In the first months of life, and especially in the first few weeks of life, babies will spend a majority of their time sleeping, anywhere from 12 to 20 hours a day. Your baby should start to awaken for feedings by himself/herself after a few days of life. If your baby is running a fever or not awakening for feedings call the pediatrician’s office.
We recommend that you put your baby to sleep on his/her back, on a firm mattress, with no loose blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows. In the winter it is better to put your infant in warm pajamas rather than using blankets to keep the baby warm. By following these recommendations and preventing exposure to second hand smoke, the chances of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) will decrease.
SIDS, Sleep and "Soothies"
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden unexplained death of a baby less than one year. Though we don't fully understand SIDS, we do know there are several things that can help prevent it.
First, your baby should always sleep on his/her back. Research has shown that back sleeping reduces the risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) significantly compared to the prone or sidelying positions. We strongly urge you to place your baby on the back on a firm surface with minimal bedding for sleep. Although some babies may not like this position initally, nearly all will quickly adapt if given time. Other recent research suggests that using a pacifier for sleep may decrease the risk for SIDS as well. Babies should be put to sleep with a pacifier for the first six to twelve months of life. It is wise to wait to introduce a pacifier in breast fed infants until breastfeeding is well established but no later than one month. Pacifier use at other times than sleep should not be encouraged.