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By BabySleepAdmin 8 years ago

What to Expect

Congratulations on your little one! Expect your newborn to sleep in periods from 30 minutes to 3 hours across the day and night. His sleep periods will be largely driven by hunger, with breastfed babies sleeping for slightly shorter periods than bottle-fed babies. In terms of total sleep, there is tremendous individual variability for newborns, ranging from about 11 to 17 hours per 24-hour period. Swaddling and/or using a pacifier can help a great deal. If you have any concerns, be sure to check with your health care provider.

Sleep Routine

It’s never too early to start a bedtime routine! You can start a bedtime routine when your little one is as young as a few weeks or even a few days old. Choose three calming activities that are the same each night. You can do things like wash up, sing a song, or have some quiet time – just make sure that the activities are enjoyable for your family. Consistency is key! You can also begin to work toward separating feeding from falling asleep. Make feeding the first step of the routine, or if you find that he is falling asleep while being fed, do a brief activity such as changing his diaper between feeding and falling asleep. .

Falling Asleep

Your little one likely still needs some help to fall asleep. Although some newborns can fall asleep on their own, most need to be held or rocked to sleep. If you would like, you can put him down when he is drowsy but still awake every once in a while to allow her to practice the skill of falling asleep on her own. He is a bit too young for formal sleep training, though.

Sleep Duration

On average, newborns sleep 11-17 hours per 24-hour period. Newborns typically sleep in short periods, typically ranging from 30 minutes to about 3 hours at a time. These sleep periods are distributed across the day and night (24 hours). Breastfed babies typically sleep for shorter periods than bottle-fed babies. Using a swaddle or allowing your little one to sleep in something like a bassinet to help him feel a bit more snug can also help a great deal

Night Wakings

Since your newborn sleeps in periods spread across the day and night (24 hours), your little one will likely wake and cry for you several times per night. Know, too, that night wakings and general sleep-wake cycles in newborns are typically driven by hunger.


In the first two months, your newborn will likely be awake for about 2 hours at a time then sleep for a brief period (30 minutes to 3 hours). In the first few weeks, He may have her nights and days mixed up since his sleep periods are spread across the day and night. If his nights and days are still mixed up after the first few weeks, you can help get him on track by making sure you keep things quiet and dark overnight. During the day, be your typical noisy self, expose him to daylight to help set his body clock, and wake him for feedings if you need to do so.

Family & Environment

Be sure your little one is put to sleep on his back on a flat surface without pillows, soft bedding, crib bumpers, or toys. Make sure your little one’s environment is smoke-free and give him a pacifier if he will take one while sleeping. Do these things to maximize his safety to prevent suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends against bed-sharing and promotes room-sharing. Check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Guide to Safe Sleep for more information!

General Sleep Patterns

Hang in there! Your baby is still incredibly young. It is expected that your newborn will sleep in short periods (30 minutes to 3 hours) throughout the day and night. However, there is great individual variability. If your little one still has his nights and days mixed up, be sure to wake him for feedings throughout the day, be your typical noisy self, and make sure he gets plenty of morning light. At night, keep the lights dim and playtime at a minimum.

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