A newborn may sleep for eight hours in the day and eight hours in the night. Sometimes, the baby sleeps for hours but parents should not worry if the weight of the baby is normal because sometimes, the baby that takes feed in many hours may not get enough milk and it may happen, that in minutes a baby takes enough feed. Most of the babies wake up when they are hungry but sometimes, babies does not wake up and if it happens regularly, she may lose weight.
If the baby's weight is not increasing, you may have to wake up the sleeping newborn to give her feed. A sleeping baby that is not taking enough milk feed may suffer from dehydration and weight loss. Many babies sleep for long to conserve their low energies and it is commonly found in preterm babies. Preterm babies have low energy to stay awake for long and their need for feed is more.
Various sleep states of a newborn In the first two weeks of birth, babies may spend more than sixteen hours just sleeping but as the baby grows, the number of hours reduces. The baby may have a rapid eye movement (REM) sleep or non - REM sleep. In REM sleep, the eye balls of the baby moves. The babies spend half of their sleeping in REM sleep and in non REM sleep; the baby sleep pattern has four stages which includes:
2. Light sleep
3. Deep sleep
4. Very deep sleep
When to feed the sleepy baby
1. One can give feed to a baby when she is in light sleep. The baby makes rapid face movements and eye movement if she is in light sleep.
2. Babies should be given the feed before they start crying because crying means the baby is upset and excessively hungry.
Reasons for baby being extra sleepy
1. Mother who takes medications for labor may pass the medicines to the newborn to cause excess sleep.
2. Baby may suffer from jaundice or birth trauma.
3. Excess crying may exhaust the baby.
4. Baby birth using invasive methods.
5. Environment is not very helpful. Too much noise or light can disturb the baby to close her eyes.
6. Too much milk flow can make the baby tired.
7. Reduced glucose levels in the baby make her less energetic.
To feed a sleepy baby one should follow these steps:
1. One should feed the baby when she is in light sleep.
2. Babies are sensitive to light and one should not have bright light in the room to allow the baby to open the eyes.
3. You can talk to the baby and rub her feet or back to keep her awake.
4. A two week old baby shows signs of being hungry or not hungry, and you can give her feed as per the expressions.
5. One can change the diaper of the baby and wipe face with a wet cloth to make her awake.
6. Baby should not feel the weight of the breast on her face while taking the feed and the baby should be in sit up position to stay awake.