The amount of sleep needed is generally thought to be eight hours. However, many people don't know that a range of sleep is necessary, which changes based on age. That means that when it comes to babies and sleep, the best rule of thumb is the younger, the more sleep time needed. Newborn babies, specifically, need the most sleep per day. Over the course of 24 hours, a newborn baby needs to get between fourteen to seventeen hours of sleep. At seventeen hours a day, about eight hours of that time occur at night, while the other nine occur during the day.
Newborns' sleep tends to be sporadic, as they do not develop a mature circadian rhythm until they are around 12 weeks- or even older. They don't yet know the differences between night and day like older children and adults do. Their stomachs are also small, and they need to eat frequently in order to be satisfied. Throughout their short bursts of sleep, they could be asleep for four hours or just thirty minutes before waking up again. A baby may start to adjust to sleeping through the night by the time they are three months old, while others won't until they are older, possibly even a year old.
When it comes to babies and sleep, it is essential to know that there is no way to speed up the development of a baby's circadian rhythm, but you can gently assist them in little ways. Some sleep tips for newborns involve making nighttime a time for sleep, with low voices and dim lights throughout your time with the baby. Putting the newborn in their crib at night to fall asleep can help them associate their crib with sleeping time. Keeping babies awake during the day also does not help- it's counterintuitive. Newborns who are too tired struggle to fall asleep more than those getting an appropriate amount of sleep.
A newborn baby will show signs of being ready to sleep, such as rubbing their eyes, fussing, yawning, or looking away. Newborn babies may not be able to put themselves to sleep, which is where parents can step in and help. Newborns will often fall asleep while being nursed or while rocked or cuddled. Swaddling also helps babies sleep, as it resembles the feeling of the womb and calms them. Playing white noise or music also helps to create a bedtime routine.