Newborn sleep time


newborn yawns

The newborn's schedule! Smiling and holding your precious baby in your arms, you return home. And that's where things get tough and have nothing to do with what you imagined!


The first days and nights with the baby usually go through complete confusion. Every day succeeds the next very fast, as one feeding and the care that follows succeeds the other. However, you will soon find that the baby's life has a set routine and you can organize your own around it. Usually this schedule is based on the baby's meals and the hours of sleep the infant needs.


At first you feed the newborn every two to three hours. They are most likely to sleep after almost every meal, which is usually around five to six per day. Most babies sleep sixteen to eighteen hours a day, but others are content with ... just eight hours of sleep. Some newborns sleep deeply, even if there is noise and others so light that they wake up with the slightest noise!


Most pediatricians and newborns agree that the best attitude for a baby's sleep in the first few weeks is back and to the side, which reduces the risk of sudden death. If your pediatrician has not instructed you to do so, you should prefer to put him or her to sleep in this position by placing a rolled-up towel behind his / her back and taking care to change the baby's side every time you put him / her to sleep. The towel on his back serves to keep the baby in the crib position and prevents him / her from changing during sleep.

newborn sleeps in moms hands

Your goal is to get more and more sleep at night, but this is something you usually can't do before five weeks. Sleep time in newborns' first months of life is interrupted because their sleep cycle is short. The brain and nervous system are not yet sufficiently developed to allow the baby to sleep through the night. However, as your baby grows older, the post-natal feeding may be eliminated, resulting in a longer night's sleep and a longer wake-up time for the baby respectively. Although as a mother, you will strive to create an elementary sleeping and feeding schedule, your baby with his or her needs and whims or even because of potential discomfort, such as colic, will overturn your schedule several times. The baby, after all, is constantly changing, so what applies one week may not apply the next.


As a mother, you need to be flexible and often proactive, until you find out what is best for your child and therefore for you too. Because your rest is also very important to be able to recover on one hand and to take care of your baby without stress.


Although the first few days after the baby is born there is not much you can do - besides be patiently armed - as the newborn sleeps whenever he wants and whenever he wants, you can apply the following to help your biological clock baby's tune:


Put a "transitional" item on the baby's bed. This object e.g. a teddy bear or a blanket, acts as a safety valve and acquires soothing properties. It is important to keep the object close to you so that it will give you a special smell, so that the baby's smell is linked to your presence. Babies have a particularly strong sense of smell and, when awakened, especially at night, the smell of the mother next to them can be very reassuring and help them to sleep again.

Day and night separation. Although babies will eventually learn to sleep more hours at night, most newborns will be confused at night. To help your baby break up, establish a nighttime ritual associated with nighttime sleep: a bath before bed, a lullaby or soothing music. During the day let the natural light enter the baby's room and allow noises, while at night seek darkness and quiet. On the other hand, when the baby is awake during the day, it is advisable to take care of it and intensify the interaction between talking and playing with it.

Night meals differ from those of the day. Try to make your meals more social during the day. Talk and laugh at the baby while feeding it. On the contrary, nightly meals should be calm and start as soon as the baby starts complaining, that is, while still half-asleep and fully awake.

In the evening you should leave the light off or on low and not talk to the baby. If the baby is breast-feeding, try to extend the breast-feeding before bedtime so that the baby does not wake up because of hunger.

Finally, consider that while this period is particularly tiring, the times you live or will live with your baby are simply unique. This little one you care for so much gives you the absolute sense of uniqueness that pushes you away from any tiredness.

Do not forget to ask for Dad's help, who is very much involved in the process and taking care of the baby, as long as you ... show him and leave him!



From the pediatrician: Kekko Markou, Pediatric Society of Cyprus

happy baby