Written by Aparna Hari
Sleeping newborns and infants are the cutest thing to watch. The innocence in their face is a source of joy and affection for parents. Newborns have erratic sleep patterns and sleep through most of the day. This is common as the babies’ circadian rhythm takes time to settle and establish. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that babies sleep between 14 and 17 hours per day for 24 hours. But how do you identify if your newborn is sleeping too much?
The simple thumb rule is that your baby should wake up in between and not sleep through the entire day. As long as your baby wakes up for feeds, there is nothing to worry about. But if your baby isn’t waking up for feeds or when you wake them, this may be a cause for concern. Read to know more about newborn sleep patterns and when to worry.
In This Article
Yes, it is normal for newborn babies to sleep too much. On average, a newborn will sleep for 14 to 17 hours, sometimes even slightly more waking up only for feeds and diaper changes.
Newborns sleep quite a lot. It becomes a task to wake them up for feeds or change diapers. This is especially true during the first couple of months. As the baby grows, the sleep hours come down gradually. Newborns sleep for at least 14 to 17 hours through the day and night at birth which gradually reduces as they grow. By the time they are a year old, their sleep schedule gets more or less consolidated.
Here is the age-wise breakup of baby sleeping
Newborns and infants sleep for at least 14 to 17 hours each day, while up to 22 hours is considered typical for preemies. Sleep occurs in bursts during the day and night, sometimes lasting only an hour or two at a time. Mothers may also need to feed babies frequently once every two to three hours or as per the pediatrician’s guidance. This means that you will have to wake up your baby who is asleep.
A typical 24-hour period for a baby at this age includes at least 12 to 16 hours of sleep. At least two to three hours of those hours should be spent napping during the day. Babies progressively begin to sleep for extended periods at night. A 4-month-old may sleep for six or eight hours at night, but a 6-month-old may sleep for ten or eleven hours. As your little one approaches her first birthday, they will sleep between 10 and 12 hours every night.
Here are some of the common causes of newborns sleeping too much.
Babies go through periods of growth spurts where they rapidly gain height or weight or both. During this period, the body spends more energy which makes the baby more tired than normal. As a result, you will find your infant sleeping more than normal.
Babies who are ill may sleep for more hours due to fatigue and the general feeling of well-being. If you feel your baby is sleeping much more than normal, it may be a good idea to get your baby checked with the pediatrician once.
Because of elevated bilirubin amount during jaundice, newborns may feel lethargic, fatigued, and may sleep more than normal. You will also observe reduced milk feeds from your baby.
Vaccinations might produce modest side effects in newborns, such as tiredness and lethargy, that can last a day or two.
If your baby is not having enough milk due to poor latch or poor milk production, they may sleep for more than normal.
[Read : Low Milk Supply]
Low blood sugar levels may result when your baby is not having enough milk. This may cause the baby to feel lethargic and sleep more than normal. It is important to remember that newborns have tiny tummies and need frequent feeds. This is why your doctor may recommend that your wake your infant frequently through the day and night to feed them.
If you have an extremely sleepy baby, you must first rule out any medical conditions that are causing them to sleep all the time. Illnesses like jaundice or any other medical illness cause your infant to sleep more than normal. Your baby can sleep for long hours but must wake for feeds. If this doesn’t happen and your baby seems to sleep continually, you may need to see the pediatrician at the earliest.
It is necessary to wake your baby for feeds till your doctor gives you a go ahead for more interval between feeds. Newborns do not always wake up and sometimes pose a challenge to you. Here are a few tips you can try to wake them up to feed.
1. Give them slightly stronger nudges.
2. Remove their diaper and clothes. The temperature change may wake them up.
3. Carry them into another place. A change from their cozy sleep environment may cause them to get up from their deep slumber.
4. Talk and sing to them loudly.
5. Tickle their feet.
6. If nothing works, let them take a nap for some more time and wake them up after another 15 minutes.
If your baby sleeps for much longer than their normal schedule and don’t seem to wake up despite repeated tries, you may need to see a doctor. The doctor will rule out conditions such as jaundice, low blood sugar levels or any other illnesses. Observation may be important.
For the first three to four hours after waking up, newborns will demand feeding. During the first five to six weeks, don’t let your newborn sleep for more than five hours at a time.
Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back during naps and at night. The back sleep position is the most secure, and every minute of sleep is valuable. To lower the risk of SIDS, healthcare providers should encourage parents to do the same.
A sudden change in position and movement will cause a baby to cry. The sudden change alerts your baby’s vestibular sense. Proprioception informs them that their body is in a different position concerning their environment based on sensory inputs from the skin, joints, and muscles.
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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