How Much Daytime Sleep Is Right For My Baby
Remember, you can’t force a baby to sleep during the day. You can only offer the nap.
For babies 12 weeks and under, offer naps after wake windows of 60-90 minutes. Normal newborn naps last anywhere from 20 to 120 minutes. Check out Short Naps and Newborns for more on this. If you have the newborn class, Will I Ever Sleep Again?, be sure to watch the bonus video on this topic found between Tips 6 and 7.
For babies 3 to 4 months, exceeding about 4.5 hours of daytime sleep can start to negatively impact night sleep.
For babies 5 to 25 months, check out the recommendations for your baby’s age in Nap Schedules: 5 Months to 25 Months.
How Were The Recommendations Created
To create these recommended sleep times, an expert panel of 18 people was convened from different fields of science and medicine. The members of the panel reviewed hundreds of validated research studies about sleep duration and key health outcomes like cardiovascular disease, depression, pain, and diabetes.
After studying the evidence, the panel used several rounds of voting and discussion to narrow down the ranges for the amount of sleep needed at different ages. In total, this process took over nine months to complete.
Other organizations, such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society have also published recommendations for the amount of sleep needed for adults and children. In general, these organizations closely coincide in their findings as do similar organizations in Canada.
Wake Windows For A One
What are wake windows and why are they important? A wake window is the period of time a baby can stay awake in between naps without being overtired. Since newborn babies can’t self-regulate their own sleep patterns, they can become overtired instead of simply just falling asleep.
“Because sleep still varies you are not following a by-the-clock schedule, but rather awake windows between 60-90 minutes. You can have a schedule in mind but just understand this will change daily. You may find that it is hard for your one-week-old to stay awake, which is completely normal. Remember that they are still adjusting to life outside of the womb and they are growing rapidly, which makes them quite tired!” says Mitchell.
You May Like: How To Get Ssn For Newborn
How Should Babies Sleep
During the first weeks of a baby’s life, some parents choose to room-share. Room-sharing is when you place your baby’s crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet in your own bedroom instead of in a separate nursery. This keeps baby nearby and helps with feeding, comforting, and monitoring at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing.
Follow these recommendations for a safe sleep environment for your little one:
How To Deal With Baby Growth Spurts
Since youre already struggling to get enough rest, its extra exhausting to have a newborn who suddenly expects a 24-7 all-you-can-eat buffet. So make sure youre drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, ask your partner or a friend to tackle household chores and settle in for some extra feedings. Your favorite show or a good book can help pass the time.
If you’re breastfeeding, try to stick it out. When your baby seems hungrier and crankier than normal, you may worry that hes not getting enough to eat and think about abandoning breastfeeding altogether. But those temporary round-the-clock feedings are actually your babys way of boosting your milk supply to keep pace with his oh-so-healthy appetite.
If youre really concerned, keep an eye on two things: diapers and weight gain. If hes packing on ounces and soaking five or six diapers a day, hes doing just fine.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re 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.
You May Like: What Items Do You Need For A Newborn Baby
Newborn Sleep Patterns: Are There Any
To the sleepless parent, newborn sleep might seem totally disorganized. For example, consider these points.
1. Newborns never sleep for long.
Newborns sleep in short bouts typically ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours at seemingly random times throughout the day and night.
2. Newborns awaken easily.
In part, this is because they spend a large portion of their sleep time in active sleep, a light sleep state characterized by fluttering eyelids rapid, irregular breathing occasional body movements and vocalizations .
3. Newborn sleep times can vary widely.
In the first few days, the average newborn sleeps between 16-18 hours a day . By four weeks, newborn sleep averages about 14 hours. But the range is considerable. Some four-week-old babies sleep as little as 9 out of 24 hours. Others sleep for 19 hours a day .
Let A Friend Or Family Member Watch Your Baby While You Take A Nap Even If This Means Your Breastfed Baby Will Take Some Meals From A Bottle
Lactation experts often discourage breastfeeding mothers from bottle feeding babies for the first 3-4 weeks. The worry is that supplemental feeds will lead to a decreased milk supply and endanger successful breastfeeding in the long-term.
But you need to balance this against the negative effects of severe sleep restriction. Lack of sleep puts parents at increased risk of illness and opens in a new windowpostpartum depression, which is bad for parents and babies. If you are at the end of your rope, get help.
You May Like: How To Keep A Newborn Awake
When To Contact A Doctor
When in doubt, contact a doctor. Only a doctor can accurately determine the reason that a newborn is sleeping too much. In many cases, a pediatrician may be able to assess the problem over the phone.
Excess sleep in a newborn is not typically an emergency unless they also show signs of respiratory problems. or go to the emergency room if the following apply:
- The baby is gasping for air or wheezing.
- The babys breathing is very loud.
- The babys nostrils flare when they breathe.
- The skin around the babys ribs sinks in when they breathe.
- The baby has a fever.
- The baby may have inhaled, touched, or eaten something toxic.
How Does Your Baby Compare
The Baby Tracker
When it comes to sleeping habits, all babies are different. Even twins are different. You might look at the table above and think that your baby is way off from where he or she should be. Or, you might not know after a few weeks of sleep-deprived nights, everything starts to run together. Thats why I recommend keeping track of your babys eating and sleeping patterns in a log book like the one to the right , at least for the first several months. Not only will it give you an accurate record of your newborns habits as they change, but it will also make a nice keepsake for a time in your life when, lets be honest, the memories might be a little bit fuzzy.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Weight Of Newborn Diapers
Should I Let Baby Nap As Long As He Wants
It might be tempting to let your baby sleep longer than three hours, because lets be honest, having that much time to yourself is wonderful. But naps that go longer than three hours are typically an indication that your baby is crashing, either from a night of poor sleep or prior short naps.
Is My Newborn Sleeping Too Much
As mentioned above, most newborns sleep quite a bit. However, their sleep tends to be in short bursts of 30 minutes to an hour, and up to 3-4 hour stretches. Theyll often continue on this pattern for 14-19 hours per day. Most babies do not have a regular sleep schedule until they are around 6 months.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Constipation In Newborns
How To Clear Up Day And Night Confusion:
- During the day when baby is awake and feeding, open windows, turn on lights, and keep things very bright
- At night, 8:00 pm and later, do all feeding, hugging, cuddling, diaper changing, in very dim or dark conditions
- After feeding your baby during the day, attempt to keep them awake for at least a few minutes by singing, cooing, playing, and bonding
- If your baby seems fully awake in the middle of the night, try turning on very bright lights which will cause baby to shut their eyes
- Dont allow more time than 3 hours between feedings during the day, even if they are still sleeping. Wake them up and feed them again if they continue sleeping. You dont want a 5 hour stretch to happen during the day, you want it to happen at night
- At night, feed them whenever they wake up and are hungry, but let them determine how frequent that is
- At night, avoid stimulating, playing, cooing, singing, or any other behaviors that will encourage baby to stay awake
- Work on your swaddling with these helpful tips.
At this point your baby is getting the hang of the outside world and you are getting the hang of this period.
If baby is napping quite long stretches during the day, then saving his fussiness for night. this could be day/night confusion.
I have had a few babies who would sleep well all day for naps and then would have a two hour stretch at night where they were fussy and not able to be consoled.
This was day night confusion.
What Are Some Common Sleep Problems
- Sleep deprivation: Some children dont get enough sleep. If your child is fussy, cranky or has difficulty staying asleep at night it might be because they arent getting enough naptime or aren’t getting to bed early enough.
- : Your child may have difficulty relaxing and going to sleep if they feel upset that you are not there. Try an extra long cuddle before bedtime, a security object such as a blanket or stuffed animal, or leaving their door open when you put them to bed.
- Nightmares: Most children will experience nightmares at one time or another. Nightmares can happen after a stressful physical or emotional event or can be caused by fever. Your child may call out to you for comfort. Talk calmly, cuddle and reassure your child.
You May Like: How To Soothe Newborn Constipation
Baby And Children Sleep Chart
How much sleep does your baby need? When will your child sleep through the night? How many naps are normal now? Check out our age-by-age sleep guide.
Here’s a ballpark estimate for how much your baby or child should be sleeping, but remember that all kids are different, and some may need a little more or less than others.
Naps: 7-9 hours
Naps: 4-5 hours
Naps: 2-3 hours
Nighttime Sleep: 10-13 hours
Naps: 0-1 hours
How Much Sleep Do Children Need
The amount of sleep a child needs varies depending on the individual and certain factors, including the age of the child. Following are some general guidelines:
1-4 Weeks Old: 15 – 16 hours per day
Since newborns do not yet have an internal biological clock, or circadian rhythm, their sleep patterns are not related to the daylight and nighttime cycles. In fact, they tend not to have much of a pattern at all.
1-4 Months Old: 14 – 15 hours per day
4-12 Months Old: 14 – 15 hours per day
While up to 15 hours is ideal, most infants up to 11 months old get only about 12 hours of sleep. Establishing healthy sleep habits is a primary goal during this period, as your baby is now much more social, and their sleep patterns are more adult-like.
Babies typically have three naps and drop to two at around 6 months old, at which time they are physically capable of sleeping through the night. Establishing regular naps generally happens at the latter part of this time frame, as the biological rhythms mature. The midmorning nap usually starts at 9 a.m. and lasts about an hour. The early afternoon nap starts between noon and 2 p.m. and lasts an hour or two. And the late afternoon nap may start anywhere from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and usually varies in length.
1-3 Years Old: 12 – 14 hours per day
Also Check: Is It Normal For Newborns To Sleep A Lot
Four Reasons That Your Baby Might Not Be Sleeping
Sleep issues can flare up at any point during your little one’s first year, but you might find that there are a few reasons that can suddenly start keeping even the most snooze-baby awake.
1: Disruption in routine can turn your baby’s sleep routine upside down, and it doesn’t take much. From a cold to one or both parents returning to work, or even travelling can disrupt a sleep routine. Plus, babies hitting milestones like learning to crawl or walk can disturb their sleep routine.
Try to get back into your routine as soon as possible, following the comforting bedtime routine that they’ve gotten used to.
2: Trouble getting to sleep even though they’re tired. When babies become overtired, they can become very reluctant or find it difficult to fall asleep, even though they’re clearly exhausted.
Overtired babies that won’t sleep can be a classic case of frustration, but you can combat baby getting overtired by putting your little one down for sleep when they’re tired but not too tired. Once they start yawning or fussing over little things, that’s your cue to put them down.
Make sure you’re keeping a log of the amount of sleep your baby is getting each day, as this will give you an idea of how much sleep they need on average and how much they’re getting. So, if your baby wakes from a nap earlier than usual, but you know from your logs that they need a set amount of sleep, consider getting ready for bed a little bit earlier than usual to make up for the missed naptime.
What’s An Example Of A Sleep Schedule At 2 Months
A 2-month-old sleep schedule might look something like this:
|Sleep, wake only to eat|
|4 a.m. – 6:30 a.m.||Sleep, wake up|
Of course, this schedule is only an example. Different infants might sleep at different times of day or for different lengths of time depending on their parents’ schedules and activities. The same infant might also sleep at different times on different days.
Don’t Miss: How To Deal With Colic Newborn