Newborn and Baby Sleep
The saying sleep like a baby. We have all heard it, but does it ring true. When you hear that saying you think of sleeping so soundly through every noise. But what we don't talk about is that babies wake up every 2-4 hours all hours of the night to eat and get a diaper change. Some babies do sleep through all the noise and some do not.
Newborns need a lot of sleep around 14-18 hours a day so they take "naps" throughout the day and night. As they get older their sleep should be around 12-16 hours. They sleep a lot during the first few days and weeks but as they hit growth spurts sleep will be less and awake time will be more. One growth spurt his around 9-11 days, those 3 days I actually avoid sessions too. They hit a small spurt and are more awake. But of course there are many more that you will notice around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months but they can happen at any time and typically lasts for a few days. During those times your baby will be more hungry, more awake and could be more fussy. If your baby is like my three and hits a growth spurt and you become a open 24/7 snack machine for a few days to even 2 weeks do not be discouraged. Things will go back to normal shortly. Supply and demand is big during those times. If your baby is fussy and hangs on you all day and still fusses and acts like s/he is not getting enough hang in there, you got this. But more about it in my blog about nursing and those struggles.
Back to babies sleep... Most babies loose weight during the first few days of life; and according to the Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) it is recommended waking newborns every 2-3 hours during the day and up to 4hours at
night until they have regained their birth weight.
Some times babies sleep more than other times. They could have a little cold, hitting a growth spurt or recently have gotten vaccinated. This should all be perfectly normal but if you do notice that your baby sleep a lot more than normal, has an elevated temperature you should always seek the advice of a physician.
One thing that I do in the studio and something that works really well are the 5 s's
swaddle, side or stomach position while holding (it is not safe for sleeping), shush, swing and suck (pacifier for example) those things work wonders for most babies.
In the early days most babies have no idea what day or night is. They even get them mixed up as during pregnancy they were rocked to sleep with your movement throughout the day and were wide awake when you were or you were trying to sleep. You probably noticed and wondered why baby always decided to be awake at night when you were trying to get some rest.
A bedtime routine can help, with a proper routine their bodies will get on the schedule and it will be easier. Your baby will not be able to stick to a routine right away so don't stress yourself out about it. At about 3 months you can probably see that setting a routine will be helpful and they are able to get in the rhythm. I would also suggest during night time feedings keep the room dark and quiet. Once baby has a bit of a routine down you can also do dream feeding which is a great way of catching them before they wake up and get them to go back to sleep right away. For dream feeding listen to your babies cues and catch them before they are stimulated enough to party all night.
Naps is another interesting topic. Most newborns as we talked about sleep a lot during the day. Soon they will go do 3-4 very short naps as day, 2-3 short naps (about 4 months old) and eventually they go to 1 long nap (around 10-18 months old). On the baby center website they have a chart, but between 3-12 months a baby should take about 2-3 naps that last anywhere from 20 min to 2hours. By 9 -12 months your baby should be down to 1-2 naps that last 20min to 2hours each. And by 1-3 years of age your baby should take 1 nap that lasts 1-2 hours.
Soon you will find out how your babies schedule is and you will be able to find a routine that works for you.
There are a lot of helpful tips out there and one of my favorite sources is babycenter, what to expect and the bump.