How To Tell If A Baby Sleeps More Hours Than Usual
In the early days, little ones should be nursing or drinking formula 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period. This means they should be feeding approximately every two hours during the day and every three to four hours at night. No wonder new parents are so bleary-eyed!
Once the first couple of weeks have passed and nursing/bottle feeding is well established, the occasional long stretch of four to five hours may be fine. The best way to tell is to pay attention to your babys diapers and weight gain. Newborns should have around three to four dirty diapers and six or more wet diapers a day and be gaining weight consistently.
A great way to tell if your infant is sleeping more than usual is to use a tracking tool. There are plenty of free apps that allow you to log feedings, diapers, and sleep, but you can also do it the old-fashioned way with a notepad and pen.
When Should A Newborn Be Woken To Eat
During the first three weeks of life, babies should be woken up every “two to four hours” to ensure that a “pattern” of weight gain is occurring, according to the publication. This gets the baby used to eating when hungry or thirsty, versus ignoring those signs to continue to sleep.
However, if a baby is steadily putting on weight to the point where birth weight has been regained and even surpassed, then most pediatricians will give their blessing to let a baby sleep for longer periods in between feedings. If the baby gives any signs that he is not getting enough to eat by extending the time from one feeding to the next, it may be necessary to go back to waking him until it is clear he is not suffering from hunger or dehydration.
Changes In Your Newborns Sleep
Your newborn wont have much of a schedule until their a few months old, but there will be somewhat of a pattern present. If theres a sudden change in your babys usual patterns, it could be due to one of the reasons described below.
Unpredictability due to the Newborn Sleep Cycle/Pattern
While your newborn might have your eyes or nose, they definitely do not have your sleep cycle. Newborn sleep patterns are completely different than adults because they wake much more frequently and erratically during any stretch of sleep. This is completely natural, but be prepared for some serious unpredictability with their sleep cycle, especially during the first two months. Read our article to learn more about Your Babys Sleep Cycle.
Your baby is literally growing right before your eyes every single day. If your newborn is experiencing a growth spurt, you might find that they are eating constantly. And if shes not eating, its because shes sleeping. This is completely normal, and necessary! During a growth spurt, babies need the extra rest and nourishment. Your baby is likely to go through a growth spurt at:
– 7-10 Days Old- 3 Months Old
4 Month Sleep Regression
Sleeping Through the Night
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Things To Look Out For When Your Baby Is Sick
It is always important that you monitor your babys sleep, even more so when he is sick. Here are some of the things that you should look out for, and if your baby shows these signs, take him to a doctor for further examination.
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If your baby is below 3 months old, bring him to visit the doctor immediately when hes showing signs of fever, his immune system is not developed yet and may not always be able to fight off infections.
For babies older than 3 months old, its normal for the fever to stay up to 3 days. My doctor usually asks me to go back and continue monitoring if his temperature doesnt reach 102°F .
If his fever doesnt go higher than this and doesnt stay longer than three days, I wont bring him to the doctor because its a waste of time and money. The doctor always asks me to go back and monitor, and he gets well on his own after that. That said, if it worries you, just bring him to the doctor, trust your instincts
Does My Baby Sleep Too Much
Some babies are better sleepers than others. They might not wake up for meals in favor of sleep, though. Youll need to be extra careful during the first couple of weeks and assess their progress.
Keep an eye on your babys diapers. Their urine shouldnt be too yellow , and there should be an adequate number of stools of the right color. Mustard in color and seedy texture are normal.
A baby who doesnt sleep enough will be clingy and whiny. Or, they might be hyper and hard to soothe. A sleepy baby doesnt have these issues, but can make parents antsy by sleeping too soundly.
It takes at least six months for a baby to establish their own circadian rhythm. But if yours seems to be oblivious to any differences between night and day, a bit of help might be just what they need to get used to feeding at regular intervals and thriving.
If youre dealing with an overly sleepy baby, youll first need to make sure there are no medical issues causing them to sleep all the time.
Jaundice, infections, and any medical procedures, such as circumcision, can make your baby sleepier than usual.
Your pediatrician will check if your baby is gaining enough weight. If not, you might need to wake them up to eat every three hours depending on your doctors recommendations.
Here are some things you can try to promote regular sleeping schedules:
You can also try to monitor their rapid eye movement sleep stage. This is the light sleep stage.
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How Serious The Sickness Is
This question should go hand in hand with the 1st question, and with all other factors taken into consideration, for example:
If your baby is 4-months-old and has a temperature of 38°C , it is considered to be more serious than a 3-year-old who has the same temperature but is active and still going about his daily activities as per normal.
If your baby is having teething symptoms and is having fever, compared to a toddler who has viral fever symptoms . The latter is considered to be more serious as it may spread to others or his siblings.
Also, considering that he is suffering from more than one sickness and discomfort in different parts of his body.
How To Help Newborns Get In Sync With The Natural 24
1. Make your baby a part of your daily routine.
When parents include their newborns in their daily activities, newborn may adapt more rapidly to the 24-hour day .
One study took continuous measurements of mother-infant activity patterns for four months after birth. Newborns who were active at the same time of day as their mothers were quicker to develop mature circadian rhythms .
2. Reduce stimulation at night.
When your baby wakes for night time feedings, keep activity to a minimum. Make as little noise as possible, and avoid moving your baby around. Ideally, you want to avoid waking her all the way up. But if that isnt possible, at least try to minimize the hustle and bustle. You want the baby to learn that nighttime is for sleep and quiet.
3. Expose your newborn to natural lighting patterns.
Light cues might not instantly synchronize newborn sleep patterns, but they help.
For example, in one study, newborns slept longer at night if their parents observed a regular policy of turning out the lights by 9pm .
In another study, young babies tended to sleep longer at night if they had been exposed to lots of early afternoon light .
And time spent outdoors might make an important difference. Babies who go outside experience much higher daytime light levels than those kept indoors all day, and may develop stronger circadian rhythms as a result .
4. Try infant massage.
The takeaway? More research is needed on this topic , but meanwhile, this seems worth a try.
Also Check: How Many Diapers Do You Need For Newborn
First Things First: Adjust For Prematurity
Your babys sleep typically matures week by week based on your estimated due date. If your baby was born before due date, youll want to be sure to adjust for that. For example, if your baby was born 2 weeks before due date, when your baby is 7 weeks old, she is considered only 5 weeks old in terms of sleep development. If your baby was born post due date its possible shell be a little precocious in her sleep development, but in a situation like that we suggest calculating sleep age from BIRTH date. In other words, when it comes to due dates and birth dates use the date that came later to figure out your babys sleep age.
When your baby reaches approximately 6 months you can stop adjusting.
Allow other caregivers to soothe your baby and offer a variety of soothing if possible.
Sleep Characteristics Of 3 Months Old Baby
- Infants sleep a lot, but the schedule is quite erratic, which will make you sleep deprived and tired.
- The baby will sleep longer at night, wakes up in the middle of the night to feed or be cuddled.
- The sleeping time of each child is different, each day and each time are also different .
- Babies are easy to sleep but easy to wake up .
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Normal Sleepiness In Newborns And Infants
When they’re very young, newborns and infants can be sleepy for many reasons, and it’s normal for your child to be drowsy for some of their feedings. Just after birth, your baby may be tired or still affected by the medications that you were given during labor and delivery. Plus, some newborns just like to sleep a lot.
After two months, your baby will most likely be able to sleep as much as they want between feedings. Just be sure babies who are exclusively breastfeeding nurse about every 2 to 4 hours and monitor them to ensure they are gaining weight well.
As the weeks go on, you will be able to let your child sleep for longer periods of time between feedings. At approximately two weeks of age, your baby may have one long stretch of sleep each day of up to five hours , where you don’t have to wake them for feeding.
How Can You Help Your Baby Fall Asleep
Not all babies know how to put themselves to sleep. When it’s time for bed, many parents want to rock their baby to sleep. Newborns and younger infants will fall asleep while breastfeeding. Having a routine at bedtime is a good idea. But if an older baby falls asleep while eating or in your arms, this may become a pattern. Your baby may then start to expect to be in your arms to fall asleep. When your baby briefly awakens during a sleep cycle, he or she may not be able to go back to sleep on his or her own.
After the newborn period, most experts recommend allowing your baby to become sleepy in your arms, then placing him or her in the bed while still awake. This way your baby learns how to go to sleep on his or her own. Playing soft music while your baby is getting sleepy is also a good way to help create a bedtime routine.
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Newborn Sleep: How Much And When
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.
Guidelines For Infant Sleep
How much sleep does your baby need? A baby needs proper sleep balance. A baby sleeping too much is unhealthy, similar to how not getting enough sleep is dangerous. There are general guidelines that may help you evaluate how much sleep your child needs. Keep in mind that your infant does not yet have a circadian rhythm or internal biological clock so their sleep patterns are not going to be related to daylight or night cycles. As a newborn grows, they will begin to sleep at night while waking several times to feed.
Typically, infants do not have a regulated sleep schedule until they are approximately six months old. Newborns are generally not awake for more than three hours at a time, so a baby sleeping too much at that age shouldnt be a concern. Typically infants sleep in periods of 30 to 45 minutes and up to three to four hours. For newborns, it is normal if they wake up only for feedings and go back to sleep afterward. Infants typically do not have sleep styles that are consistent. The total amount of time that your child sleeps each day may fluctuate up to two hours.
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What If My Child Regularly Has Trouble Falling Asleep
Some children have trouble falling asleep on their own and can lay awake for long periods of time. This can be caused by too much screen time before bed, or caffeine from soda and energy drinks.
- If your child is watching TV or playing video games for long periods of time, try limiting screen time or cutting it out of the bedtime routine.
- Dont allow your child to drink or eat anything with caffeine.
- Try doing relaxing activities before bed such as reading, listening to calming music, or laying in bed with your child talking quietly about their day.
If these reasons arent the cause, talk to your doctor about other ways to help your child learn to fall asleep on their own.