Like Dad and Mom, they never caught themselves watching their son sleep, and he spent hours and hours sitting there watching his most precious asset. It is a delight to see them sleeping, calm, dreaming and often even making smiles. But in some cases sleep ends up becoming a concern if noticed in excess and the inevitable question comes: Is it normal for a baby to sleep a lot? How long is normal and what is not?
There is no rule for the baby’s sleep, after all, each baby has its own way of reacting and a different organism. Some with more intense sleep, others for the despair of the most difficult dads to sleep. But when they are younger, in the first months the hours of sleep are inevitably more intense and it decreases more and more with the growth of the baby and until one year of life they will be sleeping up to half the time they slept in the first days of life.
Sleep Time Over the First 12 Months
In the first days of birth, the baby usually sleeps an average of 16 to 20 hours a day, obviously with intervals for breastfeeding, changing diapers and proper hygiene. When completing the first month of life, this period already falls to 16 to 18 hours a day and in the second month 15 to 16 hours a day.
Upon arriving at the 4th month of life, the baby will stay awake for more hours, sleeping an average of 9 to 12 hours a night with 2 naps throughout the day lasting 2 to 3 hours. At 6 months , the baby sleeps about 11 hours at night and keeps his afternoon naps for 2 to 3 hours.
At 9 months , nocturnal sleep will still be stabilized for about 11 hours during the night, but your naps start to decrease, lasting around 1 to 2 hours only. Upon completing the first year of life, the baby will be able to sleep from 10 to 11 hours with shorter naps from 1:30 to 2 hours on average.
Each baby has a different rhythm, but parents’ help is needed to create a healthy routine. Adequate times to go to bed, as well as creating the routine of bathing, silence and the right place is essential for them to be able to relax and fall asleep peacefully and in the expected way. It is worth mentioning that sleep is essential for the growth and development of babies and children!
What Disrupts Baby’s Sleep?
Some customs and bad habits can disturb the baby’s sleep and affect the quality as well as the number of hours. For example, late afternoon naps affect nighttime sleep, which should be longer and more intense. A very busy house at bedtime can also disrupt the baby’s sleep, especially if he is used to sleeping in a quiet and noiseless environment.
Radio and TV with very high volume, dogs that bark without stopping, can be allies since pregnancy. If you accustom your baby to sleep even in the midst of “chaos” you will have less problems with outside sounds disturbing your newborn’s nap.
A great villain of babies ‘and dads’ peaceful nights of sleep are also the dreaded colic. They usually occur in the first months of life and cause uncontrollable and desperate cries for dads, especially those on their first trip. First of all, it is not known what is happening, what is bothering and where it hurts and nothing will calm the baby and make him stop crying.
You will notice little legs squeezing, a sequence of puns and crying with a lot of tears and believe the tummy is really hurting and this can last for a whole night until he finds a way to relieve and he falls asleep. Cramps occur due to the immaturity of the baby’s digestive system and the crises occur more frequently around the baby ‘s 6th week of life , disappearing normally when he arrives in the third month of life.
We must also not forget the baby’s feeding, which is the moment to wake up from sleep to fill the tummy. Some babies usually wake up automatically when they feel hungry, this usually happens on average every 3 hours for those who are breastfed. For those who feed on formulas the time can be a little longer and up to 4 hours apart. But one thing they do not change, when they feel hungry they will cry warning!
Another problem that can disrupt the baby’s long hours of sleep (about 6 hours in a row) is the weather. If it is in a very hot environment, it can provide an unpleasant sleep. The ideal is not to wrap your baby too much to sleep on hot days or to make yourself comfortable relying only on the blanket on too cold days.
Also, a transient illness, such as colds or a blocked nose, can affect the quality of sleep and cause the baby to wake up from time to time beyond breastfeeding. It is important to remember that a complete night’s sleep will only be possible when the baby’s body is adapted and ready for it.
If well fed, a baby can sleep for up to 8 hours straight without any problem, but this, from the 2nd or 3rd month of life. In the meantime, live one day at a time and the nights badly slept alike.
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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.