Most newborn babies have a sleep pattern in which they sleep most of the time, usually about sixteen hours out of the twenty four in a day, although there are wide variations depending on the baby and whether they are premature or otherwise. Newborn babies sleep in blocks of about two to four hours. This form of sleep is to assist the baby in its unique stage of growth as a human being.
Some babies seem to stay awake most of the day and night, to the distress of their parents – newborn babies do not understand that people sleep only during the night. It is important therefore to establish a good habit in determining sleep schedules to ensure comfortable nights for the child and family.
Developing a schedule by enacting specific times for feeding, bathing and play can help in assisting the process. Parents can then specify a bedtime routine with certain actions such as reading a book, playing soft music, changing into pajamas, turning off the lights, moving into the bedroom and using soothing oils. The baby will then intuitively react to the daily routine by slowly adjusting their natural body clock.
As they grow, a baby’s need for sleep diminishes until a toddler requires about ten or twelve hours of sleep a night, generally with a nap in the daytime.