Your long-awaited baby is born and your sleepless nights have started. Your baby may have a hard time sleeping and wake up crying in the middle of the night, or experience irregularity in his sleep for some reason. What should be the sleeping pattern of newborn babies and what should parents do for these kinds of problems? We will address these questions in this Mom’s Land article and share some hints with you.
Because babies’ biological rhythms are not settled in the first three months, they cannot distinguish between day and night: this may cause sleep irregularity. No need to worry, as it is entirely normal until after the first three months.
Babies are expected to have a settled and peaceful sleeping pattern after the first three months. If your baby still has chronic sleep problems after this period, an expert must be consulted to understand the root of the problem. Intestinal and urinary infections may be underlying reasons for sleep irregularity in babies during this time.
You should take not intervene every time your baby wakes up crying. Otherwise, if your newborn baby is fed and not thirsty, he/she may get used to, and need, your presence in order to go back to sleep.
Newborns have to sleep for 16–18 hours a day. A day for them entails short periods of wakefulness and long sleeping periods. Babies may sleep for two to four hours during the day before they feel hungry, and will up and they cry for that reason. You can help your baby to distinguish between day and night. For example, you can communicate with him in daylight during the daytime while feeding and playing with him; while at night, feed him under a soft light and reduce noise and movement.
You should not expect everything to progress systematically in terms of sleep for the first two months. Otherwise, your baby, who is newly born and trying to adapt to his/her environment, can feels pressured, which can affect sleep irregularity. Feeding periods and amounts are factors that can affect a newborn baby’s sleep. For that reason, you should feed your baby only when he/she is hungry.
The sleeping pattern of a newborn baby differs from baby to baby. Some newborns may sleep for 15–20 hours, some may not. If there is no reason for him/her to feel uneasy and he/she is full, it may be gas pain or constipation that is preventing sleep. Another reasons for sleep problems and frequent crying are that there is not enough breast milk. If a newborn baby sleeps for less than 10–15 hours a day, you should seek help from an expert.