Bedtime Basics for Your Newborn

Published on: 11/07/2013
  • Newborns usually sleep 16 to 18 hours a day.
  • The naps are usually short (1 to 3 hours per nap).
  • Your infant doesn’t know the difference between day and night.
  • Resist trying to put your newborn in a schedule. Instead, adjust your sleep schedule by sleeping when the baby sleeps.
  • The baby will be sleeping longer at night (average of 4 to 6 hours) usually by 2 months of age.
  • The baby’s weight, feeding requirements (stomachs are smaller at this age), and temperament determine sleeping patterns (A newborn that weighs 7 lb (3 kg) will usually feed 6-8 feedings per day).
  • For many years it was recommended for infants to sleep on their stomach, however, research indicates that infants sleeping in this position are at increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Crib Death).
The Back to Sleep Program at Nicklaus Children's recommends the following for safe sleeping tips for parents:
  • Put the baby to sleep on his back for naps and at night: tummy time is okay when the baby is awake.
  • Don’t go undercover. To eliminate the risk of suffocation, infants under 12 months should not be put to sleep in a crib with soft bedding.
  • Thick blankets, comforters, pillows, and large stuffed toys should never be place in the crib.
  • If you use a thin blanket, tuck it around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as baby’s chest, to reduce the risk of him being covered with bedding.
  • Avoid overheating: use light flame-retardant sleepwear and keep the temperature in the room around 70°F (26.6°C).

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Sleep Disorders Clinic at Nicklaus Children's Hospital
Department of Neurology : 305-666-6511 ext.4800
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