Newborns sleep most of the day and night, with short wake windows of time in between to feed and interact with you. Unlike you, your baby doesn’t really follow a circadian rhythm-rising to wake with the sun, and relaxing when night time comes. In fact, research shows that newborns are often more awake during night time hours and more sleepy during the daytime for the first several weeks after birth.
In the early weeks after birth, it is almost impossible to get a baby on a schedule that matches the parent’s schedule, so you should try to rest as much as you can while your baby is sleeping. As your baby gets a little older, you can work to develop healthy sleeping habits for your baby to develop their circadian rhythm.
Newborn sleep cycle
Newborn sleep cycles are unique and are split between a period of light sleep followed by a period of deep sleep. A newborn baby’s sleep cycle is between 45-60 minutes, and there will be times when your baby combines 2 to 3 sleep cycles. However, generally your newborn will continue to wake frequently during the day and night without a consistent schedule for the first 2-3 months.
As we mentioned in Week 1, one of the biggest challenges for new parents is adjusting to this crazy new sleepless cycle. Remember, an adult’s sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, and the only way to avoid the effects of sleep deprivation is to make your sleep a priority. Try to schedule YOURSELF to sleep at least 4 times for a length of at least 90 minutes each 24 hour period.