Sleep

Babies are little individuals so they are all different. Try not to spend too much time comparing how your baby sleeps with other babies.

Newborns sleep on and off through the day and night. All newborn babies wake in the night. The total sleep varies between babies — it can be from around 8 to 18 hours a day. They tend to sleep only in short stretches because they need to be fed and changed regularly. Newborns generally sleep very lightly: they spend half of their sleeping time in active sleep.

Your baby’s sleep will be irregular and unpredictable during the first few months. Sleep at this stage is dependent solely on physical instinct such as when they need to be fed, changed and nurtured. Your baby’s sleep pattern is unlikely to fit in with your need for sleep. Try to follow your baby’s lead and sleep when they sleep in the daytime.

Also, a newborn has not learnt to sleep when it is dark. They usually start to learn this rhythm of day and night when they are about 6 weeks old. You can help your newborn to learn to sleep more at night by exposing them to light and playing with them during the day, and providing a dim and quiet environment at night.