How much does a newborn baby sleep?
Newborn babies may sleep as much as twenty hours a day. You may be thinking that if your baby is going to sleep that much, you won't be sleep-deprived at all! The problem, however, is that newborn babies sleep in spurts. Your infant may sleep an hour or two, then wake up to eat for twenty minutes, then sleep another hour, then wake up to be changed, then sleep for thirty minutes...You get the picture! You will need to try and rest when baby sleeps, if at all possible.
What if my newborn baby gets her days and nights mixed up?
It isn't at all uncommon for a newborn to get her days and nights confused. After all, she has spent the first nine months in almost semi to total darkness. It was probably quite a rude awakening for her as she experienced labor and delivery, and she was greeted by bright lights and many people poking, prodding, and holding her.
She isn't ready for a schedule yet, so you will have to encourage her newborn baby sleep habits to change. Until she does, however, you should still try to rest when she is sleeping. If you have other children, this can be difficult, so enlist the help of your partner, family members, and friends. The more rested you are, the easier it will be to cope with the changes that having a baby can bring.
Encouraging Newborn Baby Sleep Habits
Although you really can't expect your newborn baby to follow a set schedule, you can gently condition him to become a better sleeper at night. If he seems to sleep better in the day than at night, you will need to create an environment that is not as conducive to sleep during the daylight hours. You can do this by keeping baby in a well-lit room around other people. Interact with your newborn anytime he is awake. Talk to him, and play with him.
As the day turns into night, begin creating a bedtime ritual. You might want to give him a bath, change him into a gown, and feed him while sitting in a darkened room. Many babies sleep better if there is some type of background noise or white noise, such as a fan. You can turn this on only at night. If you continue to follow this ritual, eventually, your baby will associate this with bedtime, and you should notice him sleeping for longer periods at night.
Where should my newborn baby sleep?
Where your baby sleeps is actually a personal preference. Some parents prefer having their babies in the room with them, sleeping in a bassinet or crib. Others prefer to start their babies off in their own rooms. Still others prefer to have their babies sleep with them.
A word of caution, however-If you do want your baby to sleep with you, there are specially designed baby beds that let your newborn baby sleep in your bed but eliminate the risk of your baby being smothered either by a sleeping parent, bed covers, or a pillow. Remember-no matter where your newborn baby sleeps, she should always be placed on her back to lessen the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Her crib or bassinet should also be free of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and loose sheets.
Finally, it will be several weeks or months until your baby sleeps for longer periods of time. Until then, do your best to rest as much as possible, and remember that babies grow fast. Soon, your baby will be sleeping through the night, and you'll feel a lot more rested in the morning!
Source: Newborn Baby Sleep Habits