Bringing your newborn home for the first time is an exhilarating experience, but it can also be a bit daunting. Amidst the whirlwind of emotions from joy to anxiety, one aspect that might catch new parents by surprise is the preciousness of sleep. This article aims to shed light on five crucial facts about newborn sleep that every parent should be aware of.
Infant Sleep Cycles
The sleep cycle of a newborn is markedly shorter than that of an adult—lasting only 45-60 minutes. This means your baby is prone to waking up more frequently during the night and even during naps. If your child wakes up during a nap, they might just be transitioning between sleep cycles, so handle disruptions with care.
A key newborn sleep fact is that the average naptime for a newborn range between 1.5 to 2.5 hours. If your baby wakes up after only 60 minutes, allowing them to go back to sleep is likely beneficial. Techniques such as swaddling, playing white noise, or using pacifiers and gentle rocking can assist in soothing your baby back to sleep.
It takes approximately twenty minutes for your baby to enter a deep sleep cycle, and only 50% of their sleep time is in this deep state. This makes them more susceptible to waking from noise. If your baby wakes up shortly after being put down, consider techniques like swaddling or white noise to help them return to slumber.
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Patience is key as your baby may not start settling until around 3 months old, and it can extend up to 6 months. Once they reach this developmental stage, the ability to enter deep sleep more quickly and stay there for a longer duration will likely improve, providing some relief for nighttime settling.
Don’t Stress About ‘Sleeping Through the Night’
The concept of ‘sleeping through the night’ varies among parents. While some consider a six-hour stretch sufficient, others believe 10-12 hours is achievable for those over 6 months old. Understand that your baby’s sleep patterns may differ, and if sleep issues arise, pay attention to their cues and be open to adjusting routines or seeking advice from your doctor.
Remember, each baby is unique, and understanding their sleep patterns can be a valuable tool for navigating the early stages of parenthood.