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Q+A: How Much Should My Newborn Sleep?

Q+A: 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 many hours of sleep is normal? 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 baby is only awake to eat or fuss in those first few weeks, don't fret—it's totally normal. That said, most newborns 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.

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. But you can encourage good sleep habits from day one by helping baby learn the difference between night and day. Make daytime feedings super stimulating—unswaddle baby, keep the lights on, and play music or talk during feeds. During the night, keep the lights dim and the room quiet or play some white noise. (Then cross your fingers.)

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