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What to Know About Newborn Sleep

The Deets About Newborn Sleep:

  • Newborns need about 15-18 total hours of sleep

  • Newborns have short awake times

  • Naps can be 30-minutes to 3 hours

  • Night wakings are normal

  • Sleep cycles are about 30-60 minutes long

  • Newborns spend half their time in deep sleep and the other half (50%) in REM sleep. REM is very active sleep, which is why your baby may be pretty noisy during sleep. Just let it be!

  • Sleep cycles are about 30-60 minutes long

  • Night sleep develops before day sleep

  • Feeding often in the day and getting natural sunlight, helps baby adjust their circadian rhythms, their internal clock, so their body knows the difference between day and night.

Age appropriate wake windows:

Birth to 6 weeks – 45 minutes

6-9 weeks - 45-60 minutes

10-15 weeks – 75-90 minutes

  • 6 weeks is often a turning point for sleep, with 3-5 hour stretches

  • Recommended to wean/graduate swaddle at 8 weeks or when baby is moving

  • Newborns have later bedtime

Looking for more info by age? Check it out...

0-2 weeks old: Baby eats and sleeps around the clock. Feedings are generally every 2-3 hours. And it’s normal for newborn baby’s to be very sleepy. Baby’s awake window is 45-minutes. At this stage you want baby to sleep no matter what. But based on weight and frequency of feedings, you may be waking them to feed until they’ve regained their birth weight and breastfeeding is established (if that’s what you are doing).

2-6 weeks old: Baby’s wake window is generally still at 45 minutes (some can go to 1hr on the later side). Bedtime is late – mostly because baby is waking and going down to sleep often and needing to eat frequently. You can establish that bedtime routine around 8-9pm and move it earlier as baby gets older. Naps are generally inconsistent and often short. This is common. Some baby’s will not develop consistent and predictable daytime sleep until about 3-6 months.

7-12 weeks old: Baby’s wake window increases now to an hour (and on the older side, 1hr and 15 minutes). Bedtime can begin to move closer to 8pm. Nap lengths can still vary from 30 minutes to 2 hours, but are gradually starting to increase in length. As nap length and wake windows increase, baby can be moving from 4-3 naps.

Looking for more sleep insight for your newborn. I offer Newborn Guides to help you get a handle on sleep and set you and your little one up for success. Reach out for more details.

Getting close to the 4-month mark and looking to get sleep support to get baby (and the whole family) finally sleeping well? I'm your #1 sleep resource!

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