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Newborn Sleeping Pattern: Newborn Sleep Hours & Baby Sleeping Tips

Watching your newborn sleep peacefully is sometimes all the stress buster you need. And because newborn sleeping pattern and schedule is such that they sleep A LOT, you get to see this view pretty often! During the first few weeks as newborns, they sleep almost 18 hours a day. Thus, understanding newborn sleeping hours, schedules and patterns are essential for you as parents. This article will help you understand all aspects of newborn sleep hours, routines, schedules and timings! So, keep your sleeping masks away, and read on! 

Usual Newborn Sleep Patterns

A new parent is usually always sleep-deprived and waits for the baby to fall asleep to be able to sleep themselves. But sadly, at the early stage, the newborn sleeping pattern is not fixed or predictable. Although a newborn baby sleeps for almost 18 hours a day for the first few weeks, this is never at a stretch for more than a few hours in one go. 

The newborn sleep pattern changes every week. For the first few months, your baby will wake up often for feeds, and while they are sleeping, they are in the active sleep phase, and the usual noises in the house won't wake them up quickly. 

They will sleep longer after a few months but would be light sleepers. Finally, around six to eight months of age, your baby will wake up hardly once or twice in the night for feeds and start sleeping. 

Newborn Baby Sleep Requirement

A newborn would sleep a good sixteen to eighteen hours in a 24-hour day-night cycle for the first three months. However, there is no concept of a day nap vs a whole night's sleep as they cannot differentiate between day and night yet. Slowly as you develop a routine, they will start sleeping longer at night. Meanwhile, a newborn would take three to four naps in the daytime, ranging from 30 minutes to three hours. Before a bedtime routine is set, the newborn sleeping pattern will be erratic, and they will be getting up multiple times in the night to feed and play before going back to sleep. 

Newborn Baby Sleep Development

At this age – the newborn stage, never force a schedule on your baby. Do not wake them up from a nap or sleep to put them on a particular sleep schedule. The baby sleep patterns by age change and are set on their own. 

You can start a schedule that your baby can look forward to and find comfort in, and that will help them develop sleeping habits and patterns. For example, small practices such as keeping the lights dim, volumes down, and everyone in the bed will help your child slowly develop a night-time routine. 

Signs Of A Tired Newborn Baby

Identifying the newborn sleeping pattern and setting up a schedule would not work unless your baby is sleepy. An active baby or an overly tired baby is difficult to put to sleep. Thus, you would need to identify the cues of when your baby is tired and ready for the bedtime routine. Here are a few things that will signal a tired baby: 

  • ▪ Your baby will become unusually quiet when sleepy.
  • ▪ Yawning is a classic sign of a tired and sleepy baby. 
  • ▪ If they are sleepy for a while now, they will be fussy or even start crying. 

Newborn Baby Sleep Schedule

A newborn baby honestly has no fixed sleeping schedule. However, you will notice a newborn sleeping pattern unique to each kid. The nap timings and duration would differ from child to child. However, the usual pattern is:

Day Time

▪ As mentioned earlier, a newborn baby would take around three to four naps in the daytime. After that, they can nap for a short duration of thirty minutes or can be sleeping for several hours only to get up if they poop or are hungry. 

Night Time

▪ In the night-time, babies can sleep for ten to twelve hours, but this does not happen at a stretch. They get up every few hours for a feed. As your child outgrows the newborn phase, the baby's night chart will change, and you will see the gap between naps increasing and them having longer sleep hours during the night. 

How To Get Your Newborn Baby To Sleep 

Mastering the newborn sleeping pattern is not a difficult task. You would soon notice a pattern in their nap timings, when and how they sleep, what helps them relax, etc. Then, you can play around with a few tricks to get your baby to sleep. Here are a few tips to help you!

  • ▪ Develop a healthy and consistent night-time routine. Whatever your baby's routine consists of and is comfortable with, stick to it. Kids find comfort in familiarity. This will help them understand the difference between day and night. 
  • ▪ Add a night-time bath and massage to the routine. It will help your baby relax before bedtime routine.
  • ▪ If your baby is comfortable with swaddling, swaddle them and give them the snug feeling. 
  • ▪ Keep the lights dim, the room temperature-controlled, and no TV or loud noises to overstimulate them before bed. 
  • ▪ Some kids feel calmer and sleep faster with white noise playing in the background. Try and see if that helps with your baby too.

What To Do If Your Newborn Baby Doesn't Sleep

Parenting is tiring for new parents especially. And if your baby refuses to sleep, it can be exhausting and frustrating at the same time. If your newborn is refusing to sleep, the following tips might help you to get the newborn sleeping pattern in place:

  • ▪ Replicating the warmth of the womb can help your baby calm down and sleep. Swaddle and wrap them up in SuperBottoms 100% Mulmul cotton softest swaddles to achieve that warmth. 
  • ▪ At least an hour before bedtime, dim the lights, reduce the sounds and any other stimulations that can make your baby attentive or active. 
  • ▪ Soft music and lullabies are known to relax babies and help them sleep better.
  • ▪ Reading a book to them in a rhythmic and soft voice can also help them sleep better.
  • ▪ If you consume too much caffeine while breastfeeding, that might affect your baby's sleep cycle. Therefore, limit caffeine intake while you are breastfeeding your baby. 

What To Do If Your Newborn Sleeps All Day

As mentioned earlier, newborn babies sleep a lot. But if you notice a sudden increase in their sleep pattern and see something unusual, this might be a reason for concern. If your baby is sleeping the whole day, keep checking their body temperature to ensure they do not have a fever. If their temperature is 100.4 or above, immediately talk to their doctor. 

Also, keep a check on the number of wet nappies and their body weight. If your baby is peeing or pooping less than usual, the chances are they are not feeding well and might not be gaining weight and thus sleeping longer. Keep waking them gently every 2 – 3 hours and offer them the breast until they do not cross the 5 KG mark. 

In most cases, sleeping more than usual is a sign that the body is either fighting an infection or recovering from something. Do not take a chance and see the doctor in such a scenario at a newborn stage. 

Does The Baby Sleep Pattern Change With The Age?

Yes, until your kid is not around 2 – 3 years old, they will not start sleeping through the night and stop day naps. Refer to the following sleep chart by age to see your baby's ideal sleep pattern as per their age. 

Baby's Age

How Many Naps

Duration Of Naps

Duration Of Night Sleep

Up to 4 months

3 - 5

7 – 9 hours per day

8 – 9 hours

4 – 12 months

2 – 3

4 – 5 hours per day

9 – 10 hours

1 – 2 years

2

2 – 3 hours per day

11 hours

2 – 5 years

0 – 1

0 – 1 hours per day

10 – 13 hours

5 – 12 years

None

None

10 – 11 hours


Every baby has their personality, their preferences, likes and dislikes. They have distinct looks, features, heights and built. Similarly, all kids have a different newborn sleeping pattern. As parents, you need to find these patterns and work around them to build good habits and make sleep time into a relaxing, rejuvenating time for your babies! 

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