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Feeding and sleeping phases

Feeding and sleeping phases


Over time, the wakeful phase will slowly move around to occurring in the early evenings (usually somewhere between 4 and 10 pm). These tend to be the typical 'mothering hours' as the baby matures. Unfortunately, the 'mothering hours' also tend to come at the end of the day, when you are really tired and trying to organise dinner and/or bath and feed an older child(ren).

It will be at least 6 to 8 weeks (or more) before most newborn babies will move into a more defined, (or vaguely predictable) night and day sleeping and feeding cycle. For some babies it will come sooner, for others it will take 3 to 4 months, or longer. It is important for the woman to be able to rest and sleep when your baby is in their sleeping phase in the early weeks. This helps her to be prepared for the waking phase (often during the night hours). If the partner is helping with the baby, then 'taking shifts' may be more beneficial than both of you being exhausted together.

Trying to change a baby's feeding and sleeping patterns during the early weeks can often result in having a more distressed baby, mother and father (not to mention neighbours!) Most babies will adjust, and work out their night from day in a little while, but some will take longer than others to make this transition.

If you want to try and help your baby make this transition, there are some subtle things you can do to let your baby know that night is a time for more sleep.

When your baby wakes for night feeds you could try:

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