How Much Sleep Babies Need

If you are curious about how much sleep your baby needs and if yours is getting enough, continue reading to determine how to tell if they are sleeping too much. Sweet dreams!

How much sleep do babies need?

Your baby’s age and other factors will determine how much sleep she needs. Here are some guidelines for getting enough sleep in the first year.

  • From newborn to three months. Healthy babies should get between 14 and 17 hours of sleep per night over a 24-hour day. She will usually sleep for two to four hours in short bursts and wake up to be fed, burped or changed. There is no recommended sleep schedule, but your baby will probably spend eight to twelve hours each night. The rest of her day will be spent taking two to five naps (though this can vary from one baby to another).
  • 4-6 months. Some nights, your baby may sleep for up to six hours straight. By 5 months, your baby’s naps will become more consistent. You should expect to see three naps per day. Your baby will eventually start to sleep more at night than during the day, and her sleep patterns will match the rest of your family’s.
  • 7 to eleven months. Overnight stretches can reach 10 to 12, and naps may consolidate further from one to two hours.
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Other factors can affect how much sleep babies and newborns get:

  • Premature birth. Your baby’s sleep patterns would differ from full-term infants if she were born prematurely. Preemies can sleep as much as 22 hours per day, depending on their preterm status. They’ll also wake up more often to eat. Preemies will not be able to get six hours of sleep at night, or as many, as they would like. It may take them until they are 10-12 months to accomplish this feat.
  • Feeding method. Breastfed infants are more likely to fall asleep at night and sleep longer hours than their breastfed counterparts. The formula takes longer to digest. The formula is not a panacea for sleep problems. Both feeding methods provide the same amount of sleep. There is almost no difference in the results by the time your baby turns nine months old.

The first two months of your baby’s life are not the best time to establish a sleep schedule. Your baby must be able to take a bottle or nurse every few hours in the newborn stage. Establishing a schedule for your baby’s sleep should wait until they are three to six months old.

Remember that safe sleeping is essential in the first year. Your baby should always be on her back, not her stomach, for naps and bedtime. You should ensure that your baby sleeps on a flat surface without pillows, blankets, or bumpers.

Your little one will show signs of strength as she grows up. She may begin to move around in her sleep positions around the 4-month mark. At 9 months, she will push herself to sit down, but the timing of these milestones can change. You don’t have to bring her back, but she will still need to go there each night.

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Are infants able to sleep too much?

Yes, babies can sleep too much. However, this is not recommended for infants. Your baby should be fed at least 8-12 times per day by 1 month. If a newborn is allowed to sleep indefinitely or for more than 17 hours, she may not get the nutrition she needs.

If your baby sleeps for more than four hours in the first weeks, you will need to wake her gently. If she’s not awake enough to eat eight times per day, consult your pediatrician.

What happens if my baby doesn’t sleep enough?

You might also find that your baby is sleeping too much and not getting enough shut-eye.

If you notice that your baby is sleeping less than she should in the day and night, or if your baby’s sleep log shows signs such as persistent fussiness, difficulty settling down at night, or short catnaps instead, talk to your pediatrician to find out how to help your child get enough sleep.

Your doctor will likely give you some tips, such as getting to know your baby’s sleep cues and creating a consistent, soothing bedtime schedule.

You can be confident that your baby is getting the sleep she needs, even if it takes you longer to get through the first few weeks, months, and months. However, it might seem like everyone is getting enough sleep. Eventually, there will be more — and your baby will soon be sleeping like a pro.