Premature Baby States of Arousal

Premature Baby States of Arousal

Your Premature Baby's States of Arousal

All newborn babies, whether premature or not, have 6 different states of arousal that they fluctuate between.  Newborns spend approximately 16 hours a day sleeping (not necessarily always at night unfortunately!) 

There are 3 different states of sleep as well as 3 states of alertness.


The 6 States of Arousal:

  • DEEP SLEEP:  This is the stage where your baby is still, barely responds to stimulation from the environment around them such as noise or touch, and is possibly difficult to arouse.
  • LIGHT SLEEP:  This is the state in which your baby is easily disturbed by noise or touch.
  • DROWSY: This is the stage between waking and sleeping when your baby will be stirring, may well be moving their limbs and opening and closing their eyes.
  • QUIET ALERT:  During a quiet alert phase your baby will be lying calmly and absorbing the world around them.  They may watch you intently and enjoy looking at you, being held by you, hearing your voice and smelling you nearby.
  •  ACTIVE ALERT:  During the active alert phase your newborn will be moving their limbs and squirming about.
  • CRYING:  Crying is a baby’s main method of communication and whilst unpleasant for you is not always a sign of distress for you baby.  Your baby can cry to tell you they are hungry, they need their nappy changed, they want picked up or just that they are tired.