How long a Newborn should Sleep?

By Arkemmus | Arkemmus' Blog | 29 Apr 2021

How much should a newborn sleep and should you wake your child up?

In the first month of life, babies usually only wake up to be fed and then fall asleep again.

In this phase, 3-4 hours of continuous sleep (counting from the beginning of the last feeding) is the right amount of rest for the newborn. After this time, the newborn should be woken up and fed (attached to the breast for about 15 minutes). Waking up a child is anyway not always necessary, because newborns - like adults - have different sleep patterns. Some may sleep for a dozen minutes and then just a murmur can wake them up, while others sleep longer and very deeply.

Why can't a newborn baby sleep longer?

Although you would like to get a good night's sleep after the hardships of childbirth and the stressful science of breastfeeding, you must keep in mind that too much sleep causes a newborn baby to fall in blood sugar (so-called hypoglycemia). The consequence of this condition may be tiredness, weakness and even greater sleepiness of the child. This is a kind of vicious circle that a baby (and parents) can fall into; by not waking him/her up in time for feeding, you contribute to the fact that he or she will feel like sleeping longer, which can be dangerous for the above-mentioned reasons.

How long to keep a newborn baby awake?
A rigorous approach to sleep duration applies primarily to the neonatal period, i.e. the first 4-5 weeks of life. Over time, the child's circadian rhythm normalizes. The toddler starts to sleep longer at night and spend the day more actively. He gets used to feeding himself, grows quickly and needs more and more rest at night.

How many hours a child should sleep during the day?
Remember that these are only statistical values and each child has different needs. A newborn should sleep from 17 to 20 hours per day, for seven or more times. He or she must adapt to new conditions, which is why sleeping so much time is a necessity. A newborn does not distinguish night from day and wakes up according to his own rhythm.

How much a child sleeps also depends on his feeding, temperament, genes, and sensitivity. So things that are difficult to generalize. It is also worth knowing that children who can eat more at a time usually sleep longer (mother's milk fills the baby's tummy for a long time and hunger does not wake them up). Hence, a premature baby or low birth weight baby can wake up more often because he has a smaller stomach and needs more calories to catch up with his peers.

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Arkemmus' Blog
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