As a new parent, you will be concerned about a number of different things, and the amount that your baby is sleeping is often top of the list. Typically parents will be worried that their baby is not sleeping enough, however, occasionally it is the other scenario. Sleep starved parents will think you are crazy for worrying about your baby sleeping too much, but it is a genuine concern.
Bringing your newborn baby home is exciting, but this is unknown territory, and some parents worry about everything. Reading different information can help, but sometimes it can make you worry more, especially when your baby is sleeping for long periods of time. There is no average baby, and everyone will sleep for as long as they want, this may be not a lot, or a vast amount.
You need to appreciate that babies sleep an enormous amount, and this can be up to 20 hours a day, although typically it is 16 hours. In the early months, you may find that you need to wake your baby for feeds, and even then it can be a struggle. This is often a worry for parents as they are concerned that their baby is sleeping far too much.
Whether this is your first baby or you have had children before, every baby is different, and so are their sleep patterns. You may find that they choose to nap an awful lot, and even sleep through the night. Many parents would consider this to be the perfect scenario; however, you do need to monitor the sleep patterns.
Some babies advance far quicker than others, which is often why they tend to be naturally better sleepers, and will provide their parents with hours of uninterrupted sleep. As long as you monitor their sleep, and ensure that they are feeding, this should not be a problem. Scheduling feeds for every 3-4 hours is advisable in the early stages.
You may want to leave your baby sleep through the night as this can be the difficult period for parents. If you are satisfied that they are feeding throughout the day, and are content when asleep, there is nothing to stop you letting them sleep through the night. Some babies are simply not demanding and are often heavy sleepers.
If this is the case you need to take charge of their feeding routine, and do not allow them to feed on demand as they may miss feeds. Sleepy babies can in fact be hard work as you need to wake them to feed, and to ensure they are getting interaction. Babies thrive from touch, and you need to ensure that they are stimulated and happy.
Babies sleep for many hours throughout the first few months, and some doctors believe this is due to the fact they need to stay in the womb for longer. However, this is not possible, so the baby continues to grow and develop outside the womb. This development happens during sleep, which is why your baby may enjoy their naps.
Rapid growth occurs in the first few months, which is helped by sleeping and you will notice your baby changing before your eyes, even when they are asleep. Unless your baby sleeps for 24 hours and never wakes up without being prompted, there is likely nothing to be concerned about. If you are worried at any stage, you should contact the health professionals, and discuss your concerns.
In the first few weeks, you may find that you need to wake your baby for their feeds, even throughout the night. This is necessary to ensure that they are receiving the food they need, and have their diaper changed, and receive interaction with their parents. You may find that the baby goes straight back to sleep after the feed, but you have made the effort, and over time their sleep pattern will change. Sleeping a lot is common, but if you find that they sleep all day and party all night, you need to find a solution. Shorter naptime throughout the day and a healthy bedtime routine can help your baby to adjust. Everything is new, including the way that your baby sleeps, which is why you need to remain calm and understand that this is all normal.
As your baby develops you will notice that the amount of hours they sleep does change, and you need to be aware of how often they are awake. Never think that your baby is not normal as every baby is different, and there are no “normal” boundaries. Every element of your baby is unique; therefore, their sleep pattern is also distinctive to them and their habits.
Some parents consider the fact that their baby cannot develop if they are asleep all of the time, however, these things do happen at their own pace. You will be amazed at how much your baby can leave in the short time that they are awake. They will still learn the skills that they need, and develop at their own speed.
You need to watch how your baby is developing whilst they are awake, even if that period is for a small amount of time. If you see that they are doing everything they should before they go back to sleep, there is nothing to worry about. As your baby grows, the sleep hours should get less throughout the day.
A six month old baby should not be sleeping for as long as a newborn, and this may need to be discussed with a professional. This will ensure that all medical conditions are ruled out and that you feel better. Many professionals feel that as long as your baby is feeding well, pooping and peeing and can be woken when needed, there is little to be concerned about regarding sleep patterns.
If you want to wake your baby for feeds, there are several tricks that can help, and making your baby feel less comfortable is a start. Some babies simply love the coziness, and want to be warm and asleep, but you may need them awake. You need to unswaddle your baby and even undress them as long as you are inside, and it is not too cold.
At this point, they may wake up themselves, and be happy to see you, changing their diaper is the next stage. A cold wet wipe on your babies bum is always a good trick, and will hopefully wake them enough for you to have some play time. Once you are happy that they have been fed and are content you can redress them and allow them to go back to sleep.
Sleep is something that everyone needs, and you should take advantage of the time that your baby is asleep. The more sleep you can get, the better prepared you are for the extra effort and work a baby will provide. You may want to keep your babies sleeping habits a secret, or your friends will be jealous that your baby sleeps so much.