We get many questions about the schedule in the early months. How long shall my baby sleep at night? Are short naps ok? My Little One doesn’t take longer stretches at night, what shall I do? Our child falls asleep only on the breast, do I teach her bad habits?
These are only examples of questions we get on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to those questions. Newborn babies don’t have a typical schedule. Their sleep is not organized yet and they sleep on the average between 14-17 hours in 24 hours. They need to sleep a lot as their brain process all new information from the “outside” world.
In the first three months of life, babies sleep is spread evenly between day and night. Children have short sleep/wake cycles. Some babies might have already longer stretches of sleep at night but for most babies, it takes a couple of weeks or months before longer sleep is developed at night. Babies have very small stomachs, they need to wake up often to feed. But this is not the only reason. They wake up because they are cold or too hot, they don’t feel comfortable or they want to feel the closeness of caregivers. All those behaviors are important for surviving. Remember short sleep intervals get longer closer to six months. It is only temporary! 🙂
Newborn babies need quick reassurance from caregivers. Their self-soothing mechanism is not developed yet and they rely on you to comfort them. They feel safe in parents arms. By replicating the womb environment you can help your baby to relax and fall asleep soundly. This doesn’t create any “bad habits”, on the contrary, your baby needs your closeness to feel secure. Take advantage of it and enjoy sweet cuddles 🙂
Ola & Dorota