Sleeping patterns in newborns [video]

Video author: Streaming Well
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Video Transcript
Baby Care: Your new baby's sleep

Dr. Carol Cooper, General Practitioner: Parents often ask me if their baby's sleeping pattern is normal, and I always address that babies differ. On average, though, most babies need something like 14 to 20 hours of sleep in every 24, and in most cases, they'll be waking in the night for a feed for at least the first 6 weeks, if not much longer. Now, a newborn isn't able to regulate their own body temperature very well, so the room they sleep in has to be at the right temperature, neither too hot, nor too cold. Something like 18 degrees Centigrade is about right, and at that temperature, your baby will just need a sheet and a blanket to cover her up, and this needs to be tucked in in such a way that it doesn't cover her head during the night.

Your baby should be placed on her back with her feet touching the foot of her cot. This stops her being able to wriggle down during the night and getting her head covered up by bedding. I do sympathize with parents who have been working night after night and who feel exhausted, but I think it helps to remember that this is just a phase. Even though it's frustrating, it won't last long. There are very, very few children who don't sleep through the night eventually.

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