If you feel like you haven’t slept in weeks, welcome to baby parenting 101. We know that newborn babies sleep fourteen to sixteen hours per day, but sometimes we find ourselves wondering if they have an internal timer that tells them it’s time to wake up as soon as mom and dad fall asleep.
It can feel that way sometimes, can’t it? The truth of the matter is that for your babies first three months, he’s going to wake up every three hours or so because his little tummy can’t hold enough food to keep him satisfied any longer than that. After four hours, his tummy feels a lot like your would if you skipped breakfast and lunch and were waiting for dinner.
Breastfed babies need to eat about every two hours. Bottle fed babies can go a little longer (closer to four hours), but they still need to eat quite often. Until you start introducing some solid foods into your baby’s diet between four and six months, baby’s digestive system is going to burn through his liquid diet quickly.
All of this is normal, and it’s healthy. Frankly, if your newborn baby doesn’t wake up every four hours, you should be mildly concerned and schedule a visit to baby’s pediatrician.
Most babies don’t have much trouble falling to sleep. Generally, as long as they’ve been fed, burped, and changed, you can get them to fall right to sleep. If you’re finding it difficult to get your baby to fall asleep, try one of these sure fire methods:
- Swaddle your baby. The snug blankets give them a sense of comfort.
- Rock your baby. There’s a reason it’s been done for so many generations. It works.
- Sing to your baby. Babies find their parents’ voices calming. This is especially true of mom’s voice, in most cases, since he has been hearing mom from inside the womb for as long as he can remember.
- Take baby for a car ride. When all else fails, this works (almost) every time. The trick is to keep driving for about 20 minutes after baby falls asleep to give him some time to really get zonked.
- Put a fan in baby’s room. Direct the fan so that it blows air parallel to baby (not directly on him). The noise and the circulation can both help soothe baby. On top of that, fans have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.