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Newborn States of Awareness


Quiet or Deep Sleep

In quiet or deep sleep, your baby is sound asleep. Breathing is regular. If you look closely, you'll see that your baby's eyes do not move under the lids. Her arms or legs may twitch from time to time. But for the most part, your baby will be very still and sleep very soundly.

In the first few months, most babies spend about 20 to 30 minutes of every 60 to 90 minutes of sleep time in quiet sleep. During this state, outside noises are less likely to disturb your baby.

Active or Light Sleep

In active or light sleep, your baby is still asleep, but moves about, makes faces, yawns and smiles. You can see why they call this active sleep! Breathing is irregular. The eyes are closed. But you can see them moving under the eyelids.

In the first few months, most babies spend about 40 to 60 minutes of every 60 to 90 minutes of sleep time in active sleep. During active sleep, babies are disturbed more easily than they are in quiet sleep.

Drowsy

In the drowsy state, you baby can go one of two ways. She will either:

  • Wake up or
  • Go to sleep

In this state, the eyes open and close. Babies stretch, yawn and make noises.

Quiet Alert

In quiet alert, your baby is most able to pay attention to you and the surrounding world. Your newborn can look at and follow your face or a bright, shiny object. He can turn his head in the direction of your voice.

During quiet alert, most babies are sociable. They respond to voices and objects. Many baby books say babies don't have social smiles for several weeks. But this isn't always the case.

Active Alert

In this state, your body's face and body are very active. But her eyes aren't as shiny as they are in quiet alert. During this state, babies may become a little fussy. They may be able to soothe themselves, or they may need help from their parents.

Crying or Fussy

If your baby continues to fuss, he enters the crying or fussy state. In this state, babies can calm themselves, or they may need help from their parents. You can do many things to calm your baby:

  • Talking to him in a normal voice
  • Gently touching him
  • Holding him
  • Snugly wrapping him in a blanket
  • Rocking him

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