Newborn Sleep 101: Understanding What to Expect, Best Practices, and When to Seek Help
What to Expect:
Newborns typically sleep for 14-17 hours per day, but these hours are usually broken up into short periods of sleep lasting anywhere from 1-4 hours at a time. Newborns also tend to have irregular sleep patterns and may wake up frequently during the night.
To promote healthy sleep for your newborn, it's important to establish a consistent sleep routine and create a sleep-conducive environment. This may include swaddling your baby, using white noise or other calming sounds, and keeping the room dark and quiet. It's also important to place your baby on their back to sleep, as this can reduce the risk of SIDS.
When to Contact a Doctor:
While it's normal for newborns to have irregular sleep patterns and wake up frequently, there are some situations that may warrant a call to the doctor. These include if your baby is consistently waking up and crying, if your baby seems excessively sleepy or difficult to wake up, or if your baby is not gaining weight as expected.
What is a Baby Sleep Specialist:
A baby sleep specialist is a professional who specializes in helping parents establish healthy sleep routines for their newborns. These specialists may work with parents to create a personalized sleep plan and provide guidance on techniques to help their baby sleep better.
Cost of a Baby Sleep Specialist:
The cost of a baby sleep specialist can vary depending on the specific services they provide and their location. Some specialists may charge an hourly rate, while others may offer package deals or ongoing support. It's important to research different options and compare prices to find a specialist that fits your budget.
Normal Sleep Patterns:
While newborns tend to have irregular sleep patterns, there are some general guidelines for what is considered normal. For example, newborns may sleep for 1-4 hours at a time during the day and night, and may have shorter or longer periods of sleep depending on their individual needs. As babies grow and develop, their sleep patterns will change and become more predictable.
In conclusion, newborn sleep can be unpredictable and challenging, but establishing healthy sleep practices and being aware of potential concerns can help promote better sleep for your baby. While it's normal for newborns to have irregular sleep patterns, it's important to contact a doctor if there are any concerning symptoms. A baby sleep specialist can also provide guidance and support for parents who are struggling with their baby's sleep.