How many hours a day should my newborn be sleeping?

Newborns sleep for the vast majority of the day, usually in the range of 18 to 20 hours a day.

What is the proper position for a newborn to sleep in? Are sleep positioners necessary?

The proper position for a newborn to sleep is on his or her back. Although during your hospitalization, some nurses may place the baby on his or her side, this is not recommended when you bring the baby home. Placing a baby on his or her back for sleep is one of the few methods you have to protect your baby against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or “crib-death.” Since the American Academy of Pediatrics instituted the “Back to Sleep” campaign, the incidence of SIDS has dramatically decreased. Recently the AAP issued a warning about sleep positioners as they have been found to place babies at higher risk of su ocation. Therefore, we recommend against the use of them.

How do I reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (also known as SIDS or crib-death) is a rare syndrome that causes unexplained death in an otherwise healthy child in the first year of life. The most reliable method to protect your baby against SIDS is placing the baby to sleep on his or her back, as above. Other ways to protect an infant against SIDS include: eliminating any second hand smoke, avoiding over bundling and overly heated bedrooms, and removing extra blankets and stu ed animals from the crib or bassinet. Some research has shown that having a fan in the room has also can decrease the incidence of SIDS.

Do you recommend swaddling?

Swaddling can be a great way to comfort a crying child, and many of our patients respond very well to it. That being said, there are some babies who do not like being swaddled and even in the newborn period will find a way to kick themselves out of the tight wrapped blanket.
Is it okay for our family to co-sleep in the same bed?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no co-sleeping with parents because of the increased incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. That being said, many cultures and other countries embrace co-sleeping as an important part of family life. It is important for you to analyze the risks and the benefits of co-sleeping before you make your decision. If you decide to co- sleep, it is very important to ensure that there are not excess blankets that could cover the baby’s face.

When is it okay to let my baby cry?

There is no right answer to this question. In the newborn period, you are getting to know your child and his or her needs. Crying can mean many di erent things: hunger, an uncomfortably wet diaper, a desire to be held, or simple irritability. In these first few weeks, it is best to assume that your baby is trying to tell you something and only “let the baby cry” if all of the above possible causes of distress have been ruled out. If you feel like your baby is in pain or discomfort, it is best to call your physician to rule out any other reasons your baby may be crying.