How much sleep does my baby need?
If you’re a new parent, you may be wondering how much your baby should be sleeping, when your baby will develop a sleep routine, and if you should be concerned by the amount of sleep your baby is having (or not having!).
HOW MUCH SHOULD MY BABY SLEEP?
The truth is, the amount of time which babies spend sleeping can vary greatly. While some spend more time awake and take frequent, short naps, others can sleep for much longer periods.
WHEN WILL MY BABY DEVELOP A SLEEP ROUTINE?
In terms of when babies sleep – some babies do not sleep through the night to begin with, while others have no problem settling down after dark.
Essentially, just as your baby will have their own unique personality, they will also have their own unique sleep pattern, which is likely to be different from other babies, including any of your other children.
Naturally, this can be tiring for parents, so that’s why the best advice is always to try and sleep at times when your baby is asleep. If you aren’t sleeping while your baby sleeps, you needn’t worry too much about keeping your home quiet. It can be beneficial for your baby to get used to sleeping while there is a level of noise as it will help them to adapt to sleeping in different environments, such as when you’re out and about.
WHAT IF MY BABY FALLS ASLEEP WHEN BREASTFEEDING?
When your baby is breastfeeding during the early weeks, it’s perfectly normal if they nod off for a short time during the feed. You should simply carry on until they finish feeding, tickling their feet may help rouse them enough to start feeding again.
HOW CAN I GET MY BABY INTO A SLEEP ROUTINE?
You can help your baby to develop a sleep routine right from the start. The trick is to teach them the difference between night and day by:
During the day:
Ensure your home is light-filled during the day time, and that you stay active, playing games and not being too concerned about the level of noise.
At night time:
You can ensure that you keep your voice at a low level, the level of lighting is low, you don’t play with them, you don’t change their nappy unless they need it, and that you put your baby down as soon as they have been changed or fed.
All of these things can contribute to your baby learning that night is the time to sleep.
SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT MY BABY’S SLEEP?
If you’re worried about how much sleep your baby is getting, the way in which they sleep, or their sleep routine, it is best to speak to your paediatrician.
Dr Yiannis is a Consultant Paediatrician with diverse paediatric experience. If you have any questions relating to your baby and sleep or would like to book an appointment, call today on 0207 390 8045 or 07824 464 533.