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The Very Young & the Restless

Is your preemie an unusually light sleeper? "All infants wake to eat throughout the night," says George Cohen, M.D., editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Guide to Your Child's Sleep, "but those who arrive a month or more early have especially tiny tummies, which means they need to refuel more often than full-term newborns  -- about every two hours, compared with every three or four." And it's believed that one reason preemies spend most of their snooze time in REM sleep (from which they're easily awakened) is to help their brains develop normally. Rest assured, your baby will settle in time, says Dr. Cohen. Until she does, you can minimize night wakings by responding only when she cries. Other sounds she might make don't necessarily mean something's wrong, or that she's hungry: Since she's close to consciousness in REM sleep, she may be noisier than a full-term baby, who's slumbering more deeply.

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