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How Much Should My Newborn Sleep?

How Much Should My Newborn Sleep?

If you're enjoying a super sleepy newborn baby at home, the question's probably crossed your mind—how much should a newborn sleep? And is it possible for that swaddled, snoozy baby to sleep too much?

According to Payal Adhikari, MD, a pediatrician with Child & Adolescent Health Associates in Chicago, your newborn might clock a whopping 18 to 20 hours of zzz's a day. So if you feel like your little one is only awake to eat or fuss in those first few weeks, don't fret—it's totally normal. That said, most newborn babies only sleep for one to four-hour stretches at a time, which is why—despite the hours of slumber baby's getting—you still feel like a walking zombie. Getting used to the infant sleep pattern can be an adjustment, but it won’t last forever. So while you may worry about your baby’s bedtime and sleep cycle, know that your newborn baby will soon settle into a comfortable sleep pattern.

When will you finally start getting some sleep? By two months of life, many babies will snooze for at least one four-hour stretch at night, and build from there, says Adhikari. As babies grow up, they start to develop a sleep schedule. Babies will eventually have longer nighttime sleep, though they still wake to feed from time to time. If your baby is fussy at night, a sleep bag could help. Your little one will feel comfortably cocooned, but they won’t get tangled in blankets. But you can encourage newborn sleep patterns and good sleep habits from day one by helping your baby learn the difference between night and day. As part of sleep training, make daytime feedings super stimulating—unswaddle baby, keep the lights on, and play music or talk during feeds. During nighttime feedings, keep the lights dim and the room quiet or play some white noise. (Then cross your fingers.)

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