Newborn Sleep and Feeding: What Moms should Know

Sa mga new moms, kamusta ang inyong baby? 🙂

Image Credit: Unsplash/Carlo Navarro

Saying that new moms have a lot on their plates a few days after postpartum is an understatement. New moms will have to juggle taking care of their new babies who are also adjusting to the outside world while also recuperating themselves. One way that might help moms cope during this period is to understand a newborn baby’s sleeping and feeding habits. Newborns cry when they’re over-tired, lack sleep, or hungry. While newborn feedings are also important to ensure that they get the right nutrition to grow and develop. Hence, understanding their feeding and sleeping habits can help you understand your seemingly fussy newborn and perhaps even get him into a routine — which could then help you get your life back on track.

What moms should know about newborn sleep

  • Your baby is considered a newborn from his birth until he’s around 3 months old.
  • During this time, he will have an entirely different sleeping schedule from yours.
  • Your baby will most likely sleep in short bursts — which could be anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to 3 to 4 hours, and then feed in between.
  • Your day/night cycle does not apply to your newborn. This means that they could stay awake all night and asleep all day, also referred to as day/night confusion.
  • Some newborns may also seem extra sleepy during their first few days or even weeks. If your newborn is like this, then you might need to wake him up to feed.
  • Your newborn should “wake up” 3 weeks after birth, so you should expect to deal with him awake more by this time.
  • As your baby grows older, you should expect him to cry more as well (although this will also depend on a baby’s temperament). No worries though, as you will quickly learn how to soothe him.

What moms should know about newborn feeding

  • It is normal for your newborn to feed very frequently. So it’s ok if it seems that you’re always feeding him every hour or less.
  • Your newborn’s tummy is quite small — it’s about the same size as a calamansi or a cherry, which explains why they need to fill it up regularly.
  • Breastfed babies might need to feed more often than formula-fed babies, as breastmilk is more easily digested.
  • Formula-fed newborns might not need to feed as frequently as breastfed babies as their tummies take a longer time to digest and break down the formula. This means that formula-fed babies might feel fuller for longer periods.
  • You can consult your pediatrician to determine how much breastmilk or formula your newborn will need because this could depend on several factors that could be unique to you and your baby.
  • To give you a general idea, if your baby is formula-fed, you can multiply your baby’s weight by 2.5 to get how many ounces of formula he will need in a day. For example, if your baby weighs 7 pounds, then he will need around 17.5 ounces of formula in a 24 hours.
  • On the other hand, it is best to nurse on demand if you are exclusively breastfeeding. This is important to do in the first few weeks to ensure that you establish your milk supply. well-established. If you’re cup feeding or bottle feeding your newborn with breastmilk, then the general rule is newborns need around 20 to 30 ounces of breastmilk and around 25 to 35 ounces after the newborn stage.
  • Newborns feed around 2 to 3 hours on average. This is especially important for breastfeeding moms as this can also help them establish their milk supply. Once your baby is 4 months old, he’s considered an infant and his feeding will slowly stretch to 5 to 6 hours, then 7 to 8, and then 10 to 11 hours when he’s around 9 to 10 months old.

Lastly, moms should know that their babies will go through several growth spurts during their first few months alone. A growth spurt is defined as a period in which your baby has a more intense period of growth. And hence, he nurses more frequently, has changes in sleeping patterns, and can get fussier or more cranky. So to prepare you for such instances, you can expect your baby’s growth spurts around the following times:

  • 7 to 10 days age
  • 2 to 3 weeks of age
  • 4 to 6 weeks of age
  • 3 months of age

Hang on, mamas! Your baby won’t be a newborn for long.


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