That time of year is approaching as we say "cheerio" to another summer of fun and sun and prepare for school starting!
This may be the first term your child is attending nursery or school and it is such an exciting milestone. It may be met with some anxiety from you or your child so take time to acknowledge that. It is normal and okay.
You may be an old hand at this and vaguely know what to expect. Either way after summer holidays of late nights, lazy mornings and routine out of sync you may want to start getting back into the swing of things before that alarm bell rings on day one just so you are all prepared.
Here are my top tips for getting back into the 9-5 groove….or should I say 7-7 groove….?! Be positive and excited, this is going to be fun!
It’s part of parenthood right, to be up in the night, changing nappies, feeding, pacing the floorboards, rocking back to sleep, “enjoying” those moments while the rest of the world out there sleeps!
So, do you really know how much sleep your baby really needs? Let’s explore this in this week’s blog.
New-borns, ohh don’t they smell just delicious! When your baby arrives you will see they sleep most of the day away, I remember the midwife coming to visit me and asking it was all going and my response was “this parenthood lark is a breeze, he sleeps all day…”!! Little did I know soon things were about to change and that was sleep! I had no idea how much sleep my baby needed or how fast those needs change. In the early months sleep needs change about every 2-4 weeks so just when you feel you have figured something out and sorted it, bang, and its changes again…!
Up to 12 – 16 weeks sleep will be very much all over the place and disorganised. Every day will be different and exciting, keep your diary flexible and no one will place any expectations on you least of all yourself. You don’t want to burn out before you have even started!
Your new-born baby will require 14-17 hours’ sleep in a 24 hour period. It is not uncommon to wake only for feeding and go right back to sleep shortly after a feed or most commonly during a feed. However, this all depends entirely on your child’s genetic make-up and temperament. Did you know new born sleep is 50% genetic and 50% environmental? As we all know and will never stop saying to each and every baby is different! You may find your baby will have awake times anything from 40 minutes to 1 hour and then sleep for a period of 4 hours straight. This is a good time for you to catch up on some rest yourself, eat and take a shower…or so we are told! Actually doing this is harder in real life right..?!
Many parents I have spoken with feel it is easier to follow awake windows more than counting how many hours they have actually slept or follow a routine and this works super well for them. Here I have made a simple easy to view awake window and sleep need chart below but remember this is just a guide, some babies need more and some need less…
AWAKE WINDOWS FOR NEWBORNS TO 12 WEEKS
0-12 weeks (new-born)
1 hour 25 – 1 hour 30
1 hour 30
1 hour 30 – 1 hour 45
APPROX HOURS OF SLEEP
HOURS OF SLEEP
14-17 hours in 24 hour period
12-15 hours in 24 hour period
11-14 hours in 24 hour period
10-13 hours in a 24 hour period
As you can see the awake windows in the early weeks are not very long and really don’t leave much time owing to relax once you have fed, changed, fed again and no doubt changed another nappy! Take it one day at a time and accept all the help that comes your way!
Happy peaceful nights to you,
Your Paediatric Sleep Consultant