According to Cry-Sis, a British site for parents of newborns there are no hard and fast rules for how much a baby should sleep (www.cry-sis.org.uk). But it is really rare for a baby to come home from the hospital and begin sleeping through the night right away.
Newborns are used to getting an immediate response to basic needs like nourishment from things like a healthy diet and prenatal vitamins in the womb. So it is only natural that upon birth, they need food and attention more often than an older child.
You might be surprised to hear that newborns could sleep up to 16 hours a day – or more. But most of that sleep is in the form of long naps that last just a few hours. It seems like the baby no sooner wakes up for a new bottle and clean diaper than it is back to sleep.
Developing a Rhythm of Better Sleeping Habits
While it is natural for newborn babies to disrupt their parents’ sleeping habits, it is never too early to help develop habits that encourage sleeping through the night. Here are some tried and true tips that parents have been using for generations.
- Have Active Days – When your baby is awake, play with him or sing to him to keep his interest. Daytime stimulation can help promote better sleep during the night. This works as well with infants as it does toddlers or adults, or even our pets.
- Use a Bedtime Routine – Following the same routine every night before bed, like a bath, cuddling, or a story, helps your baby associate that time of the evening with sleeping. This is even true for new babies who are still very young.
- Go to Bed Drowsy – If you wait until your baby falls asleep to put them in the crib, they could wake up. Putting them to bed drowsy lets them fall asleep where they will be sleeping, which encourages a longer sleep pattern.
- Adopt Baby’s Schedule – My oldest was a night owl, and had trouble falling asleep for the night before 11pm. While my youngest set his own bedtime at 8pm, he was awake for the day at 6am – even on weekends! Like adults, babies have their own internal clocks.
- Keep Things Low-Key – When your baby wakes up during the night, avoid stimulants like bright lights and loud noises. Use a soft voice and gentle movements, and put your baby back in his sleeping area as soon as you are finished feeding or changing him.
Babies stir frequently through the night. Sometimes they will squirm themselves awake and cry a little. But then they fall back to sleep before you have time to get up and walk into the nursery. This is not uncommon, and should be expected.
Best Bedding for a Sleepless Baby
Having the right bedding also makes a big difference. Ultimately you should choose a versatile mattress that can grow with your baby into his toddler and preschool years. One such mattress is the
Naturepedic Organic Cotton 2 in 1 Ultra Crib Mattress.
One side of the Naturepedic mattress is waterproof – perfect for those pre-potty training years. Once Junior is out of diapers, flip the mattress so he can sleep on the luxury of the soft, quilted, stage-2 side for toddlers and older children.
Whether you use a convertible style crib that transforms into a toddler bed when the time comes or a new bed altogether, your baby can enjoy firm, comfortable support every night.
Grown-ups aren’t the only ones who need firm support for a good night’s sleep! And because the mattress is organic, your baby won’t breathe in any VOCs.
The Perfect Mattress for Your Baby
Your baby deserves to sleep on an organic, hypo-allergenic surface each night. And you deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your baby is safely sleeping in his own crib. And you’ll get both when you order a Naturepedic mattress.
Click here to upgrade the mattress in the crib of your sleepless baby and have him sleeping through the night in no time!