Newborn Sleep Patterns: A Guide for New Moms

newborn sleep patterns

Newborn Sleep Patterns 101

As your baby ages, newborn sleep patterns vary. Knowing these sleep patterns and how much sleep they should be getting helps you plan naps and bedtimes accordingly. It allows you greater freedom over your own schedule, too, as you’ll know when you can do the things you can’t do easily with an infant in your arms.

newborn sleep patterns mother and child
Setting up a schedule for your baby will give you free time to get things done while baby sleeps.

Consider this as your guide to how babies sleep. Refer to it whenever you have questions about newborn sleep patterns. If you want to know whether they’re getting too much or insufficient sleep, consult your pediatrician for expert advice.

1. REM Sleep

newborn sleep patterns REM
Newborn babies experience more REM sleep than when they get older.

Rapid Eye Movement sleep or REM sleep occurs about half of the sixteen hours a day a baby sleeps. The light sleep state allows for dreaming as you’ll note by the rapid eye movement you’ll see in your child. As the baby ages, the amount of REM sleep they receive each night reduces significantly. They’ll experience more non-REM sleep than REM sleep as older children and adults.

2. Non-REM Sleep

newborn sleep patterns non REM
Drowsiness is one of the four stages in non-REM newborn sleep patterns.+

When a baby isn’t engaged in REM sleep, they’re likely experiencing one of the four stages of non-REM sleep.

There are four stages in non-REM newborn sleep patterns.

  1. The first stage is drowsiness with their eyes starting to droop and even evidence that they’re dozing off.
  2. Stage two is a light sleep where the infant jumps when they hear noises or sense someone is close to them.
  3. Stage three is when the baby is quietly breathing and doesn’t move.
  4. The fourth stage is when the baby is in deep sleep and doesn’t startle easily. It happens before REM sleep sets in and is the final stage of non-REM sleep.

Things You Can Do to Help Your Little One Fall Asleep Faster

newborn sleep patterns baby cradle
It takes practice to getting a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods of time.

Getting your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep for long periods of time takes practice. There are some things you can do in the meantime to expedite the process. For example, gently rubbing their eyelids helps them fall asleep quickly.

You can also start a nighttime routine that gives them the signal that it’s time to rest. Placing them in their bed before they’re asleep helps them adjust to the idea of being out of your arms and by themselves.

It also may help to play soft music to relax them. There are many soundtracks and playlists created just for babies — also considering the different newborn sleep patterns.

Explore the different options available or create your own. You’ll have something familiar for them to fall asleep to which helps promote deeper and better sleep.

Factors That Dictate How Much Babies Sleep

Newborn sleep patterns vary. These patterns usually depend on their age, existing medical conditions, and environment.

Learning more about how much rest your little one needs and how often he or she wakes up in the night helps you better determine how to make rest as restorative as possible for your child. It also gives you an idea of how often you’ll be nursing your baby, so you can plan accordingly by wearing your Bellefit nursing pajamas to bed. That way, you’ll have an easier time feeding your child without needing to partially undress yourself.

Taking Care of Yourself

As a new mom, it is often difficult to remember that we need some self-care too. You have just grown and given life to a new child. Take a second to check in on yourself. How do you feel? Many times mothers jump headfirst into their new role, but forget that in order to be the best for your baby, you have to feel your best.

It is okay to be a little selfish, you gave nearly a year of you life to growing the baby inside of you, if you feel uncomfortable and exhausted don’t push yourself. Find time to pamper yourself and take advantage of products that were designed to make you look and feel good, like Bellefit’s postpartum girdles.

Not only are these girdles helpful for gaining back your confidence, they also offer much needed pain-relief. After you have given birth – vaginally or through C-section, your stomach and vaginal muscles are sore. It can be painful to sit, stand, walk, bend, pick up objects, pick up your baby, basically anything that requires those muscles – hurts. Bellefit postpartum girdles, offer support and compression that helps relieve the pain so you can go back to being super-mom.

Bellefit girdles for new moms
Bellefit Postpartum Girdles & Corsets – Medical-Grade, FDA-Registered, Recommended Since 2008. Available in 8 Styles & in Plus Sizes.

By the way, which of the techniques for promoting sleep have you tried on your baby? Are there other techniques not mentioned here which you’d like to share to help new moms?

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