Parents of newborns often struggle to get proper sleep and also obsess about their little one's welfare. The new parents are at a loss to understand the sleep patterns of a newborn. Every advice is different as no two babies have been the same and you are bound to be confused. It is normal for newborns to sleep for 18-19 hours a day. Some might be sleeping a little more too. Some babies sleep for 3-4 hours at a stretch, and some do not sleep for more than two! It is easy for unsuspecting parents to be confused about baby sleep problems.
Babies' sleep patterns
Most babies will sleep and eat on demand in the first few months. There is no right or wrong about how much or how less the baby is sleeping. You will most probably start seeing a pattern after a week or so. Once the pattern is more or less in sync, you should be concerned only if your baby shows signs of distress and is crying. If patterns are very inconsistent, you might like to check for an ear infection or other health issues.
Most new borns will not sleep through the night for more than a year and a half, so be prepared. This is because they have small stomachs and need to eat every two or three hours. As they grow older, you will see sleep patterns changing again as sleep requirements become lesser, and the baby becomes more active.
Why We're So Obsessed With Our Kids' Sleep
Parents are sleep deprived at all times in the first few months after the child's birth. The mother has a lot of tiredness after birth, especially if it is a caesarean section. This is coupled with the uncertainty of how to handle the young baby that you are responsible for. All these factors together contribute to stress. Parents often turn obsessive about their baby in almost everything. From food to sleep habits to potty habits all are suspect.
There is no cause to worry as even siblings never display the same traits. It is perfectly okay if your baby is sleeping most of the time, or sleeping less than what you read in the parenting manual. Their feeding patterns generally govern babies' sleep patterns. If your baby needs to feed every two hours or so, her sleep time will be different from a baby who feeds every three hours. That is absolutely natural.
How to stop obsessing about baby sleep?
It is not easy, but as a parent, you need to stop stressing about things that do not need you to overthink. Put a baby monitor in her room or crib while the baby sleeps so you can be aware if she cries or wakes up. Try and sleep when she does and tailor your routine around her to help you get some rest. Only when you start being rational about your fears and concerns, they will melt away.