NewbornA baby will usually sleep for about 16 hours a day to begin with, however, it can vary from 10 to 23 hours, all of which is perfectly normal.   Babies will usually wake up often (every two to three hours) to eat; their longest continuous sleep period is usually four to five hours when hunger often arouses them.  Ideally, this long stretch would be in the night time hours, however, most babies are not able to tell the time!

Some babies may sleep much longer and that’s fine if the child is healthy and has regained its birth weight and is not suffering from jaundice;  some babies may have a more “snacky” personality and therefore may wake every two or three hours to feed.  This too is normal.

If, however, a child has special nutritional needs or special needs in general, eg if they were born premature, have jaundice or if they have a particularly low birth weight, it may be necessary to wake them every two to three hours to feed.  Your doctor or health visitor will advise if this is necessary.  It’s important to remember that in the first months most children have no set pattern with regard to eating and sleeping.  It is the responsibility of the parents to help the child build their own routine.

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Do you have a great sleeper or a baby that has you up at all hours? How do you cope with the new routine?