First Time Parents Guide: How Much Should My Newborn Be Sleeping?

First Time Parents Guide: How Much Should My Newborn Be Sleeping?

The first weeks of your new baby’s life are a magical, wondrous, and potentially very confusing time for you and your little one. Your baby is getting accustomed to a radically new environment. Up until recently, everything he or she could possibly imagine wanting was readily available inside your womb. Now, he or she must acclimate and adapt to eating, sleeping, and living in the real world.

For your baby, this may involve a lot of crying, along with initially somewhat irregular patterns of feeding and napping. For you, it can be stressful, as you try to do all the right things and worry about whether your child is adapting comfortably. In particular, you may be wondering, “how much should my newborn be sleeping?”

Fear not! All babies are different, and most will get used to the natural rhythms of their life with your comfort and support. This includes sleep - although getting on a regular sleep schedule could take some time. In the meantime, here is a rough guide to how much you can expect your newborn to be sleeping during his or her first few weeks of life.

Typical sleep schedule for newborn babies

As a general rule, you should expect your newborn to sleep for about 14-17 hours during a given 24-hour period. Some babies may sleep as much as 18-19 hours.

This will involve intermittent naps, at first, as your baby should be expected to wake up every 2-3 hours for feeding.

Specific times for sleeping and waking may seem erratic at first. You can keep track of your baby’s sleeping schedule using a spreadsheet. This will help you observe your baby’s natural sleeping patterns as they develop, and provide you with information to share with doctors or other medical professionals if that turns out to be needed.

Newborns and sleep: When should I be worried?

If you believe that your newborn baby may be sleeping too much, or not enough - particularly if there are also issues with feeding and appetite - you can always ask your doctor or another medical professional for advice.

Be advised that, in the stress of those first few weeks, you may feel as though something is wrong when, in reality, your baby is developing right on schedule. It’s important to practice self-care and have compassion for yourself during this time, so that you can be patient and present as a new parent.

You can also try making modest modifications to your baby’s sleep environment. Make sure it’s dark, quiet, and free of strong smells and other distractions. Invest in a sound machine, if you think it will help.

The support you give your child in these first few weeks will lay the groundwork for the rest of his or her life. Make sure you are instilling the values of compassion and sustainability, right from the beginning, with all-natural, high-quality, vegan baby products from Ruby & Poe. In particular, because your baby will be comfortable and relaxed in our super soft sleeper gown. Have a look around!

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