There is no other calming, relaxing sight for new parents than swaddled, curled-up sleeping babies. That is until you come to the realisation that they may be napping a little too much. A lot of people get concerned with their newborns being off to dreamland for hours on end, only waking when it is time for milk.
But the simple fact is, this is all normal. Here are the reasons babies sleep so much.
They are growing
Growing is what babies do. It is their most crucial task in this stage of life. And for them to do that, they need all the naps they can get. Why exactly? According to experts, the human growth hormone (HGH) is released in the brain during sleep. HGH helps in your baby’s further development.
Too much sleep then should not be a cause of concern then. In fact, you should make every effort to keep a comfortable nap for your child, as doctors suggest babies to have plenty of rest: 14-17 hours a day.
You might not have a problem achieving that when your infant is on a growth spurt, which happens at different points during the first year of life. You can well expect it at the first 7-10 days though. If you are planning to do a photoshoot of your baby, this is the period you want to maximise.
As Melbourne newborn photographers say, the first weeks is when you can freely do those crazy, fun poses and themes while your baby remains undisturbed from their deep sleep.
They are full
As you know, babies have tiny stomachs, so they get full quickly. Like adults struggling to keep awake from a lunch break, infants get drowsy after just a few minutes of being breastfed. So you can expect a lot of sleeping from them because all they do (and can do, actually) is eat.
Do note though that once they get into dreamland, they may not wake up for mealtimes. Remember that the internal body clock, which regulates hunger and sleep, takes time to develop in babies. So, it’s your job to wake them yourself for feeding.
Help them ease out of the drowsy state by touching their legs, arms, or back gently. You may also unwrap them from their blankets or change their diapers. Some moms use a damp washcloth, dabbing it on the baby’s face to slowly rouse them up.
Ask your paediatrician what a good feeding interval is based on your child’s needs.
They are merely a heavy sleeper
Contrary to popular opinion, babies are not clean slates. They already have certain personalities they bring in how they sleep. Some infants are light sleepers, while others are deep ones. Some are easy to wake up, while others fight for their naps. And mind you, the latter can sleep through the noisiest environments.
After all, they have been used to your womb, which isn’t the most silent place to be in, with your heart beating, blood rushing to blood vessels, digestive system running, etc. The bottom line here is that your child may be sleeping so much because that is exactly their personality.
You cannot go comparing your babe to your sister’s then. Cliché as it sounds, everybody’s unique — including in how they sleep.
Sleeping Like a Baby
It is totally normal for babies to sleep so much. So while they’re off to dreamland, maximise that time for other productive things. Go shower. Pamper yourself. Bond with your spouse. Let your baby sleep like a baby.