Nothing compares to seeing your baby sleep so peacefully at night. Unfortunately, most babies do not sleep through the night in their first weeks (or even months) of life. You just cannot expect this from your newborn. Fret not, sooner or later, her sleep schedule will become more rest friendly and she should be sleeping for longer periods at night.
Pediatrician Dr. Abigail Laurel-Suntay cautions that “your infant does not know the difference between night and day initially.” A newborn’s tummy is just the size of a marble and this holds only enough of mommy’s milk (or infant formula) enough to satisfy her for about three to four hours. Dr. Suntay goes on to say that, “regardless of the time, there is no escaping the round-the-clock waking and feeding for the first few weeks” because of this. For those getting worried about the exhaustion and fatigue that goes along with this, rest your worries because Dr. Suntay says that “you can begin to teach your baby that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is for play even at this stage.”
Our pediatrician has given some tips in doing so.
Keep nighttime feedings as subdued as possible.
Don’t turn up the lights or prolong late-night diaper changes.
Instead of playing, put baby back down after feeding and/or a diaper change.
If the baby naps longer than three or four hours in the afternoon, wake her (gently) and play with her. This will train her to save extra sleeping for nighttime.
Photography by David Hanson Ong
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