Snoring, Sinus & ENT Specialist

Sleep & the Infant

Newborns (neonates – less than 28 days old) typically sleep 16 to 20 hours per day — but in short one to two hours stretches at a time. The pattern may also be erratic at first.

As the baby grows and his or her nervous system matures, your baby can stay awake longer between feeds. By three months, many babies sleep for as long as five hours during the night. By six months, sleeping through the night with stretches of nine to twelve hours is possible.

You will find that the night feed (just before putting the baby to sleep) is important; with a full tummy, the baby would sleep better and hopefully, longer.

Here are some tips to help your baby acquire better sleep habits:

  1. Encourage activities during the day. When your baby is awake, stimulate him/her by talking, singing and playing. Surround your baby with light and normal household noises.
  2. Monitor your baby's daytime naps. Regular naps are important - but avoid letting the baby sleep for long periods of time during the day, as this may leave your baby wide awake when it is time to sleep at night.
  3. Follow a consistent bedtime routine. Try relaxing favorites such as bathing, cuddling, singing or reading bedtime stories.
  4. Put your baby to bed drowsy but awake. This will help your baby associate bed with the process of falling asleep.
  5. Give your baby time to settle down. Your baby may fuss or cry before finding a comfortable position and falling asleep. If the crying doesn't stop, speak to your baby calmly and stroke his or her back.
  6. Keep night time care low-key. When your baby needs care or feeding during the night, use dim lights, a soft voice and calm movements. This will tell your baby that it's time to sleep - not play.
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