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One of the most significant challenges facing new parents is figuring out when it’s time to put their newborn to bed. The myth that babies will sleep when they are tired is a fallacy that you should avoid.
Babies need their rest, and they need their parents to establish a sleeping cycle that they progress into over the first 6-months of life. Read through this article and speak to your doctor for advice on how to sleep train a baby.
Normal Sleeping Hours for Babies
It’s typical for newborns to sleep for periods of up to 18-hours during the first 6-weeks after birth. However, babies don’t sleep straight through this period. Instead, babies break their sleeping into naps that can last anywhere between 1 to 4-hours at a time.
Newborns can’t keep their eyes open for very long and will usually begin to nod off after 45 to 60-minutes of wakefulness. Wakeful periods extend over time and 3 to 6-months after birth, their sleeping cycle becomes predictable.
Also check out newborn photography while they are still sleepy and perfect for those adorable and memorable shots.
How Much Time Should Your Baby Spend Asleep?
Some newborns will fall asleep, even if their environment is not conducive to napping. New mothers should not attempt to keep their baby awake to improve their wakefulness. Instead, let the baby discover its sleeping cycle on its own, all the parents need to do is provide a safe space for their baby while they nap.
When your baby wakes up, they may take some time to get their bearings and return to their full personality. If your baby decides to go back to sleep, don’t force them to stay awake. Infants generally experience wakeful periods of 45-minutes to an hour, but some babies extend this period for up to 4-hours before falling asleep again.
However, babies that stay awake for periods of 1-hour or more tend to become irritable and will begin to cry or act restless. Babies generally give clues about when they’re feeling tired. Rubbing their eyes, yawning, and a glazed look are all indicators that your baby is feeling bushed?
Is Your Baby Sleeping Enough?
Many parents make the mistake of keeping their baby awake in the hope that they will tire the infant out. This strategy is a terrible mistake. First, you may find it challenging to keep your baby in a state of wakefulness. When baby’s want to sleep, they do so, and no-one will stop them.
Some parents claim that their baby doesn’t need to sleep much. However, this is not due to their wakeful habits, its due to a sleeping disorder. If your baby falls outside of the regular sleeping and waking hours for infants, visit a medical professional for an evaluation of your child’s sleeping habits.
The Final Word
Your pediatrician may advise you to wake your child for a scheduled feeding every day for a week after birth. However, after the first few weeks, its best to let your baby make the decision. Use a journal to record your baby’s sleeping and waking hours during the first 6-months.