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FAQ Frequently asked questions
How much sleep is normal for a baby?
Newborn babies sleep for up to 16 hours a day. By the age of one year, this decreases to around 13.5 hours a day. During the day, it is usual for young babies to sleep for a few hours, be awake for a short time and then need to sleep again.
How much crying is normal for a baby?
Normal crying patterns vary between babies. Some will cry relatively little, while others will cry for hours a day. Persistent crying can be a sign of illness or discomfort, so if you are concerned, see your doctor.
Why is sticking to a routine important for babies?
A routine helps babies learn when it is time to sleep and helps to prevent the baby becoming irritable and overtired. While it is not necessary to stick rigidly to a routine, doing things the same way can help to keep a baby settled.
Does wrapping a baby help it to sleep?
Wrapping or swaddling a small baby in the first three months or so of life can help them settle and sleep. It is important that nothing covers your baby's face, and to stop wrapping them once they can roll over in bed.
Does using a dummy help a baby to settle?
The sucking action of using a dummy can help some babies to settle and sleep, although this may create issues at night if the dummy falls out and the baby is unable to settle itself to go back to sleep without it.
What can I do to calm a crying baby?
Holding a crying baby or going for a walk with the baby in a pram or a sling can help to calm the baby, as can going for a drive. Repetitive motions, patting or stroking, or giving the baby a dummy or a bath may also help.
Why is overtiredness a problem with settling babies?
A baby that is too tired tends to be irritable and difficult to settle, so it is best to settle your baby before they become overtired. Signs include yawning, grimacing, squirming and complaining or crying.
Where can I get help if my baby will not settle?
Crying and sleeping problems are common reasons parents seek medical assistance. You can discuss any problems with your doctor or a child health nurse, or there may be a baby or pediatric sleep clinic that can offer further support and …
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 14 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Votes: 867 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Techniques for settling your baby