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Sleeping Hours Of A Newborn Baby

As adults, we crave to sleep like a baby, carefree and stressless. But if you are a newborn parent, you will know how restless a sleeper your little one is! Hungry every few hours or wetting the SuperBottoms UNO diapers, your newborn rarely makes it through the night without waking up. Therefore, worrying about your new-born’s sleeping patterns is pretty standard as a parent. Typically for the first few weeks, your little one sleeps for 18 hours a day. As a parent, you must understand newborn sleeping hours. Hence, this article explains all your concerns regarding newborn sleeping time and more!

Newborn Baby Sleeping Chart 

Your newborn baby is still getting accustomed to the day and night schedules, which is why you will see your baby sleeping most of the day and barely sleeping at night(1). However, it is a matter of a few weeks, as your newborn is getting comfortable with the outside world. Every baby has different sleep requirements; hence we have curated a chart comprising newborn sleeping hours for each stage of their development below - 

Newborn to 3 months: Sleeping Chart

  • • Total sleep recommended per day: 14–18 hours
  • • Acceptable sleeping hours of the newborn: Not less than 11 hours or more than 19 hours 
  • • Sleeping hours at night: 8–9 hours (waking up every 2–3 hours to feed)
  • • Number of naps: 7–9 hours (3–5 naps)

4 to 11 months: Sleeping Chart 

  • • Total sleep recommended per day: 12–15 hours
  • • Acceptable newborn sleeping hours: Not less than 10 hours or more than 18 hours 
  • • Sleeping hours at night: 8–10 hours
  • • Number of naps: 4–5 hours (2–3 naps)

When to Wake up the Newborn Baby for Feeding?

Newly born babies eat around the clock, and you must often cluster-feed your little one. Cluster-feeding means your newborn may eat several times over 1–2 hours. Newborns should eat every 2-3 hours or more if the doctor directs. As a parent, you should understand your little one's hunger cues, which could typically include rooting, sucking, or sticking out their tongue.

Most babies less than 1-month-old will not wake up by themselves when they feel hungry. In such cases, you must note that babies younger than 4 weeks should not be without food any longer than 4–5 hours. So, to wake up your newborn baby to eat, try to brush the side of their cheeks, which can trigger their rooting reflex, or try gently wiggling your baby's toes.

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep? 

Now that you know about your newborn sleeping hours, the next question is how to get them to sleep? Well, as we know, newborn babies are restless sleepers adjusting to the outside world. Hence to get your baby to sleep, you need to remind them of the warmth and cosiness they were in your womb. Hence, we have compiled a list of strategies for you to try to put your baby to sleep - 

  • • Follow Sleep Guidelines - 

Newborn sleeping positions are not just a matter of comfort but also their safety. It is essential to ensure that you put your baby flat on his back in his crib, without any loose bedding, pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals. These safe practices help to reduce the risk of SIDS

  • • Massage - 

Give your little one an infant massage before bedtime, as studies have shown that massage can produce more sleep-enhancing hormone called melatonin.

  • • Swaddle -

Swaddle your little one to make him feel warm and cosy, just like they felt in the womb. Swaddling your baby with a blanket or a sleep sack can offer an extra sense of security and thus a good sleep! 

  • • Dim the lights - 

Although babies can sleep anywhere, it is always better to dim the lights and create a dark ambience, to induce sleep.

How to Tell if the Baby is Sleeping Too Much? 

Typically, newborn sleeping time is 17-18 hours a day. However, each baby's sleeping needs and patterns are different. It is uncommon for newborns to sleep consistently through feedings or sleep longer than 19 hours a day unless they are ill. Hence, we have compiled a list of some of the most common reasons for your newborn baby sleeping longer than usual -

Your Baby is - 

  • • Experiencing a growth spurt or a developmental leap.
  • •  Having a minor illness, such as a cold.
  • • Having a severe infection. 
  • • Having some other medical conditions such as breathing and heart disorders.
  • • Have jaundice. 
  • • Not getting enough to eat. 

 What if The Baby Isn't Sleeping? 

Newborn sleeping hours may vary depending on their growth and development. However, your little one should get a good sleep of 17- 18 hours daily. If you notice your baby is not sleeping much, there could be several reasons. We have compiled a list of ways in which you can put your baby to sleep - 

  • • Your newborn baby is not used to the rhythms of day and night. Hence, baby enhancers such as blackout shades and a white noise machine may help encourage them to sleep.
  • • It is essential to put the baby flat on his back while sleeping, to which they may object. In such a case, swaddle your little one before putting them down.
  • • Your baby could be overstimulated during bedtime, especially when everyone is home. So, it is best to switch the bedtime routine into a slow and tedious mode, with simple storytelling and soothing music.

When to Contact a Doctor? 

Figuring out the newborn sleeping hours is essential to ensure that they are neither over nor under-sleeping. If you feel your baby is having trouble sleeping, it is best to consult your doctor to determine why. In case you notice the following signs, immediately call your doctor- 

  • • Your baby is gasping for air or wheezing.
  • • Your baby is breathing very loudly
  • • Your baby's nostrils flare up when they breathe.
  • • Your baby has a fever
  • • Your baby has potentially inhaled, touched, or eaten something toxic.

Key Takeaways 

We hope that this article has helped you understand newborn sleeping hours better. Newborn babies are not yet used to the day and night schedule, which is why you will observe your baby sleeping during most of the day, which is entirely normal. Always be alert and cautious of your baby's sleeping patterns, for it tells a lot about their health and development.

FAQs on Newborn Sleeping Hours 

Q1 What are the regular newborn sleeping hours?

A newborn baby typically sleeps for 17-18 hours a day.

Q2 Can a newborn baby sleep too much?

Yes, the newborn baby may sleep more than 19 hours a day, in which case there are chances of them being sick.

Q3 Why do babies only sleep for 30 minutes?

If your baby sleeps for 30 minutes or less, they are likely overtired and need less time between naps.

Q4 Should you wake up a sleeping newborn?

It is essential for newborn babies who sleep for more extended periods to wake them up for feeding.

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