If you’ve ever wondered why newborns sleep so much then this article is just for you! In this post, we answer your most common newborn sleep questions.
Why do newborns sleep so much?
Without a doubt, the most common question that I’m asked on the topic of baby sleep is just why they sleep so darn much.
There are two main factors that cause baby to sleep so much:
- Adaptation to their new environment
- Rapid growth
Adapting To Their New Environment
The first thing that you’ll need to understand is that during the first few months of your babies life, you have very little control over when they sleep.
For those first few months of life, baby is busy making the transition from living in the womb to living in the real world.
You have to remember, that this is a new world for baby – night and day don’t exist within the womb!
During this time, baby continues with their established sleep schedule and unless you’re one very lucky momma, this sleep schedule might not match yours!
This can often lead to thinking baby sleeps all the time as your little one could need to sleep while you’re awake and will be active while you’re asleep – welcome to sleep deprivation.
It’s also worth mentioning that while you and I can comfortably cope with between 16-18 hours of wakefulness, a newborn will only be able to manage an hour before needing a nap!
Sleep Helps Baby Grow
Contrary to what you might think, a lot of sleep for baby during those early months is perfectly normal, however, for first time parents, the amount of sleep needed can initially be a cause for concern!
Don’t worry, as you’re about to find out, sleep is a crucial part of baby’s development.
Sleep and Growth Hormones
During the six months of life, a babies weight can double!
In fact, acording to this post by the Mayo Clinic, it’s normal for babies to gain five to seven ounces a week for the first six months!
Sleep is a vital part of this development.
See, when your baby sleeps, their pituitary gland secretes growth hormones at a much higher rate than when they are awake.
It might sound odd but one of the only reasons that baby wakes during these early months is because their stomachs aren’t large enough to hold enough food to keep them asleep.
Don’t Worry About Baby Waking Up During The Night
Don’t be tempted into think that because baby is waking up during the night that they must be sleeping too much during the day, this simply isn’t the case.
Babies come out with their own pre-existing sleep pattern and it’s unrealistic to believe that they’ll adopt our own schedule straight away.
For a long period of time, sleep will be right up there with nutrition as one of the key drivers of baby’s development.
It takes a while before baby will comfortably sleep through the night in a schedule that matches your own.
Sleep is a vital part of your baby’s development so don’t worry about how much they are sleeping.
If baby is up at night and sleeping all day, don’t worry, it’s not for any reason other than that’s when their built in body clock tells them to be.
Gradually, this will pass and before you know it, baby will be sleeping on a more predictable schedule.
So there you have it, if you’ve been wondering why do newborns sleep so much, hopefully now you’re a little more clued-up.