Don't Wake a Sleeping Baby

Pattern of Baby's Sleep and Techniques to Get Them Sleeping

How Do I Know When My Baby is Tired?

You can tell your newborn is tired if they show these signs:

  • Rubbing eyes
  • Yawning
  • Looking away from you
  • Fussing

How Can I Help My Newborn Sleep?

Set A Schedule

It is important that you make it a habit to get the newborn to bed at the same time everyday. Your baby accustomed to sleep and eating so eventually they will be able to fall asleep on their own.

Little to No Light

Make sure the room your baby is sleeping in is dark and that the temperature of the room is between 65 and 70 degrees. The room also must be quiet. Newborns seem to have healthier and more restful sleep this way. This is because the room mimics the same attributes as the womb.

Breastfed Before Bed

It is important that your baby doesn't go to sleep hungry. However, do not push more formula, breast milk, or baby food to try to make a baby sleep on schedule or sleep longer. This isn't good for your baby. An overfed baby will not be able to get good rest.

Keep in mind however that newborn have small stomachs and must wake every few hours to eat.

Newborn Baby Help : How to Get a Breastfeeding Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Average Sleep Length

The baby's are 'sleeping' for an average of seventeen hours a day! Baby's really get only about eight or nine hours during the day, and eight at night of real, restful sleep. Most babies do not begin sleeping through the night without waking until about three months of age, or until they weigh 12 to 13 pounds. Do not let a newborn sleep longer than five hours at a time in the first five to six weeks.

Watch for changes in your baby's sleep pattern. If your baby has been sleeping consistently, and suddenly is waking, there may be a problem such as an ear infection. Some sleep disturbances are simply due to changes in development or because of over stimulation.

Types of Sleep

Depending on the stage, the baby may actively move or lie very still. Sleep patterns begin forming during the last months of pregnancy: active sleep first, then quiet sleep by about the eighth month. There are two types of sleep:

  • REM (rapid eye movement sleep)
    This is a light sleep when dreams occur and the eyes move rapidly back and forth. Although babies spend about 16 hours each day sleeping, about half of this is in REM sleep. Older children and adults sleep fewer hours and spend much less time in REM sleep.

  • Non-REM sleep:
    Non-REM has 3 stages:
    • Drowsiness: eyes droop, may open and close, dozing
    • Light sleep: the baby reacts to sounds
    • Deep sleep: the baby is quiet. There is no movement.

How and Where Should My Newborn Sleep?

It is recommended by the AAP that newborns are placed on their backs to sleep, not on their stomachs. Due to baby's sleeping on their backs, SIDS have gone down more than 50% since it was first suggested in 1992.

It is thought that some babies sleeping on their stomachs may have a greater tendency towards breathing in their own carbon dioxide because they're less likely to rouse themselves to change head positions. Another possibility is that they may suffocate on softer bedding if they're lying face-down.

Co-sleeping (Parents and baby) is NOT recommended. A greater report of SIDS occurred in households where the infant slept in the bed with the parents.

Jess P. Class Period 7


"KidsHealth." Sleep and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old. Web. 06 May 2013.

"Baby Sleep Basics: Birth to 3 Months." BabyCenter. Web. 06 May 2013.

"How to Set Good Sleep Patterns for Your Baby." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 06 May 2013.

"Newborn - Sleep Patterns." Newborn - Sleep Patterns. Web. 06 May 2013.