How much sleep should your baby be getting?
It’s one of the biggest worries that most new parents face; is their baby getting enough sleep? It’s important that you create the right sleeping environment for the new arrival before you bring them home from hospital. This includes a safe and sturdy crib and a supporting crib mattress. If you have any concerns you can learn more about crib mattresses and which type is best for your child.
So, once you have your baby’s sleeping environment arranged you need to know what to expect from their sleep pattern. In this article we are going to take a look at how much sleep babies need from birth and as they grow. We also going to talk about what form this sleep takes.
How much should your baby sleep when they first come home?
When you first bring your baby home from hospital they will tend to sleep for around sixteen to seventeen hours each day. It will probably seem to you that all they do is eat and sleep and this is perfectly normal. The problem that all new parents face is that newborns do not sleep through the night; you get your sleep when they decide to sleep.
If you feel exhausted at this point then you should take solace in the fact that the situation does change gradually. As your baby approaches the age of three months they should start to sleep longer through the night, although they will still probably sleep for around fifteen hours each day.
You will find the amount of sleep your baby needs reduces to around fourteen hours each day when they reach six months of age. As they age to nine months they also start to sleep less during the day. The amount of sleep you baby needs generally reduces to thirteen hours each day by the time they reach their first birthday.
Of course, all babies are different so you should remember that these figures are only a guideline. Now let’s take a look at how babies get the sleep they need.
How important is napping for babies?
We have taken a look at how much sleep a baby needs but it’s equally important to know that a lot of the sleep a baby gets is in the form of naps. A newborn baby generally sleeps for two hours at a time and does not sleep through the night.
Nap routines change as babies get older. As with the amount of sleep a baby needs, the length and frequency of naps varies from child to child. There are some general guidelines though.
From sleeping for very short periods of time as a newborn your baby will normally be able to sleep for longer without wanting food by the time they reach the age of three months. At this point they normally start to sleep through the night. This does not mean the end of naps though. It just means that the older your child gets the fewer naps they need. By the time your baby is six months old it’s likely they will only need a couple of naps each day.
This generally changes to needing only one nap during the day between the ages of nine months and one year. Once your child becomes older than this they may stop wanting to nap but that does not mean they do not need the rest. You should still encourage your child to have some quiet time during the day when they can sleep if needed.
Hopefully you have found this advice useful and you have a better idea of how much sleep your baby should be getting. Do not forget that every child is different though and these are average figures.