Your baby's sleep habits will change a lot between birth and his or her first birthday. Newborns usually sleep for 2 to 4 hours at a time for a total of 16 to 18 hours a day. Your baby may sleep 5 or more hours at night by 3 months.
But sometimes, your baby will not "sleep like a baby." And if the baby does not sleep, no one sleeps. It is normal for healthy babies to have a range of sleep time. But if your baby has trouble getting to sleep every night, or wakes up crying for you several times a night, you may want to try new ways to help your baby sleep.
You can help your baby become a good sleeper. The goal is to help your baby comfort himself or herself so that you do not become your baby's only source of comfort at sleep time.
Do not worry that waking during the night will harm your baby's health. Babies will sleep when they are tired. If your baby is eating well and seems active and happy during the day, he or she is fine. But if your baby is fussy and not eating well or not acting the way you think he or she should, talk to your doctor. Your baby could be sick.
Remember to put your baby down to sleep on his or her back. This decreases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 28, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
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