While many parents worry that their newborns are not getting enough sleep, others may feel that their newborn sleeps too much. Finding the right balance for how much sleep a newborn can get is an important thing to help them get the care and attention they need.
How Much Sleep Does My Newborn Need?
Your newborn actually needs quite a bit of sleep to get through all that growth and development. In a 24-hour period, your baby will need to sleep between 14 to 17 hours a day. Some babies may sleep up to 18 hours a day.
Think about all the energy that your little baby is using just to eat, to look around and see new things, and even to play as they get a little older. This is exhausting for the little one and makes them need a lot of sleep. They need that break to recharge and not feel like they are overwhelmed all the time. Plus, that sleep helps with their growth and development.
What Should My Newborns Sleep Patterns Look Like?
Your newborn sleep schedule is not going to be consolidated into one large chunk of sleeping. They do not sleep right through the night from the beginning with a few small naps in between. Keep in mind that the stomach for your little baby is small. They need to keep it full, or they wake up. It is not uncommon for them to sleep for a few hours, wake up to eat and get changed, and go back to sleep a few times during the night, usually in cycles of two to three hours.
This is what makes it exhausting for new parents. They have to wake up every few hours through the night to feed the baby and change them. Once the baby is back asleep, it may take them a little longer to fall asleep themselves. This is hard on the adults who are used to getting a full night of sleep with no interruptions.
As your baby gets older, they will be able to eat more food at one time. Their stomachs will get bigger and can hold more so they will sleep better. You should start to notice small changes in the sleep pattern when the baby is between four to six weeks. During this time, the brain will do a lot of maturation and development. Plus, the circadian rhythm will start to show up because the baby is exposed to sunlight.
By the time your baby is three months old, they may be up for longer periods of time and will need less sleep, usually around 14 to 16 hours a day. The sleep will still be spread throughout the day, but the nighttime sleeping will be for longer stretches.
Is It Possible for My Newborn to Sleep Too Much?
For most babies, it is not possible for them to sleep too much. Sleep is so important for your baby and they need quite a bit of it. As long as your baby is getting up to eat during the day, usually every three to four hours, and you have a wet diaper every four to six hours, then your baby is fine, if you find that the baby is sleeping quite a bit, you have trouble waking them up, and they seem lethargic and sluggish when you wake them up, or they are not eating, then it is time to discuss this with your doctor.
The good news is that it is unlikely your baby is sleeping too much during the day. Enjoy those sweet cuddles and rest assured that your baby is getting the sleep they need.
Sleep Help for Your Newborn
Are you looking for help with sleep challenges with your baby? Louise at Petite Dreamers will make sure your time is not wasted trying methods that are not a good fit for you and your family. She is available for you and ready to respond to any questions you have about the entire process. Get in touch with her today for a FREE 15-minute discovery call.