Common Newborn Sleep Patterns – Everything To Expect

As a new parent, you’re truly entering into a frightening endeavor. Caring for another human being is substantially easier said than done since there are so many factors, which play a role in the baby’s health and success.

Not only will you need to feed your child a healthy, balanced diet, but also you’ll need to familiarize yourself with newborn sleep patterns. Within this guide, you’ll learn about the common sleep patterns associated with newborn babies, so you can be prepared for anything that comes your way.

Newborns Have Individualistic And Unique Needs

There is often a misconception that the needs of babies and newborns are universal. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The average amount of sleep newborns get, during their first month, is generally sixteen and a half hours. Of course, this is just an average figure and might or might not remain true with your child.

With this in mind, you shouldn’t be get worried, if your child sleeps 13 or 19 hours a day. The average is simply a figure and should not be relied upon solely. Each newborn is unique and their needs and patterns will be incredibly diverse.

Understanding REM

Many people believe the myth that newborns sleep soundly for lengthy periods of time. This is generally not the case and has a lot to do with REM, or rapid eye movement. During the majority of a newborn’s sleeping time, they’ll enter rapid eye movement mode, in which the baby will sleep, dream and move about simultaneously.

So, you shouldn’t become concerned, if your child looks as if he or she is struggling to sleep. After a moderate period of time, the REM sleep cycle will pass and the newborn will fall into a deeper, more relaxing slumber.

Also, as the child begins to grow older, the REM cycle will become less prevalent. Eventually, they’ll outgrow it entirely.

Don’t Hover

As a new parent, you’ll likely feel the urge to hover over your child and keep an eye on them at all eyes. This is entirely natural and reasonable, but it is absolutely essential to leave the child alone, during their sleeping period. This can also be immensely problematic because newborns do not sleep quietly. In fact, they can be rather loud.

Irregular breathing and short pauses of breathing are very common. If you hover over the child, you may encounter these noises and freak out. However, you should not. The majority of the time this is nothing to worry about and completely normal.

Common Newborn Sleep Patterns

Now, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the common sleeping patterns for newborns. Again, these can vary substantially from one child to another and there are few commonalities. First and foremost, you should know that it is entirely normal for newborns to fall asleep and wake up in just 30 minutes. Other times, the child may sleep for several hours, before abruptly awaking. Since newborns are unable to produce a sufficient amount of melatonin, they’re unable to differentiate between night and day.

So, you shouldn’t be surprised, if your toddler’s sleeping behavior varies from one day to the next. Also, newborns can be awoken very easily. You may as well go ahead and accept the fact that you’re going to be awoken throughout the night. There is truly no way around it. 

It’ll End Eventually

Truthfully, your newborn’s sleeping behavior isn’t going to be fun for you or the baby. However, you can rest assured knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It generally takes about 12 weeks, before the baby will begin to develop enough melatonin to tell the difference between night and day. After about 3 to 5 months, the baby will begin to calm down and sleep for 5 or more hours at a time.


A newborn baby’s sleeping routine can be very erratic and may very well take a toll on the parent. The good news is that it isn’t going to last forever. Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with common sleeping patterns, you know precisely what to expect. Just remember that it will not be fun, but if you stick it out, it’ll end before you know it!

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