How Much Sleep Is Too Much For A Newborn

How Much Does A Premature Baby Weigh

How much sleep is too little or too much for a baby?

A babys gestational age, or how far along in pregnancy you were before she was born, isnt the only way an infant is assessed in terms of health and viability when she arrives. A premature babys weight is another important factor thatll impact her care and the chance of complications.

Heres a look at premature baby size categories that often determine how long shell need to stay in the NICU. As a general rule, the smaller the baby, the longer the hospital stay tends to be.

  • Low birth weight. This is considered less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.

  • Very low birth weight. These babies weigh less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces.

  • Extremely low birth weight. Less than 2 pounds, 3 ounces.

  • Micro preemies. The tiniest and youngest , these babies weigh less than 1 pound, 12 ounces.

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When Should I See A Doctor About Sleeping Too Much

Having a baby that seems overly sleepy on occasion is no need for concern. Whether its a growth spurt, exciting day, they are just fighting a cold, or absolutely no reason at all, a baby sleeps longer than usual all the time.

When a baby is consistently showing signs of sleepiness, then you should check in with your pediatrician. If your baby is sleeping through feedings, they may lack needed nutrients and potentially could not be gaining appropriate weight.

You will also want to contact your doctor or pediatrician when the sleepiness is accompanied by sluggishness, crying, and irritability when he or she is woken from sleep, if your child seems dehydrated or isn’t responsive after you wake them.

A doctor visit isn’t needed most of the time, but if your newborn exhibits any of the signs above along with general sleepiness, it’s always best to check in with your pediatrician.

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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.

How To Know If You Should Be Concerned

How much sleep does my baby ACTUALLY need??

Within the first 16 weeks of life, you should assume that whatever your child is doing when it comes to their sleep is normal, as long as they are growing, healthy, and thriving. While there are a number of things you can do to help your newborn sleep better, this period of time in a childs life can simply be a struggle when it comes to sleep.

My recommendation is that between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm always wake a newborn after theyve been asleep for 2 hours. Even if baby goes right back to sleep 45 minutes later because theyre only 3 weeks old and cant stay awake longer than that.

If your child is 4 months of age or older, naps can total about 2.5 3.5 hours total and still be within the range of normal. Some babies sleep less or more than that, and that can be normal as well.

Your barometer for whether or not your child is getting too much sleep in a 24-hour period should be their overnight sleep. If your child is sleeping between 10-12 hours overnight and waking after 6 am, you can assume theyre not getting too much daytime sleep. However, if your child is sleeping 3.5 hours across 2 naps, doesnt fall asleep within 10-15 minutes of being put down for bedtime, and wakes at 5 am each morning, you may want to consider reducing their nap lengths.

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Babies All Have Different Sleep Needs

Firstly, it’s important to note that all babies are different. For example, a preemie may sleep more and a colicky one less. Just because your infant’s sleep pattern deviates from “the norm” doesn’t mean that there’s cause for alarm. If he’s feeding well and filling his diaper , there’s likely no need to worry about whether your baby is sleeping too much.

On the other hand, if you are noticing that your infant often seems tired, over-stimulated, or cranky, it may be an indicator that he is not getting enough sleep. Call your pediatrician if you become concerned.

How Much Should My Baby Sleep

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborn infants sleep approximately 16 to 18 hours. The hours an infant sleep are typically not consecutive, as their internal biological clock and circadian rhythm have not yet developed.

This makes an infants sleep schedule erratic. They often sleep at different hours of the day for various lengths of time, sometimes sleeping too much and other times not enough. It should be noted that all infants are different and their environmental and genetic predisposition may cause differentiation in their sleep schedule.

For example, an infant that was born prematurely born may sleep for longer lengths of time versus an infant who has colic. If your child is eating well and using the bathroom regularly, you shouldnt worry that your baby is sleeping too much. Feeding and having regular bowel movements is a sign that your baby is healthy and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

If your infant is tired often, irritable, or overstimulated, they may not be getting enough sleep. If you are concerned that your infant is not getting enough sleep, you should contact your pediatrician and have them evaluate your concerns.

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What Are An Infant’s Sleep Needs

Sleep needs for babies vary depending on their age. Newborns do sleep much of the time. But their sleep is in very short segments. As a baby grows, the total amount of sleep slowly decreases. But the length of nighttime sleep increases.

Generally, newborns sleep about 8 to 9 hours in the daytime and about 8 hours at night. But they may not sleep more than 1 to 2 hours at a time. Most babies don’t start sleeping through the night without waking until they are about 3 months old, or until they weigh 12 to 13 pounds. About two-thirds of babies are able to sleep through the night on a regular basis by age 6 months.

Babies also have different sleep cycles than adults. Babies spend much less time in rapid eye movement sleep . And the cycles are shorter. The following are the usual nighttime and daytime sleep needs for newborns through 2 years old:

Will Too Much Sleep Prevent A Healthy Sleep Pattern

Newborn Baby Sleeping Too Much – Should You Be Worried?

As a baby grows and develops, the amount of sleep they require should decrease accordingly. Whereas a 2 month old baby takes around four naps a day, a one-year old might only take two.

As mentioned above, too much sleep is rarely harmful for a baby. However, the time a baby sleeps is a primary concern for many parent. For example, if your baby is sleeping all day and awake all night then this is really tiring for us poor parents. Its also a lot harder to get them into a regular, sustained sleeping pattern.

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How Much Sleep A Newborn Baby Needs

Your baby will need about 9 to 18 hours of sleep until they are 3 months old. The average they will sleep is about 14.5 hours.

Your baby is unique and may sleep differently to other babies. Some babies sleep for long periods, others for short bursts. They will sleep during the day and night. They might sleep for anything between a few minutes to a few hours at a time.

Newborn babies dont know the difference between day and night. Their sleep is more likely controlled by their tummies.

How Many Naps Should A Baby Take

Unlike adults, babies and young children don’t receive all of their required sleep in one long stretch during the night. Instead, experts recommend infants and children younger than 7 years old supplement with naps to reach the optimal amount of sleep in a 24-hour period.

Theres no right or wrong answer when it comes to exactly how many naps your baby needs. Any number of daytime naps works as long as your baby’s total sleep time falls within the recommended number of hours.

Try out different nap times to find what works for you, your baby, and your family. Learn your childs sleep cues and try using the natural lulls in your childs energy throughout the day to work out the best napping schedule.

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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.

Help Is My Baby Sleeping Too Much

Too Much Sleep Can Kill You, Scientists Say

As a new parent, you are most likely often sleep-deprived and savor the moments that your infant is sleeping. You should be aware of the sleeping needs infants and what is a normal sleep schedule for newborns. If your baby is sleeping too much, its just as bad as if your baby is sleeping too little.

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How Much Do Newborns Sleep

While most little ones average 14 to 17 hours of sleep in the early days, up to 18 and 19 hours may still be normal, according to Nemours Health. After a brief period of wakefulness, infants become extra sleepy during the initial 24 hours after birth, thanks to hormones, maternal medications, and just being pooped out from delivery.

Beyond the first day of life, newborns continue to do little but sleep and eat. Most of this sleep happens in short bursts of two or three hours since their tiny tummies can only hold a small amount of milk at a time.

According to research, newborns have immature circadian rhythms, which is the internal 24-hour clock regulating activities like sleep. This internal rhythm usually takes one to three months to start functioning properly. This explains why most babies snooze the day away and want to party all night.

We also know that infants have shorter and lighter sleep cycles, which allows them to wake frequently and easily to feed and may have protective benefits when it comes to preventing SIDS .

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So How Can You Tell If A Baby Isnt Getting Enough Sleep

Pediatricians and experienced parents have noted these signs of over-tiredness in the very young:

  • A noted lack of interest in people and the environment
  • A tendency to look away from stimulating things
  • Hand-to-face gestures: Pulling ears, rubbing eyes
  • Fluttering eyelids

For older babies and toddlers, signs may also include:

  • Becoming more accident-prone
  • Becoming ever-more active as the night wears on

Ive also culled several markers of sleep deprivation from the scientific literature:

  • Poor recovery from negative emotions
  • Feeding troubles
  • Having a lower threshold for pain

Lets take these up in detail.

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What Is Day And Night Confusion

Newborns and many infants have problems distinguishing between day and night. After all, they spend the first 9 months in the wombs enveloping darkness. Its only natural that itd take some time to adjust. Unfortunately, it does take some infants longer than others.

One of the main reasons for day and night confusion is that a babys developing internal clock is not in tune with the outside world just yet. It will take time for them to sync their internal rhythms and its important parents dont expect this to happen right away.

For the first 6 8 weeks, many newborns will be blissfully unaware of night and day. Their primary concern is feeding, and they need to do this every four hours or so around the clock. Also, due to higher prolactin and oxytocin levels, mothers actually produce more milk at night.

Newborn Sleep: How Much And When

Is Your Baby Sleeping Too Much?

Babies need sleep to grow and develop well. For newborns this is usually 14-17 hours in every 24 hours. But sleep patterns can vary a lot.

Newborns usually sleep in short bursts of 2-3 hours each. Some newborns sleep for up to four hours at a time. Newborns wake frequently to feed because they have tiny tummies. Your newborn might go straight back to sleep after feeding or they might stay awake long enough for a short play.

Some newborns get tired after being awake for 1-1½ hours. Some stay awake and alert longer.

Newborns sleep during the day and night. They dont know that people sleep at night. The parts of their brains that control day-night sleep cycles havent matured yet.

Newborn play might just be a quiet cuddle or some time stretching out and kicking on a blanket. You might find that 10-20 minutes of play is enough for your newborn. You can increase playtime as your baby gets older and stays awake for longer.

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The Right Environment For Rest

Keeping the room dark and setting the right temperature can go a long way to creating an environment that is conducive to sleep.

When it comes to noise, some babies sleep best with a little white noise or soft music in the background. After all, the womb can be a noisy place with the sounds of a constant heartbeat and a gurgling stomach. One word of caution though, if you do begin using a white noise machine or soft music, your baby may come to rely on this to go to sleep.

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