Usually, newborn babies sleep for as many hours as possible in a day. They wake up after every few hours only for feedings. In the first month after birth, it is difficult for new parents to predict how long the baby will sleep or for how many hours it should sleep. In the initial weeks after birth, there are no specific nap timings, but newborns usually take 16-17 hours of sleep throughout a day. After three-four hours of sleep, newborns wake up for feeding. Therefore, it is not advised to wake a baby up to feed during the naps. In the initial five to six weeks after birth, do not let your baby sleep for more than five hours at a time, awaken it to feed. To develop a regular sleeping schedule for your tiny bundle of joy, it is important to know the sleeping pattern of a newborn baby.
Getting into Sleep-Mode
As your baby starts snoozing off, it will close its eyes, breathe irregularly and its eyes will begin to flicker.. Your newborn will be restless for first few minutes. After 20 minutes, it will stop moving and start taking regular and deep breaths. The baby’s body will relax signaling that it has entered into deep sleep and you may lay the baby down without any fear of waking it up. While some newborns will go to sleep on their own once they are drowsy, others need someone to put them to sleep.
Short Sleep Cycle
Sleep cycle of a newborn between snoozing and deep sleep usually lasts for 50 to 60 minutes. Therefore, a baby is more likely to wake up during light sleep. To soothe your baby if it wakes up frequently, rub its back or cradle it while singing softly to resettle it to sleep. A hungry baby also wakes up so feeding may put it back to sleep. By the time your newborn turns three months old, it might have adapted to a sleep pattern of around eight hours during daytime and four to five hours at night, though babies require attention at night until they have turned nine months old..
Feedings at bedtime
In the first few months, a newborn must eat at least once at night suggesting that your baby will wake up two to three times to eat during night so mentally prepare yourself for sleep disruptions at night.
Sleep Pattern after Six to Eight Weeks
Once your baby has crossed its newborn period, its normal sleeping pattern becomes difficult to predict. By the time a baby reaches two months of age, its earlier sleeping time per day reduces to three to four hours a day. At this stage, babies start taking naps for longer periods, particularly in the evening, but they still stay up through the night.