Newborn Sleep- What Can You Expect in the First 3 months?
Newborn Sleep: What to Expect in the First 3 months
Have you got a new baby? Are you pregnant? Do you know someone who has just had a newborn baby? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then today's video is for you.
We are talking all things newborn sleep expectations today. I am going to give you the top five tips I have around what to expect with your newborn sleep. Now, to clarify it, when I'm talking newborn, I'm talking from birth until about three months of age. That's actually even longer if your baby was born premature. So, add on those extra weeks for prematurity.
Okay, my first tip for you is to respect the fourth trimester. I have actually done a video on this, the fourth trimester, that I will link to below, however, when we talk about the fourth trimester, it's about understanding that there's still a lot of developing for your baby to do in those first three months of life. It's the transition from womb life to room life, and it is going to take a period of time for them to get used to going from your super comfy tummy where they were fed on a constant basis. They were warm. They didn't have to cry for food. There was beautiful background noise that soothed them and they were held and rocked by you all day long. So, it's a transition for them to get used being in a brand new environment and the big wide world. So, understand that those first three months, you shouldn’t have huge expectations. They want what they had inside your tummy so, aiming to ease them off the feelings of being held and rocked is the key to the first three months of life.
Number two, know that your baby's days and nights are going to be mixed up. Usually this is most prominent in the first six weeks, and then between six to 12 weeks, they're beginning to sort out that awake time is more during the day and night time is for sleep. They will, of course, still be waking overnight, but know that this is a very normal developmental period for your baby and it is something that improves over time. But, if you have the frame of mind going in and understanding that that's the norm and that they are very sleepy during the day, perhaps a bit more wakeful in the evenings and at night, then it helps you to know what's normal and to be less stressed if it's happening to you and your baby.
Number three, babies get hungry really quickly. Their little tummies are tiny. When they're first born, they're literally tiny, and so they need their stomachs to be filled quit frequently. Feeding sometimes every two hours, sometimes every three hours, sometimes even more, they have cluster feeding periods where it almost seems like they don't want to stop feeding. Know that this is very normal, and so this is why babies aren't primed to sleep for hours and hours at a time because they need to fill that little belly frequently. So for the breastfeeding mum, don't ever doubt your supply when your baby wants to feed frequently. It's simply biology and developmentally normal, so know that your newborn usually will have anywhere from eight up to 18 feeds in a 24-hour period. This is completely normal and is actually a wonderful sign that your baby is healthy and thriving.
Number four, know that newborn sleep is unpredictable. Trying to create routine is only going to lead to stress in the first three months of your baby's life. Some days, they might follow beautifully into a lovely sleep pattern where you think, yes, this is fantastic, I'm starting to see a bit of regularity. But then the next day it changes, and this is the nature of newborn sleep. One day it can be fantastic. The next day, not so great. Just understand that this is a period of time and to just go with the flow, which can be really hard to do. I understand but, it is such a fleeting time and they will learn to consolidate their naps in time.
Number five, it leads off the unpredictability of sleep, but a huge area that I get asked about is catnapping and those short 30-minute sleeps or 45-minute sleeps. No matter what you do, they're only having the short naps, which it can be hard. They're tired for the day and it is a really tricky period, but know that in the first three months particularly, catnapping is almost a given. They will only have really short sleeps. Sometimes they'll have long ones, but quite often they'll only have one sleep cycle and then they'll be up and ready to party, and trying to resettle is really difficult. My message to you is this is very normal, but know that it is all a part of these first three months of life and it can extend into the three- to six-month period as well. But, know that catnapping is very common and most babies are doing it. They at least do it at some point or another, so know that your baby's very normal and there's nothing you're doing wrong.
Well, that's it. That is newborn sleep in a nutshell. That's just a very brief summary of all the things to know about newborn sleep, but I hope that it helps you to understand what's normal for your baby so that if you face some of these sometimes challenging sleep patterns, you know that it's normal and you know that it's a phase that your baby will grow out of. They actually will become much more predictable and consolidate their sleep cycles, which can be really hard to understand when you're in the midst of that unpredictability and if you're a person that likes organisation. Guilty.
Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed this video today. If you did, please tag a friend. Share the video around, share the love, and also pad on over to my website, jenniferbutler.com.au to sign up to my mailing list. You get a free Clean Sleeping Guide with it, but the bonus is, that you'll be notified every time I release one of these videos. So, jump on over to my website. I'll put the link in the bio, and I'd love for you to join me here again soon. We'll see you in another fortnight.