If there’s one true fact about having a newborn baby in your life, it’s that your sleep patterns are about to become massively altered! Those carefree nights of eight hours sleep will be a long distant memory, as your new arrival will keep you busy with worries of whether they are getting enough, or too much sleep.
Unfortunately for many of us, there is no tried and tested method for getting you and your baby into a well-established sleeping pattern. As all babies are unique, they will all have their own little quirks when it comes to nodding off!
What to expect
The main thing that you’ll notice will be that your baby will not know the difference between day and night. And they will certainly not know that we’re meant to sleep for eight hours without interruption!So it’s a good idea to try and train your baby early in understanding the concepts of day and night.
Ways to do this in the daytime include making sure you keep the curtains open and don’t worry too much about making noise – many babies will even find it soothing to hear your activity. And at night make sure that you keep the lights down low and try not to over-stimulate your baby with visitors or distractions.
Although it may be hard, it’s also a good idea if you can try and adapt your sleeping patterns to your child’s too. Whilst this may be easier said than done, it’s important during the early months to keep your baby in the same room as you. So make sure that you have a good, comfortable mattress that will aid you getting whatever fragments of sleep you can!
Setting a routine
It’s also important to try and establish a daily routine, so that you baby will gradually become accustomed to when the right time to sleep is. So from the time when they are about three months old, try and introduce a nightly bedtime routine through some gradually calming activities such as having a bath, dimming the lights and of course having a bedtime story and a cuddle!
How much sleep is enough?
Whilst there are no fixed rules for how much sleep your child should get, there are a few guidelines to let you know what to expect.
Newborns will definitely sleep more than they are awake, with many sleeping as much as eighteen hours per day, with frequent interruptions for feeding of course. And this will gradually decrease so that by the age of two years, most children will only need around twelve hours of sleep per day. Leaving you to figure out how to achieve your mythical eight hours per night!