Is Your Baby Getting Too Much Sleep?
When a new parent’s child sleeps for extended periods at night or takes an unexpectedly lengthy nap, they rejoice. Nevertheless, you may wonder whether a baby can sleep for too long if they sleep for more than five hours a day.
Sleep is essential for most babies, especially infants. In most cases, newborns will sleep for no more than a few hours at a time since their sleep habits are brief and unpredictable.
When your baby reaches an older age and establishes more regular sleeping patterns, you will be able to determine how many hours they get during the day and night on average. Let’s find out the facts about whether a baby sleeps too much and the other matters regarding their sleep habits.
Can a Baby Sleep Too Much?
The simple answer to this question is yes, when a baby sleeps excessively, whether a newborn or an older infant. Sleeping all day in a newborn is generally more concerning than excessive sleep in an older infant, which usually occurs when she is ill or has an especially active day. Due to the small capacity of their stomachs, infants must consume large amounts of food to obtain the nutrition they need. Though it’s tempting to let a tired baby sleep for a long time, if she’s not waking up on her own to eat regularly, you’ll have to wake her up.
During the first couple of weeks of your baby’s life, be careful to keep track of the time and wake her when she’s hungry. A breastfed newborn should not remain without food for more than two to four hours, and a formula-fed baby should not remain without food for more than three to four hours.
If you make your infant sleep for less than two to four hours at a time while you are nursing, she is in danger of not getting sufficient sleep. You might also experience a decrease in your milk supply. In general, though, you won’t have to wake up your baby to feed them for a very long time. Once your newborn’s weight growth pattern has been established, your pediatrician should give you the go-ahead to wait to feed your baby at night until she wakes up (which, in turn, will allow you to sleep better at night).
Is it possible for older babies to oversleep during the day?
Your child may be less exhausted at night if she sleeps for more than four hours during the day. As a result of this situation, it won’t be easy to calm down before bedtime or wake up early in the morning. In actuality, every baby has a slightly different sleep schedule and needs. A particularly hectic day can sometimes leave your child overtired, which causes her to sleep longer than she would normally. As long as her night sleep is not interrupted by this extra daytime rest, an extra day or two of rest is not cause for concern.
Things are a little different when you have a sick child. When a child is sick with a virus or other illness, she will naturally spend a great deal of time sleeping to fight off diseases and recover faster.
How much will my baby sleep in the first year?
Your baby will sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day for the first year of life. A newborn’s hunger level greatly influences the amount of sleep they receive at any given point in time. In the beginning, newborns are likely to wake up every couple of hours, sometimes 3-4 hours if you’re lucky, and demand milk. It is not recommended that your infant sleep for more than five hours a day during the initial 5-6 to six weeks of the beginning of that baby’s life. Following that, here are some general milestones to pay attention to:
- In most cases, newborns begin to express the desire to sleep later at night by the age of four months.
- At six months, most newborns can go for five to six hours without needing to be fed, and they start sleeping through the night.
- A decrease in the number of naps during the day occurs as the infant develops. Compared to an older infant, a two-month-old may nap as many as four times per day, but an older infant may only nap one or two times a day.
Should I wake my baby during the day?
You might consider your baby’s power naps to be a blessing, but if he sleeps for an extended period, you may have to wake him. For very young babies to get the nutrition they require, they must be fed frequently. If your newborn’s sleep cycle does not precisely line up, you should wake her if she has been sleeping for an extended period during the day or at night. It should not be more than three to four hours without food for formula-fed babies, and for breastfed babies, it should not be more than two to four hours without food. For newborns under three weeks old who are still in the process of establishing a weight-gain pattern, this rule applies. After your child grows a healthy amount, your pediatrician will likely tell you that it is safe to stop waking her up for feedings.
Getting a sleeping newborn to feed can, on the other hand, be difficult at times. If you wake your child while she is in a light, REM stage of sleep when her arms or legs are moving, her facial expressions are changing, or her eyes are fluttering, you will have an easier time.
After you interrupt your newborn’s sleep, you should encourage her to eat as soon as possible, seeing as you have disrupted her slumber. When you can’t get your baby to enjoy much more than a nibble, it’s okay to let her doze off occasionally. (Your pediatrician should be consulted if you cannot receive at least eight complete feedings per day.)
Your older child does not need to be woken up to eat anymore. In general, she should not sleep for more than four hours a day. Napping for long periods may make it difficult for her to go to sleep at night or cause her to wake up unusually early in the morning.
In the case of an unwell child, however, this rule is not followed. When your child’s body is battling a virus, you shouldn’t expect her to adhere to her regular schedule; instead, encourage her to take more naps and sleep for longer stretches.
It is good to let your sick infant take a nap sooner or for a longer amount of time than is customary for them. Even so, it’s a good idea to wake her up if she napped for more than three or four hours at a time because prolonged stretches of napping might interfere with her nocturnal sleep.
If awakening her would be difficult, putting her to bed earlier or providing her with a brief late afternoon nap can assist her in making it to bedtime on time.
An unwell child should be roused when she sleeps for more than three or four hours at a time. If she has a fever, is vomiting or diarrhea, or isn’t eating or drinking well, she should be roused to check her temperature, and fluids may be administered to prevent dehydration. Additionally, if she appears to be breathing harder or quicker than normal, call her name so that you may check on her.
Is it necessary for me to wake up every time my baby wakes up at night?
As a baby grows, so do their sleep habits during the first year of their life. We must understand that newborns briefly awaken up to six times throughout the night for this to make sense. Some infants can go back to sleep on their own once they wake up. When an infant wakes up in the middle of the night and needs re-establishment in their sleep, other infants can signal their parents through rocking, hugging, and cuddling. Let your baby soothe themselves back to sleep rather than soothe them back to sleep to avoid the development of a need or attachment.
Maintaining a Regular Sleep Schedule
If your baby is having difficulty getting into a regular sleeping (or eating) schedule, you can try the following methods:
- It is important to take your kid for a walk during the day so that they can get some exposure to natural light.
- You can indulge in a relaxing nighttime ritual that includes a bath, a massage, and the feeding of your baby.
- Before transferring them to the opposite breast, drape a damp towel over their face or have them burp.
- During the day, your child may become overtired if they receive too much stimulation. This may cause them to fall asleep despite being hungry.
- Keeping track of their rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stages may also be useful. This involves being awake but not completely awake.
Importance of Baby’s Sleep
Even though your infant might appear to be sleeping during the night, they grow tremendously physically and mentally. Sleep allows myelin to form around nerve fibers, and new research shows that sleep strengthens connections between children’s left and right hemispheres.
As a result of these advancements, brain functioning matures. They impact many important talents, such as language, concentration, and impulse control. Children’s brains are active during sleep, and the amount of brain activity during sleep directly impacts their ability to learn. For some children, brain activity during sleep can even affect their development and emotional health. It’s no secret that sleep helps your child to develop a healthy brain.
When to See The Doctor?
You shouldn’t worry about waking your newborn or older child if it happens once in a while. It’s okay to need some extra sleep from time to time, so enjoy the extra rest and know when you must wake her (or set the alarm!).
A constantly sleepy child is a sign of a medical concern which, in turn, should be ruled out as soon as possible. It is possible, though, for chronic sleepiness to be a cause for concern. You should tell your pediatrician if your newborn sleeps more than 17 hours per day and cannot eat at least eight times a day. Skipping meals frequently could hinder her weight gain.
It’s also a good idea to seek medical attention if there are other symptoms, such as accompanying sleepiness.
- When she wakes up, she is lethargic or has difficulty waking up.
- Dehydration can also manifest as fewer wet diapers and darker urine. Tearless crying and cracked lips are other signs of dehydration.
- After you wake her, they are extremely fussy or irritable.
- In newborns, not wanting to eat upon waking.
- You cannot wake her up despite her being unresponsive.
It isn’t a problem to let your baby take a long nap from time to time, as long as she can rouse herself easily and appears to be normal as she usually is as she awakens. After about three hours or four hours, wake up to your sleeping beauty. By doing so, you’ll make sure that your newborn is sure to be on a schedule that allows for them to be fed regularly and that your older baby gets a good night’s sleep.