Is your newborn baby sleeping too much? Are you worried about the irregular or extensive sleeping schedules of your newborn baby? Do you want to know how much do newborns sleep? Then, you are in the right place.
No doubt, sleep plays an essential role in the life of the newborn baby. It not only clams and relaxes your child but also helps them to grow. That is why most experts say that newborn babies spend more time sleeping than waking over in the initial stages of their lives.
Normal sleeping time of newborns
The internal clock in the newborn’s body does not work to control its sleeping patterns in the initial stages. So, it is normal for them to sleep all day long and on irregular patterns.
Well, if you are tired of the irregular sleeping pattern of your baby and looking for a way out, then you should know that there is no way out. The irregular sleeping patterns of the baby are essential for its development. Besides, the sleeping cycle of babies is way shorter than yours, so you have to bear with him.
Most newborn babies can sleep up to 17 hours a day. 12 -17 hours of sleep is normal for newborns. Their sleeping patterns are not regular, either. They usually do not sleep 2-4 hours straight and keep waking up after every 2-3 hours during the initial days.
Newborns need extra sleep than adults
You baby has spent almost a year in the comfort and warmth of your belly so initial days in the world can be a bit overwhelming. So, they spend most of the time sleeping in their initial days after birth. They wake up every hour, usually to feed again.
Newborns can not eat much as their tummies are not big enough to accommodate a large amount of food at once. So, they want you to feed them every 2-3 hours in between their naps. During the first few days, food and sleep in all that these infants need.
How long does this phase last?
Well, there is no need to worry because the sleeping pattern of most of the babies is extended after the second month. Most babies manage to sleep for hours at night. The sleeping cycle extends as the babies grow older. Experts say that after 6th month most of the newborns can sleep up to eight straight hours.
But this does not imply in all the cases as most of the babies continue waking up at nights or after a few hours. But one can take a few measures to help them in maintaining their sleep cycle.
When Do you need to worry?
After birth, babies lose weight due to the biological changes in their body. You have to make sure that your baby starts regaining weight after the first week.
Some babies sleep so much that they do not wake up every 2-3 hours to feed. You have to make sure that your baby eats enough food. Make sure to feed your baby 5-8 hours a day if you are giving bottle milk. But if you are feeding him breast milk, then 8-12 times a day is compulsory.
It is safe to interrupt the sleep of your baby to feed him every 2-3 hours. If your baby is gaining weight at an average pace after the first week, then his extended periods of sleep are not a big issue. Normally newborns must gain 6 ounces every day in order to regain their lost weight after the first week whereas the extended period of sluggish and extra periods of sleep are not good signs. You need to consult your doctor if he does not even wake up to feed.
Babies that fail to get enough food can become dehydrated and become weak which increases the exposure of other diseases. The extended periods of sleep or inactivity may be signs of heart or breathing disorder in rare cases. So, do not hesitate even if you have to wake them up to feed them properly.
Moreover, there are other signs that point toward some abnormality in order to make sure that your baby is healthy and fit. If your baby is being fussy or showing signs of cold, or having yellowish skin in addition to the extended sleep cycle, then you should consider visiting your doctor.
Newborns that are nor getting enough sleep
Extended sleep cycles usually do not cause many problems. But if your baby hardly sleeps a few hours a day, then you need to consult a paediatrician. Such short cycles may be due to uncomfortable environments or difficulty in breathing. Some times respiratory infection can affect the breathing, which may lead to lesser sleeping signs.
Notice some signs in your baby i.e., gasping or breathing loudly, cold and pale skin. Make sure than you pay a visit to your doctor if you visit such signs.
Things that one should do to help the newborns in getting their normal periods of sleep
Just like oversleeping can cause dehydration in babies, quitting periods of sleep can also hard your baby in some other ways. So you have to take a few steps in order to make sure that your baby gets enough sleep.
Difference between day and night
It is really hard to handle a baby younger than four weeks as the internal biological clock of these babies are not functional yet. But as your baby grows older, you must teach him the difference between the day and night time.
Maintain a calm and more silent environment at your house to make them sleep at nights. Do not make much fuss or noise at nights because doing this can confuse your baby about day and night time.
Immediately change the diaper of your baby if it is wet to allow them to sleep properly. If your baby’s skin is sensitive and has rashes due to the use of diapers, then use any other alternative of diapers.
Healthy sleeping habits
Invoke healthy sleeping habits in your baby. Put him to sleep whenever he is tired. Give a comfortable bed and environment to your baby for having an adequate sleep.
You are just being overprotective about your baby because he/she is waking up every 2-3 hours. This is a necessary part of their growth. Being overprotective and caring is a sign of being a responsible parent. In case the baby is showing other symptoms, you can check with a doctor.