How much should a newborn sleep? If the baby is healthy, well-fed and lies in dry diapers, he can sleep all the time between feedings. In the first month (newborn period), a baby’s sleep takes more than 20 hours a day.
Towards the end of the neonatal period, the child develops longer “walks”. They can reach 1.5 hours, in total, the baby’s wake time is 4-6 hours per day. How much a child should sleep in 1 month is determined by this time. Daily sleep rates for infants vary from 17 to 20 hours.
In the following months of the baby’s life, his need for sleep remains at the highest level. Never again will a person sleep so much. However, the waking time gradually increases, and by two months of life the baby easily and interestingly “walks” (smiles, looks at the mobiles, aguka and plays with his own hands) for 2 hours. Then he eats and falls asleep until the next awakening. The standard – how much a child should sleep in 2 months – remains at high rates: 15-18 hours a day.
Sometimes the baby’s wakefulness increases to 2.5 and even 3 hours. At three months, the child often does not sleep for 3 hours in a row (this is especially true for morning walks immediately after waking up and in the evening, before going to bed). At the same time, a long walk with a full charge and swimming is followed by a long, long sleep (all night with a short break for feeding). Therefore, medical standards – how much a child should sleep in 3 months – a little less. They make up 14-18 hours a day.
After 3 months, the child grows up noticeably, becomes sociable, active. The average figures differ in how much the baby should sleep at 4 months. According to some sources, the sleep rate is up to 17 hours a day, according to others – up to 15 hours of total daily sleep. A large number of factors influence this figure at 4 months: individual characteristics of the baby’s psyche, state of his health, and environmental conditions.
Newborn Sleep Positioner
Young parents are often worried about the question in which position to lay the baby, how should the newborn sleep? Putting him on his back, on the side or letting him sleep on his stomach? The number of medical and other myths for parents puts inexperienced mothers and fathers into fear, warns of possible “consequences”: the child will “suffocate” or be “crushed”.
Doctors consider the most successful position of the baby on its side.
In this position, he will not choke on his own belching (if it occurs in a dream) and will not squeeze his tummy. However, this posture itself is unstable, and if you do not support the back of the baby with a pillow, he will quickly wake up.
If you want to lay the baby on his back, then the head should be above the body and legs. Such an inclination is created by artificially oblique arrangement of the bottom of the crib, stroller or cradle.
Can a newborn sleep on his stomach? The “on the stomach” pose is a physiologically comfortable and safe position. Many young children instinctively aspire to this position. In this position, the child will not choke on burping, but after feeding it may burp excess. Therefore, if the baby fell asleep immediately after eating, then you should put it on a barrel and propped up with a pillow from behind.
And if he fell asleep after a “walk”, you can safely put him on his tummy. This will extend his sleep time and prevent colic. In addition, swaddling of the newborn or a free stay in the vest and sliders affects a comfortable posture during sleep.
If the baby is swaddled, there can be no question of any posture “on the stomach”. He really can put his nose too deep into the pillow.
In order for the baby to sleep on his stomach, he must be dressed in sliders, a vest, a blouse and sheltered from above. Despite the infant age, the child is able to move arms and legs, take a comfortable pose.
Features of the sleep of the newborn
Newborn children are the same people as adults. They have their desires, they feel pain and joy, happiness and disappointment. They can experience the emotions of the past day in a dream, dream, rejoice or cry in their dreams.
The crying baby in a dream suggests that he is feeling bad, not comfortable (wet, hungry, or something hurts, you feel like drinking, shaking somewhere or hindering something). Also, the baby may cry due to the fact that he is bored, sad, lonely lying in a separate bed.
Reasons why a newborn cries in a dream:
- The tummy hurts (colic).
- I want to eat (this problem often plagues those who feed the baby “by the hour” and do not give him milk ahead of time).
- I feel thirsty (usually this condition is formed in rooms that are too dry and warm, where the air temperature exceeds + 20ºC).
- Wet bed (fitted or wrapped up, the diaper cooled down and began to cool the baby). At the same time, children can sleep in the wet and not wake up if heat remains around them.
- It’s hot for the baby – a banal reason that most young parents do not think of. There is an opinion that the baby should be dressed warmer than himself. This is not consistent with human physiology. Therefore, if the baby cries in a dream – perhaps he is just hot.
- Cold is the fault of those parents who are fond of hardening. The baby may not be warm enough, because of which he falls asleep badly, twitches and cries in a dream.
Why does the newborn startle in his sleep:
- Often the baby starts in a supine position if a relatively sharp sound is heard. An instinctive abrupt movement of the handles followed by awakening.
- Newborns startled in a dream when, before falling asleep, he cried a lot and a long time.
- Also, in the neonatal period (1st month), the baby can startle due to birth injury, a neurological disease. If twitches become rhythmic – these are convulsions. Neurologist consultation required. In addition, the cause for concern and seeking medical attention should be frequent (8-10 times) twitching and waking at night, which is accompanied by a frightened look of the baby.
- A newborn jerks in a dream with pain: colic, problematic teething.
If the child is prone to twitching in a dream, he should be laid to sleep on his stomach or swaddle the upper body and arms.
In addition, the modern children’s clothing industry produces miracle diapers with zippers (they look like sleeping bags for babies). Such devices prevent twitching in a dream and frequent waking up for this reason.
Newborn groans and pushes when sleeping
When the baby is sleeping, his body works. It digests food and builds muscle mass, bone tissue. Therefore, situations when a newborn groans and pushes in a dream are the norm. Perhaps the baby just wants to defecate or pee.
Open mouth in a dream – is it bad?
Often, parents watch a newborn sleep with his mouth open. Is it bad? And is it worth it to close the baby’s mouth (gently move his chin to the upper jaw)?
If the baby has problems with nasal breathing (runny nose, swelling of the sinuses), then he needs an open mouth for breathing. However, breathing through the mouth is uncomfortable, the mucous membrane of the mouth becomes too dry, the baby often wakes up and cries.
In order for the child to sleep soundly and calmly, it is necessary to clean the nose of mucus and crusts before going to bed.
Also, the drying of the mucous membranes prevents climate control. In the children’s room it is necessary to maintain optimal humidity (about 70%) and temperature (up to + 20ºC).
A striking example of the influence of climate control is sleeping on the street. Many parents say that even capricious babies on the street, walk or just on the balcony sleep much better, without crying and untimely awakenings.
Another reason for open mouth – an uncomfortable posture of sleep. If the head is thrown back, then the lower jaw may drop involuntarily. You need to put your head on a small pillow or folded diaper.
Breathing through the mouth in a dream is not the norm. Mouth breathing, unlike nasal breathing, does not cleanse the air of dust and does not heat it inside the nasal passages. Such breathing can trigger a respiratory infection.
Baby sleep in her arms
The habit of falling asleep in the mother’s arms is formed when sleeping incorrectly or after an illness. If this habit concerns only falling asleep, then it does not seem detrimental – the baby sleeps quite a lot and mother has time to do all possible things. It is bad when the child does not sleep on his own, wakes up if he is transferred to a crib or pram. What to do if the child sleeps only in the arms? How to teach a child to sleep in his crib?
You can resort to the following methods:
- Persistently accustom the child to independent sleep (for very patient parents).
- Putting the baby to sleep with you. With such a dream, everyone wins: the mother gets enough sleep, the baby receives the necessary bodily contact with the mother.
However, some children have a great need for bodily contact.
If you are persistently trying to teach your baby to sleep on his own, but he does not want to get used to it, don’t be upset. Relax, buy a sling and try to enjoy the first months of the baby’s life. It is possible that in six months your baby will no longer have such a strong need to be around.
Why the child does not sleep well: causes of sleep disorders
Normally, a newborn baby should sleep most of his time. Bad sleep or its absence suggests that the baby is uncomfortable, bad, unpleasant, painful.
We list the reasons why a newborn does not sleep well day and night:
- Painful sensations: intestinal colic and flatulence, gas, which cannot go out and form pain. As well as dysbiosis, painful teething, any other physiological problems and diseases.
- Often the child does not sleep at night because of too active evening pastime. Developing activities before going to bed, active games, a children’s sports corner, late guests, noise and fun – bring joy to the child, but if they are delayed, they postpone the sleep. Any active activity (physical or mental) should be carried out later than 1.5 hours before bedtime. After this, the baby must be bathed in a warm bath (to soothe), give him a relaxing massage (with light strokes) and turn on soft, quiet music for falling asleep.
- Another reason that the newborn does not sleep at night is the late awakening for the last evening “walk”. If it happened that the baby woke up when it was time to fall asleep at night, then try not to play the baby. Bathe him in a warm bath and try to put it in 1 hour after waking up.
- A newborn sleeps little when very noisy around or very bright lighting is turned on in the room.
- The child does not sleep well at night and often wakes up if the air in the room is too dry and hot. The baby’s strongest and healthiest sleep is on the street, in a reliable warm blanket.
Why does the newborn not sleep at night and sleep during the day? This condition often occurs in children who were born in the evening. They “mixed up” the time, wake up and “walk” at night, after which they sleep soundly during the day. What to do in this case?
The only way is to have patience and retrain the baby for a normal day. To do this, you need to wake him up during the day, pick him up, do gymnastics, then bathe in a cool (+32 + 34ºC) bathtub to stimulate active movements. At night – feed, not including the light, put to sleep next to you. The “retraining” period can last up to 10-14 days.
If the newborn does not sleep all day, this is a sign of a neurological problem. Insufficient duration of sleep in a child causes a lag in growth and development. Therefore, small deviations from the norm are allowed, but significant ones should alert and become the reason for a visit to the doctor and examination.
Why the child does not sleep well at night – we have figured out, and now we will consider what to do if the child does not sleep well.
What to do if the child does not sleep well at night
Daytime sleep may be short or rare. But for a night’s rest, completely different requirements are made. In order for the mother to regain strength, the baby should sleep peacefully all night with a short break for feeding.
In order to provide yourself and the baby with a complete rest, it is necessary to observe the following: the child should be full, in dry clothes, breathe fresh air and get an opportunity to move and “walk” before going to bed.
What should be done:
- To create favorable conditions for sleep: we already talked about climate control, we will add airing of the room before going to bed and, if necessary, an open window for fresh air.
- Favorable conditions also include natural cotton clothes and diapers, the absence of noise, harsh sounds and bright lighting. Even an adult is hard to fall asleep in bright light.
- Dry clean diapers – provide you with a good night’s sleep. In order to prevent the baby from crying at night in a dream, try to “persuade” him to defecate in the evening or afternoon.
- Full-fledged “walk” before going to bed. This should be the maximum duration of a walk with swimming, exercise, games and subsequent reassurance.
- Often a good night’s sleep is facilitated by swimming in cool water with subsequent feeding. Such a bath is organized at the end of the “festivities”, when the baby has already moved and got hungry enough. After bathing, the baby is given a breast, he eats and falls asleep safely throughout the night.
- In order for the baby to sleep peacefully at night, he must be fed. Sometimes a mother has to have a tight dinner, so that the nutritional value of the milk allows the baby to sleep peacefully until the morning and wake up to feed one (newborn – two) times.