Rest easy knowing some sleep basics
For most new parents, sleep is a subject that can create an enormous amount of stress. Is he sleeping too much? Is she sleeping too little? When and how do you develop a bedtime routine?
While you can’t control everything related to the baby’s sleep pattern, being informed can help ease the anxiety.
While every baby is different, there are some general guidelines. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that newborns get 14 to 17 hours of sleep. Depending on the child, however, it’s appropriate for newborns to sleep 11 to 13 hours or 18 to 19. Because newborns need frequent feedings, they may only sleep for three to four hours at a time. While you’re nursing, your baby should feed eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period.
As your child develops, sleep routines will change. The National Sleep Foundation has a chart with the recommended and appropriate sleep duration by age group for children.
Experts recommend that you place the baby’s bassinet or crib in your room for at least the first six months. Not only is it convenient for mothers who are nursing, but it significantly helps to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Babies should sleep on a firm surface with a tightly fitted sheet. The crib should be empty. Do not add pillows, soft bumpers, blankets or stuffed animals. Swaddling a newborn can create a sense of security. Since newborns can’t regulate their body temperature, look for signs that the baby is becoming overheated, such as damp hair, flushed skin and heat rash.
Swaddled or not, babies should sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. Their face and head should remain uncovered.
Do not ever sleep with the baby on any surface, including your bed. The child might suffocate surrounded by blanket or fall between the mattress and headboard. Stay awake while nursing the child.
Every child is different. On average, babies start sleeping for up to eight hours at a time at 6 months, which is often when nighttime feeding ends (Babies who are breastfed may require nighttime feedings for a prolonged period.).
To help speed up the process, establish a bedtime with realistic expectations even if the child is not ready to sleep through the night. You can start as early as 6 to 8 weeks. Be consistent with a routine that might include dressing the child for sleep, followed by a story or song. Don’t transfer a sleeping child to a crib. You want the baby to understand that the crib means sleep.
ChristianaCare provides a brochure that answers many new parents’ questions. A few days after the baby goes home, mothers who are breastfeeding will receive a call from a parent educator. However, you can get answers to questions at any time by calling 302-301-3360 regardless of whether or not you’re breastfeeding.
ChristianaCare also offers a range of classes for new parents, including the Newborn Class.
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ChristianaCare Pediatric Associates - Newark,
Delaware 19713, USA
ChristianaCare Pediatrics at Whitehall
735 Mapleton Ave
Middletown, DE, 19709