Sleep Basics: print out guide

Grab these tips for more peaceful nights with baby.

Things to Know

Sleep issues consume a huge amount of a new parent's waking hours -- and her sleeping hours, too! Here are some basic pointers on getting your newborn to sleep -- and check out Ages & Stages, where you'll find age-specific information on encouraging good sleep habits.

Things to know:

  • A newborn averages about 16 hours of sleep a day but often can't snooze for more than a few hours at a time -- so you may not get a good night's rest for a while. By the time they're 3 or 4 months old, most babies will consistently sleep through the night.
  • Newborns wake up frequently because they get hungry. Most experts say a baby must weight 12 to 13 pounds before she can hold enough food in her stomach to tide her over until morning.
  • To encourage drowsiness, don't play or socialize with your baby during night-wakings. Keep the room dim, feed and change her quietly, then put her back down.
  • Many newborns sleep more during the day than during the night. To help her adjust to a more adult-friendly sleep schedule, give her plenty of daytime cues: Play with her, keep the room light, and feed her on demand.
  • If, after three weeks baby's still sleeping more during the day than at night, try waking her earlier from her long stretch of daytime sleep. Gradually, she'll start making up for that lost sleep after dark.

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