When welcoming a long-awaited baby home, many first-time mothers are faced with a common question: “Is it normal that my newborn sleeps all day?“. It’s natural for this question to cause concern and even a bit of anxiety, but it’s important to understand that sleep is a fundamental part of a baby’s development.
In this article, we will explore how much a newborn should sleep, why they sleep so much, and what factors can influence a baby’s sleep during this special stage of life.
Why do newborns sleep so much?
Newborns have a unique sleep pattern, and sleeping a lot is part of this characteristic. If you find that your newborn sleeps a lot, know that in the first few months of life, it’s common for babies to spend most of the time asleep. They are going through a period of adaptation to the new world they’ve entered, and during sleep, their bodies can devote entirely to their physical and psychological development including the enhancement of the central nervous system and memory.
This constant sleep is essential for a baby’s proper development, as during this period, their body works to consolidate various vital structures. Additionally, sleep directly influences the baby’s mood. Just like in adults, sleep deprivation can lead to feelings of tiredness and stress, which can affect the baby’s well-being and make them more irritable.
How much do newborns sleep?
The amount of sleep a newborn needs varies. Although it might look like your newborn sleeps all day, In the first days of life, it’s expected that the baby sleeps about 16 hours daily. As they grow, their sleep time gradually decreases. However, in the first months, it’s normal for babies to still sleep many hours throughout the day.
It’s important to remember that each baby is unique, and some may show variations in their sleep pattern. Some factors can influence sleep time, such as hunger, health issues, and excessive stimulation during the day, which can make it difficult for the baby to sleep. On the other hand, busier days with lots of learning experiences can make the baby more tired and prone to sleeping even more.
How many hours of sleep are considered appropriate for a baby?
Experts recommend that parents follow the baby’s sleep needs, respecting their natural sleep pattern. However, some guidelines can be used as reference.
Below is an average of recommended sleep hours for each age range in the first months of life:
- 0 to 1 month: Around 16 to 18 hours of sleep per day.
- 1 to 3 months: Approximately 15 to 16 hours of sleep per day.
- 3 to 6 months: About 14 to 15 hours of sleep per day.
Keep in mind that these are only average values and that each baby is unique, so they may have variations in their individual sleep needs.
Should I wake my baby up to feed?
This is a common question among parents of newborns. Initially, it’s recommended to establish a feeding interval of no more than 3 hours. This is important to ensure that the baby is being adequately nourished and to prevent them from going too long without feeding, which can lead to health problems like hypoglycemia.
As the baby grows and breastfeeding becomes well-established, it’s possible to transition to feeding on demand, meaning offering the breast whenever the baby shows signs of wanting to feed, without needing to wake them up for it.
My newborn sleeps all day, is it normal? Here’s the short answer:
In summary, it’s completely normal and expected for newborns to “sleep all day” – around 16 daily hours in the first months of life. Sleep is essential for a baby’s physical and psychological development, and parents should respect their child’s natural sleep pattern, paying attention to their individual needs.
If you’re wondering how many hours your newborn should sleep, remember that each baby is unique, and the most important thing is to follow their own cues and signs of hunger and tiredness. Sleep is a vital part of a baby’s healthy growth, and by ensuring a calm and conducive environment for rest, you’ll be contributing to your little one’s well-being.
To learn more about sleep, breastfeeding, and newborn development, be sure to download the Kinedu app and access expert classes on these and other important topics for parents!