Helping your prem baby sleep is one of the most important keys to their health and wellness. It’s true that your prem baby will sleep for much of the day while in the neonatal unit. Deep sleep and light sleep are both important for your baby’s growth and the development of her brain. Unfortunately your baby’s natural sleep cycles and natural sleep states will be disrupted by the sounds and interventions of the neonatal unit. Unlike the womb, your baby does not enjoy the lulling motion of your body to help her sleep in the still space of the incubator.
What you can expect at this stage
- Your premature baby will benefit from sleeping most of the day
- Your prem baby will take longer to settle into good sleep habits due to the disruptions by medical interventions, the lighting and sounds in the neonatal unit and the need for frequent feeds at night
- Make sure you also sleep during the day when your baby sleeps
Your prem baby needs to sleep so much that they will probably only have brief awake periods when medical interventions and feeds can be tolerated. The important thing at this stage is to watch your baby’s signals and help them to sleep as much as possible, especially when they show signs of overstimulation.
Help your prem baby establish good sleep habits
You can help your baby to develop healthy sleep habits right from the early days in the neonatal unit:
- Dim the neonatal unit at night so that your baby learns the difference between day and night
- Try to avoid interrupting their natural sleep rhythms with interventions
- Ideally, let your baby sleep for 2 to 3 hours at a time
Find out more about your prem baby’s development here. Did you know that Parent Sense adapts routine, sleep, feeding schedules and more to your prem baby’s adjusted age? Subscribe to the app now and care for your precious premie with confidence.