As new parents you are bound to be concerned about a lot of things, feeding being one of them. When it comes to the feeding of your baby the most prominent questions are, “how long should I feed my baby?” “How often should I feed my baby?” “How much should I feed my baby?” , Then probably the most concerning “how long should my baby sleep without feeding?
In this article we will be discussing the topic “ how long should a new born sleep without feeding?”
What is the normal time spent by newborns sleeping
The normal time spent by newborns aged 0-6 weeks varies, some babies sleep for 15-18 hours daily while others sleep for 18-19 hours daily. Whichever category your baby falls into it’s however important for you to be patient during this time because it can prove to be very stressful as they can’t stay awake for more than 30minutes to 1½ hours at as time and can’t sleep for more than 2-4 hours straight per sleep session.
If your newborn sleep around clock and wakes random for feeding don’t worry it’s absolutely normal. newborns tend to sleep round the clock because they are yet to develop a sense of night and day, they do not yet know that nighttime is when we sleep same daytime is when we stay awake, play and carry out other activities.
How Long Should A New Born Baby Sleep Without Feeding
What is the feeding frequency for an average newborn
The right feeding frequency for babies has become a topic of debate between parents, child care expert and pediatricians. With various information provided on the topic it’s becoming increasingly common to get confused and many parents find it difficult too decide on what information too follow.
In this article we will be giving you the same generalized advice pertaining to feeding frequency.
When your baby is still a new born, the watershed time to feed them is 10-12 times daily this it’s because their stomachs are still small same can’t take a lot of food at a time. With 10-12 times daily say as the average it means that your baby needs to be fed every 2-3 hours.
How long can a newborn sleep without feeding
Here’s a straight forward answer, a newborn can sleep for 2-4 hours straight without feeding, however 4hours is the maximum time for which they can sleep without feeding because they have small stomachs and can’t take milk that will sustain then for more than 4 hours.
It’s important for parents to know that babies who are breastfed feed more often than babies who are formula fed, this is because breast milk is digested easily than formula milk by babies. Breast fed babies need to feed every 2-3 hours while formula fed babies need to feed every 3-4 hours.
However for babies who are fed with a combination of both breast milk and formula milk the feeding frequency for them will vary so, parents will have to figure out a suitable interval for their feeding sessions.
As your baby grows, they will start too show you certain signs or cues that lets you know when they are hungry, a disadvantage of letting your baby decide when to eat is that they can’t show those signs when they are sleeping and encouraging your baby to feed on demand helps you to create a suitable feeding schedule and establish a steady weight gain for your baby.
Some of the signs that babies show when they are hungry are:
- Crying: this is baby’s most used form of communication. They cry when they are uncomfortable, need a diaper change, upset etc.
- Rooting their jaws in search for your breast or a bottle.
- Licking their lips repeatedly.
- Sucking on their fingers.
- Sticking out their tongues.
- Unnecessary fussing.
- Willing on anything within their reach.
- Repeatedly opening their mouths.
Keeping all these information in mind, there are some conditions and facts that you need to know and they are;
- The maximum length of time babies aged 0-4 weeks old can sleep without a need to feed is 4 hours.
- Older babies aged 4-6 months can sleep for 6 hours (sometimes for longer especially from six months and older) at a stretch without a need to feed.
- When babies get to six months they start to consolidate sleep sessions and can sleep for longer sometimes through the night.
- At six months babies do not need night feed anymore and mother’s can start weaning their babies of night time feedings. You can also start allowing them to sleep for longer without feeding.
- It’s also important to know that all babies are different and as such their daily sleep hours and feeding frequency differs from baby to baby.
When do babies start sleeping through the night without feeding
Sleepless nights are the norm for new parents, but it’s only for a period of time this is because babies need to feed frequently so that they can grow and develop.
Newborns aged 0-3 months need to feed every few hours whether it’s day time or night time. They sleep 15-18 hours daily but this sleep time is broken down into various naps and siestas because they cannot stay awake for now than 30-90 minutes at a time and they can’t hold enough milk to sustain then Ford more than 4 hours.
Newborns tender to wake up when hungry and no matter the time during the day or at night, this is because they need the calories to grow and put on weight.
Infants aged 4-6 months still need 1-2 night feedings but they are now sleeping twice the time they spend sleeping during the day. They can sleep for 6-8 hours straight without needing to feed and they fall asleep easily after night time feeds.
Infants aged 6-11 months don’t need night feedings but they may still demand one day it’s up to you too wean them off nighttime feedings. They start to sleep for 11-12 hours straight without needing to feed by their 9th month.
What does sleeping through the night actually mean?
When it comes to babies sleeping through the night does not mean what you think it’s does because you may be used to sleeping for 8 hours or more at night but for babies sleeping through the night means sleeping for 6 hours or more during at night.
Sometimes infants wake at night for a feed and easily to back to sleep afterwards, but this still counts at your baby sleeping through the night. Don’t worry too much if your infant starts to sleep through the night and then suddenly stops it could be because they are experiencing a new stages of growth or development.
How to improve your baby’s sleep
Babies sometimes have trouble sleeping, here are some ways with which you can improve their sleep;
- Recognize and act on their sleep signs: baby’s often sweetie some signs when they are ready to sleep overtime you’ll begin to notice any understand these signs. It’s important for you to know these signals because they help you to get that “magic moment” as they call it when your baby falls asleep easily because they are tired and ready for sleep.
The magic moment is a time when your baby becomes slightly quiet, shows hints of calmness and stares of slightly. Some of the signals that your baby uses to let you know that it’s a magic moment are; yawning, losing interest in things that are around them even their favorite toy and rubbing there eyes. It’s advice able to put your baby to bed before they start throwing tantrums, fussing, or crying.
- Use naps: napping can go a long way in improving nighttime sleep, is babies don’t nap during the day, they become overtired and start to throw tantrums which makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep at bed time. It’s also recommended today babies nap in a crib rather than in a stroller or car seat.
- Avoid tiredness: don’t allow your baby to get overtired or overstimulated before putting them to bed. Look for signs of sleepiness and then put them to bed. Some signs of sleepiness are yawning repeatedly, slow movements, eye rubbing and dropping eyelids. Daytime naps also hello to prevent baby’s from being overtired when it’s time for bed.
- Creating contrast between day and night: you can do this by allowing background bosses during the day, opening the windows to let light in, playing with your baby etc. during the day and then at night keeping background noises to a minimum, speaking softly, and keeping activities to a minimum at night. These activities will help babies to get a sense of day and night and to know that nighttime is when we sleep and daytime is when we stay awake.
- Creating a bed time routine: create an stick to a bed time routine, your bedtime routine can consist of bathing, feeding, a massage, a change of diapers, a lullaby or a story; this helps to tell your baby that it’s time to sleep. Most babies learn to link their bedtime routine to their bedtime.
- Avoid bad sleep habits: to create a connection between sleeping and a bed for your baby, you don’t have to rock them to sleep because they start to think that’s how to sleep and will become unable to fall asleep when you don’t rock them. Put them to sleep when they are still awake but slept so that they learn to sleep by themselves, this will also teach them how to self-soothe.
- Appropriate feeding sessions: in an effort to get babies to sleep for longer some parents overfeed their babies but this is only going to make their baby’s sleep worse because the same way you’re uncomfortable and unable to sleep when you’re overfull is how your baby will feel. Don’t underfeed them either because they will wake up hungry earlier than they should. Try to give the just enough so they are neither too full nor hungry.
Note: Every baby is unique in their own right, I can’t stress this enough. Some babies then to grow fast which results in them feeding more frequently, while others babies grow slowly it lady in growth which results in them feeding less frequently. If you’re uncertain of the rate of your baby’s growth it development seek the counsel of a child care expert.