How long do newborns sleep?

Most newborns sleep most of the day and night, waking up only for food and dirty their diapers. But does your newborn get enough sleep a day? What happens at night? This post will cover the sleep patterns of newborns and the duration of sleep of newborns at different times of the day.

How long do newborns sleep a day?

According to the AAP, Newborn babies sleep an average of 16 to 17 hours a day for a period of 24 hours, but usually in 1-2 hour sections. And, according to the National Sleep Foundation, newborns sleep between 14 and 17 hours a day.

As a sleep counselor for over 10 years, I want to point out that there is a very big difference between a 3-4 week old versus a 12 week old, but both are considered “newborns”. Sleep needs change quickly and, therefore, you can expect your 3-4 week old to sleep more than a 12 year old, for example.

This is one of the reasons we break down newborn sleep patterns by the week. If you compare a 1 week old baby who eats and sleeps almost all day and night, you will see that a 6 week old baby is much more awake.

It is important to adjust your expectations as your baby grows and changes so that you can make sure that you are helping your newborn get proper sleep.

Can your baby sleep too much? The short answer is “yes”, but it is very unlikely. If your baby is healthy, they are probably getting the amount of sleep they need and the babies need a lot of sleep! If you are ever worried, be sure to talk to your baby’s doctor, of course. The total amount of sleep over a 24 hour period will vary from baby to baby. However, your baby’s average will remain relatively stable, which means that they will get about the same amount of sleep each day, unless they are undergoing a growth spurt or have changed their habits.

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How long do newborns sleep at night?

You may be researching newborn sleep patterns and starting to see things about sleep earlier. But do not do it too early! This is because newborns often sleep 8-10 hours a night starting at an average of about 6 weeks. After these 8-10 hours, they can stay awake for play time for 1-2 hours at a time and you do not want it to be 3:00 or 4:00 am! The newborn can stay awake from 3:30 to 5:00 a.m. and then get a 2 hour sleep, for example. Therefore, keep sleeping later until your baby prolongs his night’s sleep to 11-12 hours, which occurs at about 3 months.

Even if your newborn may sleep 8-10 hours a night, it is important not to let them sleep through feeding until approved by their doctor. This usually happens after your baby has doubled in weight, established a good weight gain and is growing properly. Every baby is different, so be sure to get specific instructions from your doctor.

Newborn days are often the most tiring for parents because you can only sleep in 1 1/2 to 2 hour pieces, but take your heart is a relatively short period of time in your baby’s life! Only feels like years.

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How long do newborns sleep each time?

Now that we know how many newborns sleep in a day, we need to discuss how long newborns sleep each time. Some newborns will take a long, luxurious nap for 2-3 hours at a time. Just make sure your baby is not confused day / night. If this happens, you may want to limit your sleep to a maximum of two hours to help them resolve it. Otherwise, we usually let the newborns sleep. Do not worry, they will wake up soon enough!

On the other hand, some naps are short, lasting only 30-45 minutes sometimes. Do not expect all naps to be large, but you should expect at least 1-2 long ones and then the rest are often smaller.

At night, newborns should wake up to feed every two hours until their doctor tells you that your baby can sleep longer. Breastfed babies tend to wake up every 2-3 hours to eat until at least 2-3 months old, while formula-fed babies often go 3-4 hours.

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Sample of newborn program

All in all, here is a sample 6-week-old baby sleep program so you can get an idea:

6-week-old sleep program
year Activity
7:00 AM Wake up, change diapers and milk
8:30 a.m. Sleep
10:00 AM Milk and diaper change
11:30 a.m. Sleep
1:00 PM Milk and diaper change
1: 30/2: 00 p.m. Sleep
4:00 PM Milk and diaper change
4:30 p.m. Sleep
6:30 AM Sleep
7:00 PM Milk and diaper change
8: 00/8: 30 p.m. Milk (Complex supply)
8:30 p.m. Sleep
9:45 p.m. Milk and diaper change
10:00 PM Bedtime
2:00 AM Milk and diaper change
5:00 AM Milk and diaper change

See more sample programs here: Newborn programs per week

Why do newborns sleep so much?

Newborns need to sleep so much to grow up. It takes a lot of energy to build muscle and grow the brain. In addition, they have to process so much of what they see in the world. Remember, everything is brand new to them. Just as we adults may have excessive agitation and drowsiness after a trip to an amusement park or party, babies need to recover from what they see, hear and learn during the day over all the growth that occurs!

How long should your baby sleep in your room?

AAP recommends sharing a room with your baby up to 6-12 months, on average. It is important to note that they suggest “room sharing” without bed sharing. “Sharing a room with your baby is considered the safest and can reduce the risk of SIDS. But sharing a sleeping area can be dangerous. Always make sure you read the most up-to-date safe sleeping suggestions.

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I hope this post has helped you learn more about newborn sleep patterns and will help you develop healthy sleeping habits from an early age. Be sure to check out our free e-books for more information on how you can help your family sleep better!

Bibliographical references:

AAP Newborn sleep is needed
AAP sleep needs by age
Sleeping hours Foundation Foundation
Recommendations for safe sleep

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