Dont Wake Your Baby To Feed After 2 Months
If your baby is gaining weight properly, you dont have to wake them at night for feedings. Your baby needs to find them own sleep schedule. Once they are eating more in the daytime, they dont need to wake and eat at night.
Here are some instances where you should wake your baby:
- They are sleeping more in the day than the night and missing their daytime feeds.
- Dont let them go more than 4 hours without eating during the day. You may need to wake the baby up to feed at night, but it is probably better to try to change your babys daytime habits rather than continuing to wake them every 4 hours at night.
Your babys pediatrician will give you advice for your baby. For premature or special-needs babies, you may need to adjust feedings.
Teach Your Newborn To Sleep
If you can get in the habit of putting your newborn to sleep while he is drowsy but still awake, then you will begin to teach him how to put himself to sleep. Like adults, babies go through several cycles of wakeful periods during the night. Adults can put themselves back to sleep with no issue. For babies, this is a learned skill. The sooner your baby can fall asleep on his own, the sooner your baby will sleep through the night.
References: What Scientific Studies Say About Newborn Sleep
Anders TF. 1979. Night-waking in infants during the first year of life. Pediatrics 63: 860-864.
Bennett C, Underdown A, and Barlow J. 2013. Massage for promoting mental and physical health in typically developing infants under the age of six months. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Apr 30 4:CD005038. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005038.pub3.
Cheruku SR, Montgomery-Downs HE, Farkas SL, Thoman EB, and Lammi-Keefe CJ. 2002. Higher maternal plasma docosahexaenoic acid during pregnancy is associated with more mature neonatal sleep-state patterning. Am J Clin Nutr 76:608-13.
Cubero J, Valero V, Sánchez J, Rivero M, Parvez H, Rodríguez AB, Barriga C. 2005. The circadian rhythm of tryptophan in breast milk affects the rhythms of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin and sleep in newborn. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 26:657-61.
Cubero J, Narciso D, Terrón P, Rial R, Esteban S, Rivero M, Parvez H, Rodríguez AB, Barriga C. 2007. Chrononutrition applied to formula milks to consolidate infants sleep/wake cycle. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 28:360-6.
Custodio RJ, Junior CE, Milani SL, Simões AL, de Castro M, Moreira AC. 2007. The emergence of the cortisol circadian rhythm in monozygotic and dizygotic twin infants: the twin-pair synchrony. Clin Endocrinol . 66:192-7.
Dement W and Vaughan C. 1999. The promise of sleep. New York: Random House.
Doan T, Gardiner A, Gay CL, Lee KA. 2007 Breast-feeding increases sleep duration of new parents. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 21:200-6.
Image credits for Newborn sleep patterns
What Are The Sleep Patterns Of A Newborn
The average newborn sleeps much of the day and night, waking only for feedings every few hours. It is often hard for new parents to know how long and how often a newborn should sleep. Unfortunately, there is no set schedule at first, and many newborns have their days and nights confused. They think they are supposed to be awake at night and sleep during the day.
Generally, newborns sleep a total of about 8 to 9 hours in the daytime and a total of about 8 hours at night. But because they have a small stomach, they must wake every few hours to eat. Most babies dont begin sleeping through the night until at least 3 months of age. But this can vary a lot. Some babies dont sleep through the night until closer to 1 year. In most cases, your baby will wake up and be ready to eat at least every 3 hours. How often your baby will eat depends on what he or she is being fed and his or her age. Make sure you talk with your healthcare provider to figure out if you need to wake your baby for feedings.
Watch for changes in your baby’s sleep pattern. If your baby has been sleeping consistently, and suddenly is waking more often, there may be a problem such as an ear infection. Or your baby may be going through a growth spurt and need to eat more often. Some sleep disturbances are simply due to changes in development or because of overstimulation.
What Are An Infant’s Sleep Needs
Sleep needs for babies vary depending on their age. Newborns do sleep much of the time. But their sleep is in very short segments. As a baby grows, the total amount of sleep slowly decreases. But the length of nighttime sleep increases.
Generally, newborns sleep about 8 to 9 hours in the daytime and about 8 hours at night. But they may not sleep more than 1 to 2 hours at a time. Most babies don’t start sleeping through the night without waking until they are about 3 months old, or until they weigh 12 to 13 pounds. About two-thirds of babies are able to sleep through the night on a regular basis by age 6 months.
Babies also have different sleep cycles than adults. Babies spend much less time in rapid eye movement sleep . And the cycles are shorter. The following are the usual nighttime and daytime sleep needs for newborns through 2 years old:
Don’t Miss: What Things Needed For Newborn Baby
Sleep While The Baby Sleeps
Newborns take frequent naps lasting anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, for a total of 16 to 18 hours of sleep each day. New parents are often severely sleep deprived if the only sleep theyre getting is overnight. Sleeping while the baby sleeps can sometimes be challenging because of other kids in the house or our internal body clocks, but its a good idea to try and get some rest, says Pien.
What About A Ride In The Car
Some parents claim that a ride in the car is a sure-fire way to induce sleep. In desperate times it may be tempting to buckle baby in the car seat and drive around the block. Just dont do it for long, says Dr. Ahmann.
Sleeping in the car, while sometimes unavoidable, is not a good habit. Your baby is safest sleeping on a firm, flat surface, not propped up in a seat.
Every year hundreds of U.S. infants die due to unsafe sleep environments. Make sure your baby sleeps safely all the time. Its non-negotiable, says Dr. Ahmann.
For babies, safe sleep means lying flat on the back with no blankets heavier than a hospital receiving blanket. There should be no stuffed animals in the crib. Do not use crib bumpers, pillows or any type of cushions for propping up your baby not even items marketed to help babies sleep better.
Also Check: How Much Oz Of Formula Should A Newborn Drink
Here Are Some Ways To Educate Parents On How To Sleep Safely With Their Baby:
Here are some things to avoid:
Parents should use common sense when sharing sleep. Anything that could cause you to sleep more soundly than usual or that alters your sleep patterns can affect your babys safety. Nearly all the highly suspected cases of fatal overlying I could find in the literature could have been avoided if parents had observed common sense sleeping practices.
The bottom line is that many parents share sleep with their babies. It can be done safely if the proper precautions are observed. The question shouldnt be is it safe to sleep with my baby?, but rather how can I sleep with my baby safely. The data on the incidence of SIDS in a bed versus a crib must be examined before the medical community can make a judgment on sleep safety in a bed.
Read more about SIDS in our article.
How Should Babies Sleep
During the first weeks of a baby’s life, some parents choose to room-share. Room-sharing is when you place your baby’s crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet in your own bedroom instead of in a separate nursery. This keeps baby nearby and helps with feeding, comforting, and monitoring at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing.
Follow these recommendations for a safe sleep environment for your little one:
Recommended Reading: When To Give Bath To Newborn Baby
When Can You Get Child On A Sleep Schedule
When your child has to do with 2 months old, her internal clock will be a bit more foreseeable and you may be able to begin implementing a basic newborn sleep schedule.
In between 3 and 6 months, your childs bedtime, naptime and wake-up times will increasingly fall at around the exact same times each day.
Youll learn to anticipate your childs natural sleepy times and work toward putting her down while shes drowsy but still awake, teaching her the valuable life ability of how to go to sleep on her own.
infant sleep training in any kind must wait up until the 4-to-6-month-old variety, if you choose to do it at all..
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.
Read Also: What Color Should My Newborn’s Poop Be
Reducing The Risk Of Sudi Including Sids And Fatal Sleeping Accidents
There are some things you can do to reduce the risk of SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents if you choose to co-sleep with your baby:
- Put your baby on their back to sleep .
- Make sure the mattress is clean and firm. Dont use a waterbed, or anything soft underneath for example, a lambs wool underlay or pillows.
- Keep pillows and adult bedding like sheets and blankets away from your baby. Make sure your bedding cant cover your babys face. Consider using a safe infant sleeping bag so your baby doesnt share adult bedding.
- Use lightweight blankets, not heavy quilts or doonas.
- Never wrap or swaddle your baby if youre co-sleeping.
- Tie up long hair and remove anything else that could be a strangling risk, including all jewellery and teething necklaces.
- Move the bed away from the wall, so baby cant get trapped between the bed and wall.
- Make sure your baby cant fall out of bed. The safest spot is on the side of a big bed, away from the edge. Consider sleeping on your mattress on the floor if its possible your baby might roll off the bed.
- Place your baby to the side of one parent, never in the middle of two adults or next to other children or pets. Your baby might get rolled on or overheat.
Dress Your Baby Appropriately
Overdressing a baby can lead to overheating which has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome . Babies do not have the ability to regulate their own body temperature like adults do, so its important to make sure theyre not overheating, especially sleep at night. Babies who are too warm or too cool will undoubtedly wake up. You can avoid this issue by dressing your baby in garments made from all-natural fibers like cotton, linen, or merino wool, which are breathable and absorb perspiration.
We suggest Woolino products, as they are made with supremely breathable merino wool and have unmatched body temperature regulation properties. This means a better, healthier, and safer sleep for your baby. If the temperature in your babys nursery in a concern, please refer to “Keeping Your Baby Cool During Hot Summer Nights.
Its important to remember that although there are many different ways to put a newborn to sleep, sleep routines are very child-specific. Children will experience changes in their sleeping habits, and most of the time these changes will be perfectly normal. However, if something doesnt seem quite right, and you are still struggling to find answers, we recommend consulting with your pediatrician.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Give A Newborn For Constipation
Don’t Worry If Naps Are A Hot Mess
“Yes, consistency is key, and the safest place for your baby to sleep is on her back in a crib. But many babies under 6 months don’t nap best there, so don’t beat yourself up if she falls asleep on your chest or in a carrier or a car seat , or if you wind up pushing a stroller around the block for 40 minutes so she’ll get some shut-eye. You’re not wrecking night sleep by letting naps be a little more haphazard in the first six months. Most babies don’t start developing a real nap schedule until 5 or 6 months, and even then, some nappers will put up a fight and others will be way more flexible about napping on the go.” Szmulewitz
How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep
Sometimes it’s hard to fall asleep in strange places especially when home was a warm, dark and very cozy spot inside Mommy’s belly. When it comes to adjusting to life on the outside, your infant might appreciate sleep-enhancers that remind him of home. Try any or all of these baby sleep strategies to make sending baby off to dreamland a little bit easier.
1. Follow safe sleep guidelines. How your baby lies down and gets to sleep is a matter of safety, not just comfort. Put your newborn flat on his back in his crib, bassinet or playard without any loose bedding, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or crib bumpers. Experts also recommend room-sharing until baby is at least 6 months old. These safe sleep practices prevent overheating and suffocation, and reduce the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
2. Try putting him to bed drowsy but awake. Your baby isnt born knowing how to soothe himself to sleep, and if you let him fall asleep in your arms, youre doing his important work for him. A better idea is to rock, sway or pat him gently on the back until hes just nodding off, then put him down when he’s drowsy but still awake so he can learn to fall asleep on his own. Another idea: Try your hand at massaging your baby before he drifts off. Studies suggest that babies who are massaged before bed may produce more of the sleep-enhancing hormone melatonin. And its a nice way for you to bond with your little night owl.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Newborn Constantly Crying