Sleep

Newborns frequently wake up often and haven’t yet figured out that night time is for sleeping. It can be frustrating to miss so much sleep, but as your baby gets older they will start sleeping for longer periods during the night.

How much should your baby sleep? There is no right answer. Each baby has its own needs; a few newborns only need 9 hours of sleep in a 24-hour day and others will need as much as 20 hours. Most fall somewhere in between. It’s important, though, that each baby gets the most possible sleep that is right for them. Not only will it help their development, but it will give you a chance to get a much-needed break.

Have realistic expectations. Your baby is unique and their needs are always changing. Young babies will wake frequently to feed and cuddle. Most newborn babies feed at least 8 times in 24 hours and may have periods of cluster feeding.

Learn how to create a safe sleeping environment for your baby. Not only will it help them to sleep better, but a safe sleeping environment also reduces their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Follow these tips to help your baby get the best possible sleep as safely as possible:

• Always place your baby on their back to sleep. If they roll over on their own, that’s okay.Safe Sleep
• Use an approved crib or bassinet with a firm sleep surface. Don’t use any pillows or bumper pads.
• Share a room with the baby, if possible. (But don’t share your bed.)
• Never expose your baby to second-hand smoke.
• Breastfeed your baby.
• Keep baby warm, but not hot. A light blanket is usually enough.

To get more information, watch the safe sleeping video or read the safe sleeping pamphlet from the Public Health Agency of Canada.