, you should cuddle your baby and offer feedingsbut even if your baby suckles, the breasts contain very little milk on the first day. Dont worry! Your early breastmilk called colostrum is rich in protein, antibodies, and nutrients to get your baby off to a great start. Additionally, like a little camel, your baby is born with an extra pound of food and water in her body.

    Over the next day or so, your baby will become increasingly awake and begin the classic patternawake for 1 to 2 hours, then sleeping for 2 or 4that will dominate your baby’s life for the first month.

    To better understand your baby’s sleep patterns, it’s a good idea to read up on infant sleep cycles. We’ve got a sleep cycles primer, here. Once you begin to learn your little one’s sleep patterns, the better equipped you’ll be to get rest yourself!

    When Should I Seek A Doctor’s Help

    Safe Sleep for Babies: Nurses Know | Presented by Pampers Swaddlers

    Contact your healthcare provider if:

    • Your baby seems to be extremely fussy/irritable or cannot be soothed he/she may have a medical problem such as colic or reflux .
    • Your baby appears to have a breathing problem.
    • Your baby has a difficult time being awakened from sleep.
    • Your baby is uninterested in feeding or persistently shies away from activity.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/17/2020.


    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Accessed 3/23/2020.
    • National Sleep Foundation. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sleep. Accessed 3/23/2020.
    • American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. November 2016, 138. Accessed 3/23/2020.
    • American Academy of Pediatrics. Safe Sleep. Accessed 3/23/2020.
    • American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Education. Healthy Sleep Habits. Accessed 3/23/2020.

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

    Read Also: How Many Newborns Are In Foster Care

    How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Comfortable

    Given that babies cant talk, it can feel like were left to decode their every coo and cry. Sometimes we get it right. Other times? Not so much. But parents quickly learn to pick up on their babys cues and look to them as insightful clues.

    If your nugget is fed and changed but still acting distressed, they may be uncomfortable or too hot or cold. Of course, there are some noteworthy physical indicators to look for too.

    Perspiration, rash, wet hair, red cheeks, and quickened breathing are a few signs that a baby is potentially overheating. Note that a babys extremities might remain cold to the touch, as their tiny circulatory system is still developing.

    When in doubt, feel the skin on your babys neck, tummy, or chest. If these areas are hot or sweaty, youll want to take immediate action to get them cooler. Remember, overheating has been linked to SIDS, so lower the room temperature and/or remove one layer and check back in a few minutes.

    While overheating is certainly the bigger concern, youll also want to make sure that your wee one is not too cold. If you notice that your infants hands and feet are looking slightly blueish, it might be time to turn up the heat or add a layer. Dont panic those cute fingers and toesies should return to their regularly rosy state in no time.

    Related Posts

    Popular Articles