States of Consciousness in Newborns

Babies do not always behave in the same way and throughout the day they go through various states of consciousness. We help you to interpret them and know how to act.

As they live with their baby, parents get to know him better and better and learn to distinguish the moments when the baby is more active and alert from those when he is more passive, tired and even irritated.

These are the so-called states of consciousness, which correspond to the baby’s levels of availability to interact. Having this notion, the father and mother tend to organize their daily activities according to the baby’s routines. However, you should know that these schedules are not completely reliable: over the course of the first month they vary drastically.

6 States of Consciousness Of Baby

During one day baby can pass – cyclically – through six states of consciousness: two of them are sleep, the rest are awake. A newborn will move through these different states of consciousness multiple times throughout one day. How quickly or slowly he moves through this cycle will vary.

These states of consciousness might appear to be sporadic and unpredictable at first. However, as his nervous system develops, you’ll notice a more stable pattern of sleeping, eating, alertness, and drowsiness. Eventually, it’ll become much easier to predict needs, set schedules, and create healthy routines.

Deep sleep

This is the most restorative state of sleep and the most important for the baby’s growth. In deep sleep the eyes are closed tightly and the baby is very still, lying down. He may have small jerks, but he does not wake up and must not be woken.

Light Sleep

During active or light sleep the baby is more vulnerable to the outside world. He may move, squirm and stretch frequently. On the facial level the baby often frowns, makes faces, smiles, moves his mouth and sucks on his tongue. The eyes move, keeping the eyelids closed. In this state the baby can easily be woken up.

Babies do not always behave in the same way and throughout the day they go through various states of consciousness. We help you to interpret them and know how to act.

Drowsy State

When he is falling asleep or waking up, in the drowsy state baby can stretch out, yawn or move his arms and legs. His eyes may open and close, returning to a state of superficial sleep several times before waking up. Stimuli tend to wake him up, however, it is difficult for him to stay awake even if they try to get his attention.

Quiet state of alertness

During the first days of life baby remains alert for short periods. In this state baby is awake, calm and with an attentive look. This moment is propitious for interaction, and it is easy to get his attention.

Irritated state of alert

This is the state that precedes crying. In the face of exaggerated stimulation the baby tends to enter a state of irritation. His movements are clumsy and uncoordinated. You must calm the baby and comfort him.


Deciphering the baby’s crying is a challenge that combines intuition, knowledge, perception and learning. With time parents will identify that he cries in different ways, depending on what he wants to transmit. Don’t expect baby to pay you too much attention during this phase, as he is not receptive to new information or sensations. What the child needs at this moment is to be comforted.

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