Newborns sleep a lot during the first month of life. Your child may sleep anywhere from 12 to 20 hours per day with an average of 16 hours per day. The duration of this sleep is variable, from 15 minutes to 5 or 6 hours.
Most newborns awaken 1 to 3 times during the night in the first 3 months of life and the majority of infants can be expected to sleep through the night by 4 to 6 months of age. Many parents (and grandparents!) assume that these nighttime awakenings are related to their infant's need to eat. This may be part of the problem in the first 2 months, but there is much more to it.
Infants awaken several times during the night because they have an immature sleeping pattern. Two general patterns exist:
Although most children learn to sleep through the night on their own, here are a few tips to follow to try to avoid future sleep problems:
The American Academy of Pediatrics has reviewed the factors that prevent (or lead to) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Please be mindful of the following recommendations: