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6 Totally normal newborn sleep habits

Newborn sleep can feel like a hard phenomenom to navigate, especially as you're still getting used to this brand new little person in your life. Whether you're a new time parent, or have multiple children, it can feel tricky regardless becasue every new born is different, there is no 'one size fits all' and there is an overload of information available to us which can make it feel confusing at times. So lets look at some newborn sleep habits which are totally normal to put your mind at rest.

ONE. Frequent night waking

It is completely normal and natural for a new born to wake frequently throughout the night and this can be very difficult to manage but it isnt something to worry about initially. You may find your newborn is waking to feed very frequently throughout the night and this is also normal. Their tummies are very small initially and it takes time for their tummies to grow and be able to hold onto more milk to keep them going for longer periods. They may also need to feed for comfort during the newborn stage and again this is completely normal. Their sleep periods will lengthen with time and gradually and although this can feel exhausting, it won't last forever.

TWO. Sleeping long periods.

Some newborns are naturally capable of sleeping for longer periods at night time and some times people worry about them receiving enough nutrition if they are sleeping for long stints. If your baby has regained their birth weight, is gradually gaining weight, feeding well during the day and producing wet and dirty nappies frequently and have no other health concerns (i.e. were not premature) then don't worry about these longer periods of sleep, there is no need to wake them for feeds. If there are any of the red flags shown above, then speak to your Health Visitor, Midwife or GP on how best to proceed.

THREE. Needing to feed, rock or cuddle to sleep.

Newborns have spent nine months inside your body, listening to your heart and being close to you. Therefore, it is completely natural that they may need support in falling asleep. During the fourth trimester, babies aren't developed cognitively enough yet to sleep train or try to teach independent sleep so enjoy the cuddles, and don't worry that you're 'making a rod for your own back' as this simply isn't the case at this young age. If later on they are still requiring alot of support to fall asleep and waking frequently, then you can look into alternative settling methods. But while they are newborn, it is normal and natural to need this extra support.

FOUR. Noisy Sleepers

Newborns can be extremely noisy and this can sometimes worry parents but their grunts, gurgles, wheezes, burps and wind passing is usually completely normal but no one warns you just how noisy they can be! And it can worry you when they then go completely silent! Noises which aren't normal are loud persistent snoring, laboured breathing, rapid breathing or grunts at the end of every breath and these should be discussed with a health professional.

FIVE. No Sleep Pattern

Having no pattern to their day sleep or their night is usual as they're sill developing their circadian rhythm (the difference between night and day) and they will slowly begin to develop this and fall into a natural pattern or rhythm as they grow out of the fourth trimester. Trying to force a pattern early on is likely to be fruitless, so go with the flow for now and worry about routine when they're a little older (4-5 months is a great time to start). What you can do during the newborn period is expose them to plenty of daylight during the day time and keep it dark at night to help this circadian rhythm develop.

SIX. Wake up when put down

Often a newborn will fall asleep beautifully while being held, but wake the minute they're put down on theta own. This is or a number of reasons, your closeness brings them comfort and also when they're put down their startle reflexes can cause them to wake. Leave it at least ten minutes after they have fallen asleep to put them down to ensure they're in a deep sleep. Putting them down with the technique below can help:

As can swaddling them before they fall asleep.


During the first few months of your baby's life, you may experience some or all of the above from your newborn while they learn and navigate their way through developing their circadian rhythm. Until your baby is at least 16 weeks or older, sleep training or trying to force a routine onto them usually doesn't reap the result you want. It is better to use this time to learn how you baby's sleep is changing and developing, what helps them most with their sleep and getting to know your baby during this precious bonding time.

No new born baby is the same, so try not to compare this baby to their siblings or peers even though that can be difficult. If you are lacking sleep, try to prioritise your own self care where possible. If there is another care giver, try doing shifts over night. Make sure you eat well, drink lots of water and avoid too much caffeine and alcohol which can impact the quality of sleep you are getting further. If you are bale to get naps in the day this is great! And try to get outside for some fresh air and exercise during the day to help with your mental health. Things will improve as they get older, I promise! If you baby is still struggling with sleep and they're over 16 weeks old, this is the time to consider their day/night routine, how they fall asleep and their sleep environment and it is an appropriate time to consider sleep training if that is the avenue you would like to follow.


Working out your baby or child's sleep needs can be daunting and it can also cause worry that you may disrupt them or make their sleep more unbalanced that it currently is.

This is where working with a professional can help you look at your little one's current schedule, the issues you're facing and where they are in their development and whats going on in their home life and help you to build a schedule that works for your individual.


If you would like more help with your child's sleep I can help create a tailor made plan for your family based on your individual needs. Explore my packages for something that suit you

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