It is an amazing experience to welcome a newborn to the family. It feels exciting, and new parents get happy about it. However, there is challenge when it comes to adapting to new sleep patterns. Averagely, infants sleep much during the day and night hours and waking up only for few hours for feeding.
Often, it is hard for new parents to know how long and how often a newborn should sleep. Unfortunately, there is no set strict schedule you can follow. At first, newborns have their night and days confused. They tend to change their sleep patterns, and this depends on your baby. Feeding habits for most infants last between the naps. Ensure your child doesn’t sleep too much. If they last for more than three hours while sleeping, you should wake them up and feed them.
During the first weeks, you should watch your baby’s sleep patterns. If your baby has been sleeping consistently, and there is a sudden change in the sleep habits, there might be a problem. Otherwise, sleep disturbances are due to changes in development or just over stimulation. It’s worth noting you should never put your baby to bed with a bottle propped for feeding. It’s a dangerous practice that can lead to ear chocking and infections.
What are the sleep patterns of a newborn?
Just like adults, babies various sleep stages. Depending on the stage, an infant may actively move or lie still. Sleep patterns always start forming during the last months of pregnancy. The stage moves from active sleep to quiet sleep after about six months.
There are two types of sleep:
- Rapid eye movement sleep (REM):
- Non REM sleep pattern:
The process involves four stages:
- Drowsy: eyes start dropping, dozing.
- Light sleep: The newborn moves and may startle or jump with some sound.
- Deep sleep: The infant stays quiet and does not move.
- Profound sleep: The baby stays calm, doesn’t move and enjoys the sleep.
Different alert phases of newborn sleep patterns
Infants give different alerts during the time they are awake. These include:
- Quiet alert phase: a time when the child is awake and still taking in the surrounding internment. During this period, they stare at things and respond to motion and sounds.
- Active alert phase: After quiet alert phase, progressively babies move to active phase. At this stage, they move actively and pay attention to sounds and sights.
- Crying alert phase: The kid’s eyes move erratically as they start crying out loudly. They can be overstimulated during this phase. Hence it’s advisable you calm them down.
In newborns’, the crying stage is a sign of hunger. It is therefore important to feed your kid before they get to this juncture since they can be upset and refuse to breastfeed.