Info. on Newborn Sleep

It is always interesting to pull out the infant sleep articles and study.  Everyone and his brother has an opinion about how newborns should sleep.  Personally I find that newborns sleep constantly.  The article below says newborns sleep 14 to 17 hours a day.  Have you ever heard of newborn who is awake 10 hours a day?  Most newborns will barely wake to eat.  Often that is one of the major difficulties for new parents.  Baby sleeps through everything!!  Yet, I am of the belief that it is good to digest as much information as possible prior to coming to a decision regarding major topics.  Sleep is one of those gigantic issues with which each of us must grapple.  So hear goes……..

Knowing the ins and outs of your baby’s sleep habits and patterns is key.

Whoever coined the term “sleep like a baby” didn’t know much about them, because newborns are restless sleepers, hungry every few hours, and rarely, if ever, make it through the night without waking up. If you’re worried your newborn’s sleep habits, remind yourself of these facts — then relax and enjoy that adorable child of yours.

Newborn sleep basics

It helps to remember a few tenets of newborn baby sleep so you don’t tear your hair out when you’re up in the middle of the night time and time again:

1. Little ones vary in their sleep needs. Newborns up to 3 months old need 14 to 17 hours of sleep, and infants up to 12 months need 12 to 16 hours (including naps). But before you decide your baby is sleeping way more (or way less) than that, remember that quality sleep matters too. So if your baby seems healthy and well-rested, don’t get too hung up on how much or how little he sleeps.

2. Newborns need to eat around-the-clock. Newborns have very tiny tummies, so while it would be nice to load up your baby with breast milk or formula at bedtime and not hear from him til morning, it doesn’t work that way … at least not yet. Newborns need a snack at least every two to four hours; a five-hour stretch is actually considered a full night’s sleep for a baby this age.

So how do you know when your baby’s whimpers, snorts and occasional night wakings are a call for food? The key is to learn to differentiate between “feed me!” sounds and all the rest so you can respond quickly when he’s truly hungry (with the hope that, after a little treat, he’ll drift back to dreamland quickly) or let him stay sleeping if he’s asleep.

3. Newborns are restless sleepers. While older children (and new parents) can snooze peacefully for hours, young babies squirm around and actually wake up…a lot. That’s because around half of their sleep time is spent in REM (rapid eye movement) mode — that light, active sleep during which babies move, dream, and maybe wake with a whimper. Don’t worry. As he matures, his sleeping patterns will too, with fewer REM cycles and more periods of deeper, quieter sleep.

4. Newborns are noisy sleepers. Irregular breathing that may include short pauses and weird noises is rarely cause for alarm, but it can freak new parents out. Here are some facts on your baby’s respiratory development to put things in perspective: A newborn’s normal breathing rate is about 40 to 60 breaths a minute while he’s awake, though that may slow by half once he’s asleep. Or, he might take shallow, rapid breaths for 15 to 20 seconds followed by a total pause in which he stops breathing entirely for a few seconds. You can blame all this on the immature breathing-control center in his brain, which is still a work in progress.

Study resources:

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