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The midwife.










Health worries.

Mum's health.

Baby’s sleep - 1st week

Total sleep required - 16 to 20 hours a day

Sleep pattern - irregular

Babies find being born exhausting so on your first night with your baby, you may well get a good sleep and a chance to recover from the birth.

Your baby is likely to sleep for up to 10 hours without wanting milk or needing his nappy changed. If you're in hospital then put the ear plugs in and make the most of it as this will be the last unbroken night's sleep for months.

Your second night with your new baby will probably be a very different story as his appetite kicks in, making him wake every hour or two for a feed.

Newborns have no circadian rhythms - which regulate the body clock - so they don't get any sleepier at night. Instead they will constantly nap and feed around the clock - oblivious to whether it is night or day.

But console yourself with the fact that new babies can't stay awake longer than about 90 minutes at a time which means that if, say, you're finding it impossible to settle your baby at 4am, he'll drop off after an hour and a half at the most.

It's normal for babies to sleep very erratically this week, so don't even think about sleeping patterns. The most he will sleep for is three hours at a time.

Try to go with it, and don't get anxious about your own sleep deprivation - you'll almost certainly see a small improvement by the end of the week as your baby occasionally goes for longer between feeds.

Feeling exhausted and fluffy headed this week is normal and means that you are responding to your baby's needs. There are no quick fixes at the moment to get your baby to sleep for longer.