December 6, 2021 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

What are normal sleep patterns for a newborn and how can we encourage good sleeping?


By: Jeanelle Murphy, D.O

Thanks to Christie Clinic for providing this content.


Newborn babies sleep a total of about 8-9 hours during the day and about 8 hours at night. But
because newborn babies have small stomachs they must wake up to breastfeed or take a bottle
every 2-4 hours. Most babies don’t start sleeping through the night for 6-8 hour stretches or
more until at least 3 months of age though for some it may take longer.


To encourage good sleeping establish a consistent calming bedtime routine. Consider bathing
your baby close to bedtime then swaddling and reading a bedtime story.

Feed your baby by breast or bottle at bedtime then put your baby to bed in his own safe sleeping space in your
room without pillows or blankets on his back to sleep. It is best to put baby to bed drowsy
though not yet fully asleep to help baby learn to fall asleep on her own.

Use white noise to block out other distracting sounds. Offer a pacifier to sleep if bottle feeding and once
breastfeeding is well established if breastfeeding.

If baby wakes up during the night pick her up and feed and comfort then lay her back down drowsy so she can learn to fall back asleep on her own.


Do not offer a stuffed animal or blanket as a nighttime lovey to help with sleep until about 12
months of age.


It is recommended that your baby sleep in your room in his own sleeping space for the first 6-12
months of life.


Having a rested baby and parents makes for a happier healthier family.

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