It's often quite difficult for new parents to know exactly how long and how often a newborn baby should be asleep. Firstly a set schedule does not exist and secondly, babies often get confused about days and nights.
Newborns sleep a total of about 8 to 9 hours in the daytime and about 8 hours at night in general. They must wake every few hours to eat as they have a small stomach. Until closer to 1 year, some babies don't shut their eyes through the night. Mostly, babies will wake up and be ready to eat at least every 3 hours. Actually; it depends on what is being fed and also on age.
Just keep an eye on your baby's sleep schedule. There may be a problem if he or she has been sleeping consistently and suddenly wakes up more often. Some disturbances are simply because of changes in development or overstimulation.
Here are some different phases of sleep alert while they are awake:
• Quiet alert phase: When a baby suddenly wakes up, he or she becomes very still and looks or stares at objects, and responds to sounds and motion. This is a quiet alert phase.
• Crying phase: After the quiet alert phase the baby's body moves and he or she may cry loudly. It's better to find a way of calming the baby maybe just by holding closely or wrapping snugly in a blanket. Crying is a late sign of hunger in newborns.
Babies may show signs of being ready to sleep by rubbing eyes, yawning, looking away, or by fussing.
How can you help your baby fall asleep?
Babies don't know how to fall asleep on their own. Newborns and younger infants usually fall asleep while breastfeeding. But if he or she falls asleep in your arms, this may become a pattern. Having a routine at bedtime is a good idea. When your baby awakens for a second, he or she may not be able to fall asleep by own.
Most experts recommend allowing your baby to fall asleep in your arms and then placing him or her in the bed while still awake after the newborn period. In this way, he or she will learn to go to sleep on his own.
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