Does my baby sleep too much?

Sleep   |   Age: 6 weeks 4 days

Does my baby sleep too much?

Most parents expect to sleep very little during their babies' first year, when nighttime can be quite a noisy and fitful affair. When your baby finally sleeps through the night without making a peep, it will feel like a miracle. Sometimes your baby will even apply the same restful approach to daylight napping. But eventually, these welcome exceptions to popular experience can beg the question: “Is my baby sleeping too much?”

Monitor her sleep

First, try keeping track of how much time your baby typically spends in dreamland. The average newborn gets about 16 hours of sleep each day: these hours can range from long, steady periods to brief and intermittent bouts. However, some babies tend to hit the pillow harder and can rack up as much as 18 to 20 hours of sleep each day!

What happens if your baby sleeps more than most?

This higher-end sleep average is no cause for alarm, but it will usually mean having to interrupt your baby’s sleep cycle for feeding and other essentials. While this might make for some audible angst, most babies need to eat every 2 to 4 hours for the first two months or so. However, as your baby gets older, she will eat a little more each feeding time, and will be able to wait longer in between. In addition to feeding, she also needs to receive sufficient “touch time” with you. One way to get your cuddles in without waking your baby regularly is to wear her around the house in a body sling for a few hours each day. This will allow your baby to keep on counting sheep while feeling physically close to you. Babies with jaundice tend to sleep a little more than babies without it, but it's especially important for them to eat at regular intervals, since getting sufficient amounts of the right nutrients helps them recover from jaundice.

Going forward

For the long haul, be sure to keep an eye on your baby’s behavioral development. As long as your baby continues gaining weight and responding to your voice and other stimuli, chances are the next several months should be smooth sleeping.

  • M. Lampl, M.L. Johnson. “Infant growth in length follows prolonged sleep and increased naps.” Sleep. 34(5): 641-50. Web. May 2011.
  • “How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need?” National Sleep Foundation. National Sleep Foundation, 2017. Web.
  • “Sleeps too much?” AskDrSears. AskDrSears. Web.

More articles at this age

Embracing your post-pregnancy body

Motherhood changes many things: you've probably developed a better sense of patience and maybe lowered your standards for your definition of "clean." But how does delivering a baby affect the body?

When can I start introducing toys?

Just about everything is interesting to your baby right now - and why shouldn't it be? It's all brand new! But just like you wouldn't put a calculator in front of her and expect her to know what to do with it, there are a couple of things to consider when picking out what toys to present to your baby.

Nutrition after gestational diabetes

The way new moms eat after giving birth can have an impact on whether gestational diabetes will end with pregnancy, or have an impact on their future health.

5 tips for introducing baby to strangers

When it comes to life skills, the more you practice, the better you get. And your baby's got the potential to go from a shy caterpillar to a brilliant social butterfly. Try using some of these techniques to help your baby with the transition.

6 ways to keep baby still at changing time

Monsters under the bed, ghosts in the attic - they're a breeze compared to the havoc that your baby can wreak on the changing table. We've got two words for you: flying poo. If you've been stressing lately about taking your baby to the table, there are a few ways you can improve your changing game.

6 weeks old

Quick: think of your favorite activity. If you immediately thought 'tummy time,' then you're probably an infant.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏