Child Care: How Much Sleep is Too Little

How Much Sleep is Too Less SleepHow Much Sleep is Too Less Sleep
The new mother needs to ensure that the baby is getting enough sleep


Brawling babies wake their sleeping parents up every night leaving them groggy for the entire day.-nbsp; The reason behind this is either they are not getting enough sleep or they are sleeping too much.

Hours of sleep required
A lot of new mothers are confused about how much the infant should sleep during the day and the night. Dr Prakash Vaidya, Consultant Pediatrician at Fortis Hospital informs -ldquo;Most babies do not know that they are supposed to sleep mostly at night, and tend to be rather individual in the number of hours they sleep; many perfectly normal babies tend to sleep mostly during day time and are wide awake at night. I would say if your baby is growing well, and happy during his/her waking hours, then the baby is getting enough sleep.-rdquo;

A newborn child needs a lot of sleep. As an infant the baby needs to sleep for almost 16 hours a day which decreases as the child grows. They tend to wake up in a gap of three to four hours, breastfeed and then sleep again.-nbsp; But every mother wants to set a routine for the child. Is it possible? -ldquo;The mother cannot and should not follow a specific routine. Rather she should allow the routine to be set as per the baby's individual needs-rdquo; says Dr Vaidya.
Dr. JP Sen Mazumdar, Sr.Consultant, Department of Pediatrics -amp; Neonatology, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences,Delhi/NCR adds -ldquo;Every baby has its own sleeping pattern. There are no fixed hours as such, if a baby is sleeping during the day time then the baby would be all night awake and vice versa. There cannot be any routine imposed on infants not atleast before 6 to 9 months. For the first 15 -20 days just after the birth of the child, the mother should keep waking up the baby after every two hours and should feed him. After 15-20 days the baby can be fed once he demands or else after 5-6 hours of sleep.-rdquo;

Feeding and sleeping
If the baby is sleeping for a long time the mothers tend to get worried and wake up the infant to breastfeed. Dr Vaidya suggests -ldquo;By and large, the mother should not disturb the baby and wake him up for feed as per any schedule. Some babies get up every two or three hours for a feed, but there are babies who sleep even for 5 to 6 hours at a stretch. This is perfectly fine as every baby has his/her own individual need and pattern. But of course if the baby is preterm and/or-nbsp; less than 2 kg in weight, that baby will probably need to be fed as per a set routine every 2 hours or so as there is a risk of low blood sugar if these babies are not fed at regular intervals.-rdquo; To the same Dr Majumdar adds -ldquo;There cannot be any routine imposed on an infant atleast below one year of age. After the age of one, 6- 8 hours of sleep is sufficient for the child. However after 9 months, the mother can begin to fix a time for bath, sleep, and feed in order to fix up a routine.-rdquo;


Should a routine be imposed?

Once the baby is three months old, he/she gets into a routine but as a newborn the child needs to sleep as much as he/she wants and should be allowed to do so. Dr Vaidya adds -ldquo;the mother should not attempt to impose any routine on her baby as that would really be detrimental and unjust to the baby. Rather she should set a routine depending on her baby-rsquo;s individual needs-rdquo;.

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Image courtesy:-copy;Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

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