The Key To A Good Newborn Routine
This may be so simple it goes without saying but the key to a good routine is keeping the routine.
It can be tricky to remember everything in order when youre beginning, but once you get the hang of it, routine will be second nature.
It can seem very difficult to get started doing or keeping a routine when you do not have one at all. Here are some ways you can learn to keep your routine.
Teach The Difference Between Night And Day
When your baby sleeps during the day, keep the lights on and keep sounds at normal levels. At night, on the other hand, turn off the light or use a night-light, feed and change your baby as calmly and quietly as possible, and limit your interactions to holding them gently. Soon you will notice your baby’s longest periods of sleep occur at night.
How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need
The short answer: A LOT. Your newborn will spend the majority of time sleeping, and the rest of their time eating – this is especially true for the first few weeks. As a 6-week-old baby, your newborn will sleep up to 18 hours for every 24 hour period – in their first few days of being alive, they’ll sleep even more! Of course, as your baby grows they’ll need less and less sleep each day. Our newborn sleep schedules break it down for you and apps can help you track naps and nighttime sleep.
Zen Sleepwear is gently weighted to help soothe babies to sleep, so they can start learning healthy sleep habits while getting the rest they need.
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Trust Your Instincts And Get Help When You Feel Stressed
If something feels wrong with you or the baby, talk to your physician. And remember that your own mental health is crucial.
Coping with sleep deprivation is very stressful, especially if your infant seems to be especially fussy or prone to crying. Watch for signs of postpartum stress and postpartum depression, and reach out to others for support.
Establish A Bedtime Routine
Babies are comforted by routines. You may wish to begin establishing a bedtime routine even at this tender age, to lay the groundwork for later months. For example , try regularly giving your newborn a warm bath, a gentle, soothing massage and quiet time before bed. This can help to relax your newborn for easier sleep.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Sleep Change
If you are wondering whether your little one is suffering from sleep schedule disruptions, here are some signs to look out for:
- Frequent waking at night
- Taking short naps or fighting naps altogether
- Suddenly fighting bedtime
- Getting up early in the morning
- Hungrier than normal
- More fussy, restless, or clingy
Separate Eating From Sleeping
After the first month, you dont want to let your baby fall asleep while youre feeding or rocking them, because you want them to figure out how to put themselves to sleep.
They may eat a little, doze a little, and eat some more, a couple of times. If they go to sleep and keep sleeping when youre feeding them, stop and put them to bed.
Some parents try to push more formula, breast milk, or baby food to try to make a baby sleep on schedule or sleep longer. This isnt good for your baby. Just like you when youve eaten too much, your overfed baby wont be comfortable enough to rest well.
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Tips For Better Sleep
- Help your baby know that its nighttime by making sure that shades are drawn and lights stay low or off.
- Establish a bedtime routine early! This can help to send your little one the message that its time for a good, long rest.
- Encourage your baby to eat frequently during the day and especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. During growth spurts, itll be much easier for you if they cluster feed during the day not at 2 a.m.!
- Expect changes.
Just when you think you think youve got it all figured out and your baby is following a sleep pattern, things may change.
Take a deep breath and remind yourself that its because different stages of growth and development require different patterns and amounts of sleep. Your calm attitude can go a long way in soothing your baby back to sleep youve got this.
When Should I See My Doctor
Never hesitate to see your doctor if you have questions about your babys sleep schedule or sleep issues. Many sleep problems have a solution, as long as you ask for help.
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.
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Help Yourself Feel Like Yourself
There will probably be days when your mind feels more like a to-do list of things you have done and still need to do. Sometimes, the most productive thing for you is to allow your brain to shut off, even if just for a few minutes.Taking care of yourself sounds simple enough, but with a new baby in the mix, you might be surprised how quickly the day speeds by. There will be times that by sundown, youre covered in spit-up and food and realize you never brushed your teeth that morning!This is all part of the process. Life with a newborn takes a lot of adjusting! But remember that you deserve care and attention, too. Try to find time during the day to sneak away for a shower or a moment of quiet. Brush your hair, change into fresh clothes , and dont feel guilty about taking a few minutes here and there to zone out and shut your brain off while reading, listening to music, or watching television.We promise those dirty dishes or the pile of used towels can wait. Nothing is worth sacrificing your self-care!
The Ultimate Newborn Sleep Schedule: Week By Week
Youve come to the right place for your newborn sleep schedule and sleep patterns. I will help teach you how to get your baby on a schedule, how much time in bed is actually needed, and day and nighttime solutions.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn I hadnt babysat a child more than once or twice.
Much less a baby.
Much less a newborn that was as small as my forearm and was always hungry.
I read what I could, studied what I found, and now as a mom of 5 can safely say getting your newborn to sleep well is totally possible.
Ill show you how.
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Week Old Sleep Schedule / 2 Month Old Sleep Schedule Development And Sleep Patterns
Your newborns sleep patterns: By 8 weeks old/2 months old, many babies are sleeping longer at night and we start to see earlier and earlier bedtimes as your baby lengthens nighttime sleep to 11-12 hours and they nap 3-4 hours during the day, on average. They still need ~14-16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. However, if your baby still has a later bedtime, that isnt too uncommon. Until your baby is sleeping 11-12 hours at night, you really dont want an 8 PM or earlier bedtime else you will have to start your day WAY too early! In addition, your baby may have been eating just 1-2 times a night but once they lengthen their nighttime sleep, this might mean a night feeding creeps back in, temporarily.
Some parents stop swaddling around this age because baby is rolling which can become problematic for sleep. This can lead to more night-waking and shorter naps. In addition, there is commonly an 8-week growth spurt to keep in mind.
Here is what your 8-week-olds schedule may look similar to:
|8 Week Old/2 Month Old Sleep Schedule
|Milk and Diaper Change
Please note: Not all babies, especially breastfed babies, can transition to just two night feedings by this age, especially if they are in bed for 12 hours. Some babies are still getting three night feedings and that would be within averages.
Sleeping Problems Whats Not Normal
Babies can be snuffly or noisy sleepers. Its common for babies to have irregular breathing patterns when they sleep they might breathe quickly, and then have short pauses, for example. This is normal.
If youre worried about your babys sleep because:
- you cant settle them
- they sleep for long periods
- theyre too tired to feed
- they dont wake for feeds
- theyre not feeding well, or not having many feeds
- theyre breathing more quickly than usual
- theyre wheezing or grunting
then contact PlunketLine on , or talk to your midwife, doctor, or your Well Child nurse.
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Changing Your Baby’s Sleep Patterns
If youre worried about your sleep or your babys sleep, you might want to look into changing baby sleep patterns. The key is helping your baby learn how to go to sleep without your help.Steps to changing baby sleepIf you are interested in changing baby sleep patterns, the important thing is helping your baby learn to fall asleep independently at bedtime and settle by herself if she wakes during the night.It takes 3-14 days to change baby sleep patterns, just as it takes adults a few days to get over sleep issues like jet lag. Be prepared for your baby to protest for the first few nights, until he gets used to the change. After that, sleep usually improves for everyone.Here are the steps to changing baby sleep patterns:
- finishing the last feed at least 20 minutes before bedtime
- giving baby the last feed outside the bedroom this helps break the link between feeding and sleeping
- phasing out night feeds altogether for babies older than six months this is important if youre trying to help your baby settle independently during the night.
Put Your Baby To Bed Drowsy
For the first few weeks, your baby will fall asleep anywhere, including in your arms. And who doesnt want those baby snuggles?But after a couple of months, help your baby learn how to fall asleep by themselves so they dont always rely on you go to sleep. When its time for bed, put your infant in the crib when theyre drowsy but not yet completely asleep.
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Dealing With Baby Sleep Problems
All babies change their sleep patterns. Just when you think you have it sorted and you’ve all had a good night’s sleep, the next night you might be up every 2 hours.
Be prepared to change routines as your baby grows and enters different stages. And remember, growth spurts, teething and illnesses can all affect how your baby sleeps.
If your baby is having problems sleeping or you need more advice about getting into a routine, speak to your health visitor.
What About You Tips For Improving Your Own Sleep
Newborn sleep patterns take their toll on parents. In a study tracking the sleep patterns of mothers from pregnancy through the postpartum period, maternal sleep worsened after childbirth and continued to deteriorate until about 12 weeks postpartum -the time when newborn sleep patterns begin to show marked circadian rhythms .
Twelve weeks isnt forever, but it can seem like it when you are severely sleep restricted. As you struggle to cope with newborn sleep patterns, dont forget to look after yourself. Here are some tips to help you cope.
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How To Choose A Morning Wake Time:
- Choose a time that is suitable to your family routine and consistently feed them at this time.
- Every morning, aim to feed your baby at this time even if theyve fed as soon a 1.5 hours before.
- If need be, gently rouse your baby up around 4 or 4:30 am and feed them as full a feeding as they will take, then wake them up again at the time youve determined is their morning wake time.
- And, if they wake earlier than this time but are not crying for milk, cuddle, hold, play with, and rock baby until that time comes. If the baby is extremely hungry, feed baby of course. Try to get a full feed in there and then get back on routine throughout the day.
- Remember consistency is key. Your babys body will get used to eating at a certain time and will slowly but surely start sleeping a lot closer to that time.
At this point your baby takes full feeds, has a good routine, is learning to put himself to sleep, and has established dream feeds and morning wake times.
You are nearly there! You are a newborn sleep pro!
If you are going back to work at this point, you may want to teach your baby to sleep well at someone elses house.
Newborn Sleep Patterns: A Survival Guide
As every parent knows, the world of newborn sleep is exotic and strange.
Babies rack up lots of sleep overall, averaging 16-18 hours a day during the first two weeks.
Yet they awaken frequently, and rarely sleep more than 4 hours at a stretch, even at night. Their internal clocks arent yet synchronized with the external, 24-hour day.
Its a recipe for exhaustion, but understanding the science of sleep can help you cope, and avoid mistakes that can delay your childs development of more mature sleep rhythms.
In this article, youll learn about
- fundamental differences between newborn sleep and adult sleep
- circadian rhythms, and how you can help your baby get in sync with the natural day
- sleep cycles in the newborn, and how to work around them
- tips for preventing newborns from waking up and
- advice for improving your own sleep.
Throughout, I focus on babies under four weeks of age. For information about older infants, see my article on baby sleep patterns.
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Week Old Sleep Schedule / 3 Month Old Sleep Schedule Development And Sleep Patterns
Your newborns sleep patterns have likely changed significantly from a few weeks ago. 12-week-olds are starting to approach the time when we start to see newborn sleep problems if you havent seen them up to this point. Naps sometimes get shorter and it may be harder to stick to your schedule or eat-play-sleep routine. Your baby still needs 11-12 hours of sleep at night and 3-4 hours during the day, but the total average sleep is right around 14 hours. Of course, by definition, some babies will need more and some will need less. If your baby needs less, developing a 3-month-old schedule is usually more difficult. Ideally, youd keep your baby awake no longer than two hours at a time.
Here is what a typical 12 week old sleep schedule looks like, though not always predictable just yet:
|12-Week-Old Sleep Schedule