Oh my gosh, you just had a baby…..now what?! Well let’s start from the beginning. Take care of yourself MOM, your baby will only do well if you are doing well. For once in your life let everyone else take care of you, take advantage while you can because after this it’s never going to happen again! Sleep when the baby sleeps, eat after the baby eats, and let the house get dirty, let the dishes pile up. That’s what family and friends are for, they can figure it out. You just enjoy that baby!!
In the beginning it may seem like the baby is sleeping all day long, don’t worry its totally normal. Initially newborns sleep anywhere from 16 to 18 hours a day. Unfortunately, this may happen in only 1-2 hour stretches.
The other confusing thing about newborn sleep is that they have their days and nights mixed up. If you think about it, wasn’t the baby more active when you were asleep at night and things would slow down during the day when you were moving around? Same thing happens when it comes out. Try to keep the lights on during the day, keep the baby around sunlight, go about your normal daily routine, and make sure not to keep things nice and quiet just to let them sleep. Wake up the baby every 2 hours to feed during the day and then allow then one 4-hour stretch at night especially as a newborn.
As the baby grows and gains weight, the stretches at night will get longer. Generally, by the time they are ten pounds you can start getting more consistent 4 hour stretches every night. By 4 to 6 months they are hopefully giving you 8 to 10 hour stretches at night, if you train them correctly.
If you feel like your having problems with your baby’s sleep or just have questions, that’s what your friendly neighborhood pediatrician is for. Please call us!
~ Dr. Pooja Prasad