A baby will get the amount of sleep he needs. Some babies seem to need more than others, but on average they spend about 60 per cent of the day asleep. They will have one or two regular waking periods during the day, usually during the afternoon or early evening. They will quickly develop a sleep pattern and routine, and should soon learn to sleep at night-time, especially if the parents put the baby to bed at a regular time in a quiet, warm, darkened room. As they get older they will require less sleep.
Babies will only waken if they are hungry, thirsty, disturbed by loud, sharp noises, in pain, or uncomfortable. After a nappy change, a feed or a drink, or being lifted out to get rid of wind or just to be given a cuddle, they should go back to sleep again. Restless, disturbed babies will often respond to being rocked, soothing music, or being sung to. A very young baby needs the security of being swaddled, i.e., tightly wrapped in a shawl or blanket. He prefers the warmth and comfort of being close to his mother, but this is not always
possible. Because of the risks ofdeath, young babies should not be placed on their tummy. hie must be put to sleep on his side or back.
Some parents are lucky and have babies who sleep soundly throughout the night. Other babies are wakeful and cry frequently, disturbing their parents who are then short of sleep. Parents should share the responsibility of getting up to a restless baby. It is very frustrating to be constantly disturbed at night and leads to a lot of, but if parents can try to relax and remember that this particular phase will not last for ever, they will get through much better.