How Long Are Newborns Supposed To Sleep

Myth #: If Your Baby Sleeps Too Long In The Day They Will Be Up All Night

2 HOUR Sleep Time! – Baby Sleep Sounds Calming Bedtime Songs for Babies

FACT: This is mostly untrue. Youve probably heard the saying sleep begets sleep, and thats because babies need a lot of sleep, with some newborns snoozing for up to 18 hours a day. If you find the right balance of daytime and nighttime sleep, your child will actually sleep more because theyre well restedand youll have hours of uninterrupted free time in the process! Conversely, an overtired baby will protest going down to sleep and have a harder time staying asleep. Depending on your little ones age and stage, most babies under six months shouldnt be awake longer than 2-2.5 hours at a time and should be getting anywhere from 3-5 hours of total daytime sleep. In short: Dont wake the baby!

Recommended Reading: How To Take A Bath A Newborn Baby

How To Keep Your Light Sleeper From Waking Up All The Way

1. Dont rush in the moment you think your baby has awakened.

As noted above, babies experience frequent arousals, but that doesnt mean they are doomed to wake up all the way every few minutes. Babies often jerk, sigh, or vocalize during partial arousals. If you avoid stimulating them during these moments, they may go back to sleep on their own.

2. Tank up the baby before you go to sleep.

Whether you breastfeed or bottle-fed, try to give the baby an especially large meal before your own bedtime. This will encourage your baby to sleep longer. To learn more about this approach, see this Parenting Science guide to Dream feeding.

3. If you feed your baby formula, try to find one that includes DHA.

DHA is a fatty acid found in fish oil and other dietary sources. Its important for brain development, and may play a role in shaping sleep patterns as well.

In one study, children who consumed low levels of DHA had reduced amount of slow-wave sleep . In another study, pregnant women with higher blood levels of DHA gave birth to babies who spent more time in quiet sleep .

DHA is found in breast milk, so its plausible that boosting a nursing mothers DHA intake could improve a newborns sleep patterns. If you use formula, it seems like a good idea to find a baby formula that contains DHA.

4. Check out my article on baby sleep aids.

There youll find tips for improving newborn sleep, and avoiding practices that are either unhelpful or potentially hazardous.

How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need

Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, usually in 3- to 4-hour periods. Your baby needs to eat every few hours, which is why she doesnt sleep for longer periods of time. Your baby may get cranky or overtired if she doesnt get enough sleep.

Dont be surprised if your baby can only stay awake for an hour or two. Over time, her body gets into a sleep pattern. She starts sleeping for longer stretches, even during the night. If youre worried about your babys sleep, talk to her health care provider.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Dry Skin On Newborns Face

Also Check: How To Help My Newborn With Constipation

Coping With Disturbed Nights

Newborn babies invariably wake up repeatedly in the night for the first few months, and disturbed nights can be very hard to cope with.

If you have a partner, ask them to help. If you’re formula feeding, encourage your partner to share the feeds. If you’re breastfeeding, ask your partner to take over the early morning changing and dressing so you can go back to sleep.

Once you’re into a good breastfeeding routine, your partner could occasionally give a bottle of expressed breast milk during the night. If you’re on your own, you could ask a friend or relative to stay for a few days so you can get some sleep.

Dealing With Baby Sleep Pattern Changes

Baby Nap Chart: Learn How Long Baby Should Nap, and How Many Naps Baby ...

All babies change their sleep patterns. Just when you think you have it sorted and youve all had a good nights sleep, the next night you might be up every 2 hours.

Be prepared to change routines as your baby grows and enters different stages. And remember, growth spurts, teething and illnesses can all affect how your baby sleeps.

If your baby is having problems sleeping or you need more advice about getting into a routine, speak to your health visitor.

Also Check: How To Tell If Newborn Has Gas

Baby Sleep Schedule: 8 To 12 Months

Baby sleep is a little like a roller coaster with its ups and downs, thrills, and scaries. And right now, smack in the second half of your babys first year, a frightening dip might be fast approaching! At this age, some little ones start developing separation anxiety and bedtime and others are so excited about their newly developing skills, that they find it more difficult to settle down.

Total Sleep for 8- to 12-Month-Olds: By the time your baby hits 8 months, they should be snoozing between 12 to 14 hours a day.

Wake Time for 8- to 12-Month-Olds: The day often starts around 6 to 7am for these tots.

Napping for 8- to 12-Month-Olds: Your little one will likely still be taking two naps a day. For some babies, those naps are brief , while other babies may nap for up to two hours at this age.

Bedtime for 8- to 12-Month-Olds: Night-night often falls somewhere between 7 and 9pm now.

Nighttime Sleep for 8- to 12-Month-Olds: .Your baby’s longest stretch is likely a glorious seven to 10 hours a night! Wooo!

How Long To Feed At Night

Once your baby wakes up and latches on, make sure his nursing sessions last long enough for him to empty at least one breast, which helps to ensure that he gets his fill of the fat-rich hind milk essential for growth.

Some babies take 20 minutes or longer to empty one breast, while others can do the work in 10. Your baby will take the time he needs to fill up, so let him set the pace.

If youre bottle-feeding, give him the equivalent of one full feed depending on his age and stage.

Read Also: How Should A Newborn Baby Sleep

Should You Wake A Sleeping Baby

New parents are often showered with advice. One of the biggest pieces is this: Never wake a sleeping baby! On one hand, anyone can understand why this matters: babies need sleep to develop their bodies. Babies are a lot of work, and the moments when they are asleep allow you to get other things done in the house. On the other hand, is all that advice right about just letting them sleep as long as they want? Heres the answer.

What If My Baby Isnt Sleeping Enough

How to Start SLEEP TRAINING | Infant Sleep Tips for Beginners

There is also a chance that your baby might be sleeping too little and not clocking the required amount of shut-eye for her age.

If your baby sleep log shows that her daytime and nighttime hours fall short of what she should be getting in a 24-hour period and you see telltale signs of an overtired baby including persistent fussiness, trouble settling down to sleep at night, and short catnaps instead of full naps, to name a few talk to your pediatrician about how to help your little one get enough sleep.

Getting to know your babys sleep cues and following a consistent, soothing bedtime routine are among the tips youll likely get from your doctor.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When Youre Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

Also Check: How To Make Newborn Sleep

Wake Windows And Baby Sleep: All You Need To Know

Written By Mandy TreebyChief Baby Sleep Consultant

If youve read up on sleep training your baby, youve probably encountered the term wake window. What is a wake window, and what does a wake window have to do with baby sleep?

Here well answer all of your questions about how wake windows help you sleep train, why wake windows shift as your baby grows, and why watching the clock isnt the most effective sleep training method.


You May Like: How Do I Get My Newborn On Medicaid

How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need

The short answer: A LOT. Your newborn will spend the majority of time sleeping, and the rest of their time eating – this is especially true for the first few weeks. As a 6-week-old baby, your newborn will sleep up to 18 hours for every 24 hour period – in their first few days of being alive, they’ll sleep even more! Of course, as your baby grows they’ll need less and less sleep each day. Our newborn sleep schedules break it down for you and apps can help you track naps and nighttime sleep.

Zen Sleepwear is gently weighted to help soothe babies to sleep, so they can start learning healthy sleep habits while getting the rest they need.

You May Like: What Are Some Reasons Why Newborn Babies Fail To Thrive

Where Should Our Newborn Sleep

Your newborn can sleep in a bassinet or a crib. This can be located in a parents room, a siblings room or in the newborns own room. Its important that you have your baby sleep in a safe place. Your baby should not sleep in your bed with you. This is dangerous because of the risk of suffocation, strangulation and sudden infant death syndrome .

You can bring the baby into your bed for feedings, but should return the baby to a crib as soon as you are done. Many experts recommend feeding your child while in a chair to avoid any injury that can happen while sleeping in a bed with the baby. Room-sharing with your baby is recommended, but not bed-sharing.

When Should I Seek A Doctor’s Help

Baby Nap Basics for All Ages: Your Daytime Sleep Questions Answered

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your baby seems to be extremely fussy/irritable or cannot be soothed he/she may have a medical problem such as colic or reflux .
  • Your baby appears to have a breathing problem.
  • Your baby has a difficult time being awakened from sleep.
  • Your baby is uninterested in feeding or persistently shies away from activity.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/17/2020.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Accessed 3/23/2020.
  • National Sleep Foundation. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sleep. Accessed 3/23/2020.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. November 2016, 138. Accessed 3/23/2020.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Safe Sleep. Accessed 3/23/2020.
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Education. Healthy Sleep Habits. Accessed 3/23/2020.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

Read Also: How To Deal With A Gassy Newborn

How Much Do Premature Babies Sleep

Preterm infants can spend up to 90% of each day asleep. Although most infants younger than three months old tend to sleep between 16 and 17 hours per day, parents of preterm infants should expect their baby to sleep longer. Preterm infants are also more likely to act drowsy rather than alert when they are not sleeping.

Parents of preterm babies shouldnt compare their babys sleeping habits to those of full-term babies. Instead, they should discuss their specific circumstances with a doctor if they have concerns.

Is Sleep Training Safe

There has been ample long-term research studying sleep training, and there is no evidence that sleep training is physically or psychologically damaging to babies and children. In fact, its been known to improve parental mood, improves an infants sleep quality and increases the secure attachment between babies and their caregivers. As long as your baby is old enough and is in a safe environment, sleep training is perfectly safe and healthy.

Dont Miss: What To Do If My Newborn Is Congested

Also Check: What Should A Newborn Sleep In At Night

Can Newborns Sleep For Six Hours Straight

A newborn most likely will not be able to sleep for six hours straight. Newborns typically sleep in one- to three-hour chunks of time and also need feedings every three to four hours. Either your newborn will wake up on his own when heâs hungry, or youâll need to wake him, depending on the advice of your healthcare provider.

When To Wake A Baby For Feeding

Baby Sounds | Eating | Sleeping | Pacifier

Newborns often cluster-feed, which means that they may eat several times over the course of 12 hours or nurse for an extended period. Most newborns should eat every 23 hours or more if a pediatrician recommends so or if the baby is not gaining enough weight.

Feeding a newborn whenever they show hunger cues such as rooting, sucking, or sticking out their tongue is the best way to ensure that they get enough food.

It is not necessary to wake most older newborns up to eat. However, those younger than 1 month old or so may not wake up when they feel hungry. Babies younger than 4 weeks old should not go longer than 45 hours without food.

To wake a baby up to eat, try brushing the side of their cheek. This can trigger the rooting reflex. Most babies dislike having their feet stroked. So, if stroking the cheek does not work, try gently wiggling the babys toes or gently stroking the bottoms of their feet.

Food needs vary from baby to baby. Parents and caregivers should consult a pediatrician or nursing expert, who can offer individual advice based on the needs and development of the baby.

Don’t Miss: How To Do A Newborn Sponge Bath

Baby Sleep Schedule: 2 To 4 Months

By the time your babyreaches 4 months old, they will have finally sorted out their days and nights, making napping and night sleeps a bit easier. The womb-like trifecta of white noise, gentle rocking, and swaddling are still importantbut one of these sleep-savers may need to stop soon. Once your baby shows signs of rolling, its no longer safe to swaddle them . And be warned about the possible 3-month sleep regression! It can suddenly appear, with your baby starting to wake up like a newbornevery few hoursand wanting to play or cuddlebut refusing to sleep alone.

Total Sleep for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: Babies this age are still sleeping a ton, usually around 13 to14 hours of ZZZs a day.

Wake Time for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: Your little one will most likely wake up little earlier now. Most babies this age start their day around 6am.

Napping for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: When babies first emerge from newbornhood , they settle into two to three daily naps, totaling four to eight hours of sleep.

Bedtime for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: Lights out shifts a bit earlier, with most babies going down around 9pm.

Nighttime Sleep for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: Babies are able to sleep a little longer now, but they still wake for a feeding or two. Longest unbroken sleep can range from around five hours to up to eight hours.

How Much Sleep Do Newborns Need

Every baby and child is different, and the amount of sleep each little one needs may vary. In general, though, newborns sleep for up to 16 or 17 hours in 24-hour period, but the sleep doesnât happen all at once. Instead, very young babies will snooze in one- to three-hour blocks during both the day and night.All of this sleep is essential for your babyâs healthy and happy development. Over time, this haphazard round-the-clock dozing will become more organized, with more of your little one’s sleep hours taking place at night.

You May Like: What Are The Essential Items For A Newborn Baby

My Mum Says I Was Slept On My Front And That Was The Advice Then Why Has It Changed

Many parents will have been slept on their tummies as babies, as that was the advice before 1991. However, research has since shown that the chance of SIDS is much higher when a baby is placed on their front to sleep.

We know that in the early 1990s, there were thousands of babies worldwide dying suddenly and unexpectedly every year. The reason the number of deaths is much lower now is due to the new advice being followed by parents, such as lying babies on their backs to sleep.

Sleeping Hours Of A Newborn Baby

How Long Should Babies and Toddlers Sleep For? (Infographic)

SuperBottoms Admin

As adults, we crave to sleep like a baby, carefree and stressless. But if you are a newborn parent, you will know how restless a sleeper your little one is! Hungry every few hours or wetting the SuperBottoms UNO diapers, your newborn rarely makes it through the night without waking up. Therefore, worrying about yournew-borns sleeping patterns is pretty standard as a parent. Typically for the first few weeks, your little one sleeps for 18 hours a day. As a parent, you must understand newborn sleeping hours. Hence, this article explains all your concerns regarding newborn sleeping time and more!

Dont Miss: How To Get Newborn To Sleep Longer

Don’t Miss: Is It Normal For Newborns To Cry A Lot

Related Posts

Popular Articles