Newborn sleep, what to expect?

baby's sleep, what to expect?
baby’s sleep, what to expect?

The baby’s sleep; a grand source of weariness for young parents and an endless spring of discussion with our entourage.

The main question systematically being “Does he sleep through the night? Does he wake up at night?” Question which, with time, you find to be quite irritating to which we want to answer: 

–   Well no, what did you expect? He’s a baby he doesn’t even separate night from day!

–   He was used to being fed 24/7 for 9 months so he’s still begging for that! (room service?)

–   He was in a confined space and rocked at the rhythm of the movements of his mother for 9 months so a big bed for him alone is just not how he rolls!

To you future or young parents here is a mish-mash of information which you might find more or less helpful, from “parents’ memory”:

1.     Safety rules when laying down your baby:

o   Lay him on his back on a firm mattress

o   Prefer a swaddler to a cover

o   Do not put anything in his bed, not even a pillow

o   The room temperature should be between 19 and 21°C (68°F)

2.     A newborn sleeps all the time and never sleeps

o   it is a succession of micro-naps ;

o   the average sleeping cycle of a newborn lasts 45minutes in average ;

o   he always wakes up when we finally get a moment to ourselves

3.     A newborn has an agitated sleep :

o   He moves a lot during 50% of his sleep: jolts, makes adorable funny faces, grunts…

o   We can sometimes get the impression that he his awake (cries, eyes open) although he is truly asleep and we must not intervene

4.     A baby who sleeps through the night right away, does not exist ( rarely!):

  • Expect one awakening every 2 or 3 hrs at night in the beginning.
  • « Sleeping though the nigh » for a baby means sleeping 5hrs straight between 11p.m. and 6a.m.
  • The best sleepers sleep through the night after 2months, if you are less lucky the “worst” is around 3yrs, the average in France being between 4 and 6 months.
  • Even when they are finally sleeping “normally” they may sometimes wake up a few times per week.

5.     Adapting yourself to the baby’s rhythm

  • The best way to avoid a breakdown: sleeping when he is.

6.    Choosing the right place and type of bed

  • If the mother milks opt for a Co-sleeper crib
  • Put his bed in your room to avoid the miles of traveling incessantly for bottle feeding or at the slightest noise.

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