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Your baby's sleep habits will change a lot between birth and the 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 doesn't sleep, no one sleeps. It's 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 learn to self-comfort so that you don't become your baby's only source of comfort at sleep time.
Don't 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, your baby is fine. But if your baby is fussy and not eating well or not acting the way you think they should, talk to your doctor. Your baby could be sick.
Remember to put your baby down to sleep on their 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: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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