It's only when they can last for six to eight hours without a night feed that they start 'sleeping through the night'. In the first weeks of life, babies sleep for an average of 16 to 18 hours a day. A newborn will usually sleep for two to four hours at a time, wake up for a feed and short play and then drop off again. In the early days, your baby may doze off constantly without a peep unless she has colic.
She may fall asleep in a baby pouch, in a pram, a car baby capsule or in a bassinet while you fold the laundry. The issue soon becomes how you want your newborn to fall asleep when she moves into baby stage around three months old and beyond.
Where will baby sleep? Some mothers prefer to sleep next to their babies and are happy to keep doing this long-term. Other parents prefer their newborn to sleep in their own cot from day one. And there are lots of variations in between.
Often, it can make breastfeeding easier in the early weeks. Often, it comes with risks such as accidental smothering or crushing see sharing your bed with baby. If your newborn is breastfed, she may smell her mother's milk supply next to her and wake more often for a feed. This means she may continue feeding every three hours at night for some time. Also, the longer she sleeps with you, the harder it may be to convince her to eventually sleep in her own bed.
Sleeping in a cot It is absolutely fine if you want baby to start sleeping in her own cot, even from day one. In fact, that is the easiest time to start. As long as she gets enough milk and caring attention when she is awake, she can happily sleep in her own cot.
She desperately needs you for a lot of things but luckily, sleeping is not one of them. This is something she can already do, proudly, for herself. Letting your newborn fall asleep Whether she sleeps with you or in her own cot, the trick is to put your newborn down to bed just before she dozes off, every time, day and night, so she can do the falling asleep part herself. There's no need to rock her to sleep.
This way, she will 'learn' to drift off without depending on you to settle her to sleep, for naps and bedtime or any time during her normal sleep rhythm by the time she is three months old, this will include many groggy but potentially silent awakenings at night.
There are other options you could consider: Ear or tympanic thermometers.
Until she is three months old, she'll still need you to feed her and change her nappy at least every four hours. Window of opportunity You can start this sleep routine anytime between day one and three weeks when newborns are so groggy, they tend to fall asleep easily. For example, if you consistently put her in her cot to fall asleep, she will soon prefer falling asleep in her cot to anywhere else.
If you can learn to predict when she gets tired, you can be ready with her nappy changed before she starts to drift off. It helps to know her sleep signs and to have a good 'feed, play, sleep' routine happening. Sleeping through the night Most new parents dream of getting back to their old sleep schedule. But just as you want your baby to sleep more at night, she wants you to learn to rest when she is napping during the day, so you can be fresh when she wakes up. In the first few months, it is common for newborns to wake two or three times a night for feeds.
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