Baby's First Days: Sleeping

While you and your baby are still in the hospital, your baby will likely spend most of the time sleeping. The average newborn sleeps for a total of 1617 hours a day, awakening periodically to nurse or drink from a bottle before falling back to sleep. This pattern may continue after you go home, or the baby may be awake more each day.

You cant control a newborns sleep schedule, so dont expect regular patterns in the first week; your baby will eat and sleep when he or she needs to. Check with your pediatrician to see if you should wake your baby for feedings in the first days.

Over several weeks or even longer, your infant is likely to fall into a 2-nap-a-day schedule, waking only to eat during the night.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that newborns sleep in the parents room in a bassinet by their bed, but not in the parents bed.

When you put your baby to sleep in a bassinet or crib, be sure to place him on his back. Extensive research has shown that this can prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

If you swaddle your infant, she will likely sleep more soundly on her back in her crib. Just dont place her face down or even on her side when swaddled and dont swaddle a baby who can roll over.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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