When you bring your baby home from the hospital, you'll most likely find that she has irregular sleep cycles, and that she sleeps a great deal of the time -- an average of 16 to 17 hours per day! She may only sleep for one- or two-hour intervals, however. And as baby matures, you'll see changes in her sleep cycles and need for sleep.
But can you influence your baby's sleep habits early on? The answer is yes. As a parent, there are many things you can do to begin establishing good sleep habits for your baby right from the beginning. Here are some suggestions from the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) to help everyone get a better and more consistent night's sleep:
If her crying continues, quietly check on her. Avoid turning on lights, picking her up, rocking her, or playing with her. If she continues to cry, or if her cries increase in intensity, wait just a few minutes longer and check on her again. If she just can't seem to settle down, try to think about what might be troubling her. Is she hungry, wet or soiled, feverish, or otherwise uncomfortable? Tend to her needs, and it's likely she'll soon settle in for some more sleep.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.