Bonding with your baby involves getting to know what to expect as a sleep schedule. Although each child is different, according to Jenn Kelner, certified child sleep consultant and owner of BabyZzz in Toronto, Canada, a baby’s sleep schedule will be very unorganized until around six weeks of age. “Your child’s biological sleep rhythms don’t exist yet, so there are not patterns as to when and how long your baby will sleep,” she says.

Although many newborns sleep 15-18 hours a day in two-four hour stretches, says Kelner, it is common for parents to feel sleep-deprived themselves. Kelner suggests parents take care of themselves, which means napping while your child is napping, and understand that this, too, shall pass.

“The first few weeks home from the hospital is a wonderful chance to hold, cuddle and bond with your baby,” says Kelner. “It’s important to respond to your child’s needs and try to get as much rest as possible.”

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