Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The first weeks

During your pregnancy, your baby spends most of the time in your belly sleeping. After the birth he will also be sleeping a lot. This is why your child doesn’t really know anything about a day or night rhythm. Just like your child himself, this has to grow. After a few weeks, your baby will slowly start developing his own sleep cycle, be awake more and more often during the day, and sleep more deeply at night.

How many hours does my baby sleep?

It’s difficult to say how many hours a newborn baby should sleep. Every baby has his own needs, and the sleeping pattern can be very irregular, especially during the first months. It’s important to be aware of this. Don’t cling to much to the rhythm of the clock, because that is a way to make it unnecessarily difficult for yourself.  

Repetition and recognition offer the little one footholds and are sure to help him develop a good rhythm. In the case of newborn babies, a recurring pattern will be formed of feed times, awake times and sleep times. This pattern will keep repeating, but it will change along the way. At first, a newborn baby sleeps 16 to 20 hours a day. That’s almost the whole day! Afterwards you will start to notice that the awake times will become longer and longer, and that the sleep times get longer too. 

During the weeks few weeks I didn’t let the clock guide me, I let my baby do that. Sometimes she was awake for so short a time that I almost couldn’t believe it. She was always very content in her warm ‘nest’.

Awake time

Because the right sleep time is hard to predict, a little overview of the awake time may provide some guidance. Your child is awake for about 45 minutes at a time until he’s two weeks old, between two and six weeks old this can expand to 60 minutes and from the time he’s 7 weeks old, your child will often be awake for longer than an hour, up to an hour and a half at a time. These time indications include feed times.

Please note! This doesn’t tell you anything about how often your baby is awake, and it doesn’t mean he will always be awake for that long. Every child has different needs, and will develop his own rhythm. In the article ‘A good rhythm’  you can read what you should pay attention to in order to grow towards a good rhythm together with your child during those first weeks