When you’ve got a newborn, bedtime will take some getting used to, for both you and baby.
Not only will you be up several times a night, you may also be hypersensitive to every little noise and movement your new nugget makes.
To help ease you into newborn baby bedtime, here are the basics that you need to know.
At this point in your tiny tot’s life, a regular sleep routine is not a thing. So don’t worry if they aren’t settling into some sort of pattern right away. Give it 6-8 weeks before starting to work on an established sleep schedule.
In general, newborns sleep most of the day, about 14-17 hours, waking for 30-60 minutes stretches on average. So you get plenty of time during the day to ooh and ahh at their cute little sleeping face.
When newborns are sleeping, it’s typically a lighter, more restless sleep than you or I would have. That’s because much of their sleep is in REM, where they will move, dream and make more noise than in a deep, quiet sleep.
Babies may start to sleep for longer periods of time, say 5-6 hours, around 3 to 6 months. But some babies will take longer.
And speaking of making noises, newborn babies are noisy sleepers. They may even experience irregular breathing patterns, which can cause new parents alarm, but it typically isn’t anything to worry about. Newborn nuggets are still developing their brains, including the parts that control the respiratory system.
Newborn babies will wake up often to be fed. While this can be the hardest part for moms and dads to get used to, it’s important that baby gets fed regularly.
Breastfed babies should eat every 2-3 hours, while bottle fed babies can go a bit longer, like every 3-4 hours. If your newborn doesn’t wake up on their own, you should get them up yourself to feed every 3-4 hours, at least until they start to show a healthy weight gain.
If you are a new parent feeling unsettled about bedtime, just know you aren’t alone! And remember, everything seems more nerve-wracking at first. But you’ll get the hang of it all in no time.