From the time pregnancy is realized until birth there is constant preparation: getting the body and mind ready; buying clothes, a car seat, a crib; prepping the nursery; stocking up on diapers…the list goes on and on. With so much emphasis on preparation, coupled with the excitement of a newborn, an important postpartum need is often overlooked: sleep.
Getting a newborn on a sleep schedule is impractical, since the average baby doesn’t start a schedule until around three months. A newborn should be getting between 16-18 hours of sleep for the first month, and between 15-16 hours of sleep the second and third. Remember, newborns aren’t adults in miniature – it’s a baby and needs all the rest possible. While a newborn seems to fall asleep anywhere, try to create patterns for the child early on so it is accustomed to sleeping in the nursery at night. Create a dark, peaceful, cozy place for the baby to sleep while minimizing but not completely eliminating noise. Such conditions are reminiscent of the womb and will help comfort the newborn.