Newborn Baby Sleep and Feeding Schedule
When you understand your newborn’s sleep patterns and habits, you can start to establish a little more structure in your daily life and build a little more confidence in your decisions and actions during the baby’s first days.
While newborns can’t stay on a strict sleep or feeding schedule – mostly due to their many growth spurts in these early months – these sample newborn sleep and feeding schedules can guide you through these stages and make sure everyone is getting the sleep and nutrition they need.
Otherwise, you may be soothing a crying baby all day.
A newborn baby cries a lot more when they are over-tired, not sleeping enough, or hungry. In other words, getting him or her on a routine (even if it’s not a strict schedule) can be a life-saver!
Your newborn’s feeding schedule should be age-appropriate, and you should never withhold food from a newborn just to stay on schedule. A newborn sleep schedule is also often based on how long your baby can stay awake (not strictly by the clock), which is usually short in the newborn days.
Keep reading to discover what you can do to get started.
Understanding Newborn Sleep Patterns
A baby is considered a newborn from birth until about 3 months of age.
During this period, your newborn’s sleep patterns will look nothing like yours.
Your baby will sleep in short bursts – anywhere from 30 or 45 minutes to 3 or possibly 4 hours – and then eat between periods of sleep.
In other words, the typical day/night sleep cycle doesn’t really apply to newborns. Some newborns come out of the womb with their days and nights completely mixed up!
This is called day/night confusion, and babies who struggle with it tend to sleep a lot during the day and then wake up frequently at night.
Many newborns also seem extra sleepy in the first week or two after birth and must be woken up to feed or drift off while feeding before getting their fill.