How Much sʟᴇᴇᴘ Do Babies Need – What To Expect
How much sʟᴇᴇᴘ do babies need: How much infant sʟᴇᴇᴘ your baby needs depends on the age of your baby, how often he is feeding and any other medical complexities he might be experiencing. The Sʟᴇᴇᴘ Foundation recommends that most babies sʟᴇᴇᴘ between 14 and 17 hours.
A newborn baby is not meant to sʟᴇᴇᴘ through the night. He will generally need to feed every few hours in the early stages. As your baby gets older, he might be able to stretch out the feeds and sʟᴇᴇᴘ a little longer; eventually he’ll begin sʟᴇᴇᴘing through the night.
Why is my baby not sʟᴇᴇᴘing?
There are quite a few reasons why your baby might not be sʟᴇᴇᴘing.
It is usual for newborn babies to be waking every few hours to feed. Although it’s ᴇxʜᴀᴜsᴛɪɴɢ this might be one of the reasons your baby is not sʟᴇᴇᴘing.
Sometimes babies might have an ᴜᴘsᴇᴛ ᴛᴜᴍᴍʏ. For those who are given breast milk, it might caused by the food their mothers have eaten. It might also be from formula feeding, or if mothers had ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs in labor or after the birth. These reasons can also cause young babies to be ᴄᴏɴsᴛɪᴘᴀᴛᴇᴅ ᴏʀ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴠᴇʀʏ ʟᴏᴏsᴇ sᴛᴏᴏʟs.
Many babies like to be swaddled to sʟᴇᴇᴘ. The Moro reflex, when the arms sᴜᴅᴅᴇɴly extend when babies are sᴛᴀʀᴛʟᴇᴅ, might wake them up and, if swaddled, they will have a more comfortable and safe sʟᴇᴇᴘ. Some babies, though, might not like their arms wrapped and will not sʟᴇᴇᴘ this way. The key message is to do what works for you and your baby. Other things that affect baby sʟᴇᴇᴘ include being ᴛᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴛ ᴏʀ ᴛᴏᴏ ᴄᴏʟᴅ.
Babies might experience separation anxiety and want to be close to you to sʟᴇᴇᴘ. Perhaps you could try co-sʟᴇᴇᴘing with your little one to help him fall asʟᴇᴇᴘ.
My newborn only sʟᴇᴇᴘs a few hours; is that normal?
We mentioned earlier that, initially, your baby will wake every few hours to feed. This is called Cluster Feeding. This happens to help bring in your milk supply. As he gets older, your baby will stretch these feeds out and might feed and sʟᴇᴇᴘ more when having a growth spurt. It is perfectly normal, and expected, that the average newborn will wake every few hours. Be mindful that your baby might not follow the rules; he is an individual and will do his own thing.
Should you be quiet when baby is sʟᴇᴇᴘing?
Babies sʟᴇᴇᴘ quite well when there are noises around them; after all, they did not experience silence in the womb and are used to having sounds around them. Newborn baby sʟᴇᴇᴘ occurs day and night – even when the vacuum is going or the radio’s on and the lawns are being mown. You baby might fall asʟᴇᴇᴘ and then, if there is a loud noise, it might startle him into producing the Moro reflex, which could wake him. Quiet sʟᴇᴇᴘ is not necessarily required for baby’s sʟᴇᴇᴘ cycle to occur.
Do babies sʟᴇᴇᴘ better in the dark?
In the early stages, babies can sʟᴇᴇᴘ in the light or in darkness. When they get older, the light might be over sᴛɪᴍᴜʟᴀᴛɪɴɢ. Having a dark room for older babies might encourage then to sʟᴇᴇᴘ through the night and help with their bedtime routine.
How do you get a newborn to sʟᴇᴇᴘ?
Baby sʟᴇᴇᴘ patterns can vary for each baby. Watch for those early signs that your newborn is sʟᴇᴇᴘy, such as rubbing eyes, yawning and finishing feeding.
Here are a few tips to help settle your little one: Sᴡᴀᴅᴅʟᴇ-ᴡʀᴀᴘ or don’t Sᴡᴀᴅᴅʟᴇ-ᴡʀᴀᴘ – whichever works. Don’t overstimulate by handing baby around for a cuddle from everyone. Play soft music. Make sure baby has a clean nappy. Ensure he has a full tummy. Check he is not full of wind or gas. Develop a bedtime routine. Watch for sʟᴇᴇᴘ readiness. Settle a crying baby first, to help him sʟᴇᴇᴘ consistently. Get to know your baby’s sʟᴇᴇᴘ habits. Minimize sᴜᴅᴅᴇɴ loud noises; they can cause sʟᴇᴇᴘ ᴅɪsᴛᴜʀʙᴀɴᴄᴇs.