Newborn babies sleep an average of sixteen hours per day, according to the experts. They tend to sleep for short periods of time at a time, but this happens many times during a day. This can be very stressful for new parents who need to adjust to the lack of sleep and more demanding lifestyle. The amount of time that it takes a baby to sleep right through the night is different in all children but, parents can learn tips and tricks that will help their bundle of joy sleep better and longer.
Newborns need time to transition before sleeping for long periods of time. They are still adjusting to their new world that consists of lights, faces and sounds. Newborns often have many new visitors and commotion going on in their lives. Dedicate an hour or so before you put your little one down to rest a quiet time. Limit the amount of electronic distractions in the room and provide a peaceful environment for sleep, so they can transition easily.
A consistent routine lets a newborn know that it is time for sleep, which can make them fall asleep easier and faster. Find a bedtime routine that is simple enough for you and still remains effective. Make sure that your chosen routine is one that you can follow at night. You might want to try giving them a bath, followed by reading a story and singing a lovely lullaby.
Newborns might have trouble falling asleep if they are put to bed when they are overtired and upset. It is a good idea to put them down when they first start to show signs of being tired. Learning the signs that they are tired will help you to be able to do this. They might rub their eyes or become very mellow and subdued. If you put them down when they are awake, but drowsy it will help them to learn to fall asleep on their own.
Newborns learn quickly what to associate with sleep. If you always hold them, rock them to sleep, or give them a feeding, they will expect and need these things before being able to go to sleep. You might want to make sure that their associations are things that you can provide consistently. If you are not able to rock them to sleep every night, avoid doing it at all until they learn different sleep associations. They also need to learn what the difference between night and day is, so try not to play with them at night, or when you feed or change their diapers. Do your normal activities and chores during the day and reserve the nighttime for quietness and darkness.
It is very important to make your newborn’s sleeping area safe and comfortable, which will allow them to get the best sleep possible. A safe crib, bassinet or cradle that has no toys, pillows or blankets is the best for your newborn according to the professionals. Newborns should also be placed on their back to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A few newborns are not comfortable sleeping on their backs. In this case, use a thin blanket to wrap up your newborn tightly. This will keep them wrapped up while preventing her from pulling the blanket close to her face.