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Newborns sleep a lot, but not for very long at any one time. Thankfully, there are ways to help ease your newborn into a regular schedule with quiet moments together where you engage his senses, leading to more sleep and more healthy development.

The first few weeks of your baby’s life are all about adjustment—for your baby and you. It’s too soon to expect structured sleep patterns, so take your cues from your baby.

Newborns Wake Up – A Lot

For the first few months, your baby will sleep and wake up at all hours of the day (and night!). Newborn babies can have quite a range in total sleep time (10-18 hours per day), with sleep usually equally spaced throughout the 24-hour day with no real difference between day and nighttime sleep. Babies may sleep 2 to 5 hours at a time. Be sure to respond to your newborn when he signals, as he will likely need feeding…and diapering!

Why Your Newborn Wakes Up

Your newborn most often wakes up because he is hungry or needs to be changed. Be aware of sudden changes in your baby’s sleep patterns—it may signal illness, or a hunger-inducing growth spurt.

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

To lessen the chances of SIDS, always put your baby down to sleep on his back, not his tummy. Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress, with no fluffy or loose bedding, no stuffed animals and no pillow.

For more on baby sleep safety, visit CPSC.gov, aap.org, and keepingbabiessafe.org.

Teach the Difference Between Night and Day

When your baby goes to sleep during the day, keep the lights on and keep sounds at normal levels. At night, on the other hand, turn off the light or use a night-light, feed and change your baby as calmly and quietly as possible, and limit your interactions to holding him gently. Your touch will soothe him, improving his sleep quantity and quality. Soon you will notice your baby's longest periods of sleep occur at night.

Naptime — For Mom Too

Use your baby’s naptime as a time to catch up on sleep yourself. As tempting as it is to use naptime to get things done, you’ll be able to cope better if you nap when your baby does.

Create a Nighttime Routine

Our JOHNSON’S® 2-Step Routine includes massage combined with the cuddles of quiet time, help your baby know that it’s time for sleep.

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It’s normal for your baby to nap quite a bit his first year. BabyCenter® offers advice on how to help your baby sleep well during the day.

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