newborn sleep pattern

How Long Should A Newborn Sleep – What Is Normal And When To Worry?

New parents always get perplexed about the newborn’s uncertain sleeping habits. When the baby is inside the womb, the warmth of your body keeps the baby at complete rest. But, the baby requires time to get used to life outside the womb, and in the process, they show some unpredictable sleepy routines.

Parents wonder if their child is sleeping more than required or not even taking enough sleep! Let’s have a look at the newborn’s sleep patterns in their first few weeks of life!

Sleep patterns of newborns changes throughout their first year. Let us talk about a common first-year sleeping pattern for the babies:

The first quarter

During this period, the newborn gets nearly a comprehensively 14 -17 hours of sleep out of 24 hours. This sleeping window is broken into intervals. The baby wakes up after short periods to get fed or to get the diaper changed. They require more frequent breastfeeding and after each 2-3 hours, they need sleep. However, do not worry if your newborn’s sleeping pattern does not match with this standard pattern as it can vary from baby to baby during the first four months.

The Second Quarter

When it comes to sleeping during the second quarter, an infant’s daily dose of sleep reduces and a newborn spends 12 to 15 hours of sleep. As a newborn baby’s sleep includes pauses, after 3 months, these periods should get longer as now baby does not have to be fed more often. Some four to six-month-old babies even start sleeping throughout the whole night.

The Third Quarter

After six months, almost all babies sleep during the night and for some part during the day. Nighttime awakening can happen to those babies who are ill or in the phase of teething. This time parents need to adopt some advanced sleeping strategies to make their babies sleep. You can help the baby sleep by singing a lullaby giving a nighttime feed, dimming the lights, and creating a quiet aura around the baby.

Discover your infant’s sleeping window:

Some babies are better sleepers than others and few show different formats. Parents are required to be extra careful during the first couple of weeks and examine the changes in their baby’s sleep.

Parents should keep an eye on their baby’s diapers regularly. Make sure that their urine is not too yellow. Darker than yellow implies that the baby is dehydrated and that is why he often wakes up more frequently and is not able to develop any sleep sequence.

A baby who doesn’t enjoy enough sleep or does not experience sound sleep is prone to be clingy and irritated. These babies cry a lot and are hard to soothe. An infant that experiences deep sleep would not show any such issues.

After checking all possible scenarios that can disrupt your baby’s sleep, you are all set to discover about your child’s sleep cycle. You need to wait for at least six months as a baby takes this much time to establish its own circadian rhythm.

Still, after six months if your baby has not shown any standardized sleeping-pattern for himself, you can consult a doctor to get his advice.

When should you worry?

Overly sleepy Infant: If your baby is an overly-sleepy-baby, you will be required to check that there are no medical issues that are leading your child to sleep for long. Some illnesses, such as Jaundice, any kind of infection, and any medical procedure, for
example, circumcision, can make your baby feel sleepy than usual. Pay a regular visit to your pediatrician who will check if your infant is gaining the required weight. If not the case, you might need to wake your baby up to eat every three to four hours depending on what the doctor suggests.

Inadequate sleep: If the baby is not getting enough sleep, he will show some obvious signs to let you know about it. He will rub his eyes and pull his years more often. His eyes will flutter and redness can be seen in his eyes. Moreover, he will yawn all the time. Inadequate sleep can be a significant cause of the poor growth of your child. You should not ignore it at all.

The Bottom Line

Your infant;s different sleep pattern from "the standardized one" doesn’t call for an alarm. No doubt, you should be concerned if you are seeing your infant often tired, cranky, or over-stimulated as it can be a sign that he is not getting enough sleep.

You may also opt for sleep training as sometimes the problem just lies in the way the baby wants to be treated and felt. If he feels comfortable and cozy, sleep deprivation and excessive sleeping may not occur.