If you’re a parent, you probably sigh with relief when your baby shows signs of sleep. Don’t feel too bad about it; we understand. At the same time, you need to measure the duration for which your baby sleeps every day.
The problem is that most babies probably will not sleep for hours on end but break their sleep pattern down into several small naps throughout the day.
This makes it tricky to measure how long they’re asleep and when you should be worried. Don’t worry, this is normal.
How Much Sleep is Classified as Normal?
Need more guidance on whether your bundle of joy is sleeping more than it should? Try the baby sleeping behavior article.
For newborns up to 3 months of age, getting 15-18 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period is common, although, at times, it can extend even longer.
Yeah, your child doesn’t really do much other than snooze the first few months of its time on the planet (probably making up for the countless midnight binge sessions later in life).
For babies just under 12 months, you’re looking at 12-16 hours of sleep per day. Unlike newborn babies, they take a couple of naps during the day and enjoy a continuous stretch of sleep at nighttime.
As your baby adjusts to its life on Earth, they soon discover that sleeping at night is usually the smart thing to do. By the time your child is one, they should have figured out at least a roughly conventional sleep pattern for daily use.
Setting the Sleep Cycle
You may be tempted to relax if you find your baby sleeping longer, and we don’t blame you; being a parent is hard. But in the interest of your child, you need to monitor their sleep closely.
Apart from their regular snoozes, small babies also require frequent nourishment during the day (through tiny portions fed to them 8 times in 24 hours in 1–2-hour intervals).
If their naps interfere with their eating times, it is important to wake them up for feeding. You need to wean your baby into a regular sleep schedule as they grow older.
Slowly reduce their nap times during the day and put them to bed for longer hours at night. This will also ensure they don’t wake up extremely early in the morning.
What to Watch Out for?
If your baby takes extended naps during the day, it is imperative that you also keep a note of any other symptoms that can indicate the seeds of an infection or a disease.
It’s all too common for babies to sleep more to make up for the pathogens they’re internally fighting. What could your child be suffering from? Here’s a small list:
Jaundice in a newborn baby can be lethal if not identified and treated early. This disease is either caused by underlying blood and liver conditions or by the buildup of a chemical called bilirubin in the blood.
A sign of the onset of jaundice is a yellow tinge to the skin and a change in the color of the baby’s excreta. Another easily identifiable symptom is excessive drowsiness, leading to the baby sleeping continuously for long hours every day.
If you notice a combination of these symptoms, consult a pediatric doctor immediately and proceed with the recommended treatment.
Newborn babies can get a variety of infections that target their lungs and blood. Some of these can show clear signs of sickness within a few days after birth; in most cases, these are bacterial.
That said, if the baby spends a lot of time around someone who has a cold or the flu, there’s a chance they may develop a viral infection themselves. The quicker these are treated, the better it is for the child.
An initial symptom of infection is increased drowsiness (particularly during the day) along with extended sleep hours. Do you struggle to wake up your baby every morning? Do they show fluctuations in body temperature and irregular breathing patterns? These are serious problems that need to be promptly dealt with.
Call a doctor to carry out a check-up and implement any treatment that the baby needs.
All said and done; your baby is probably fine if they’re just sleeping more than usual (there’s a lot of us that testify to being extra-sleepy babies).
Just ensure that you’re feeding them properly and not showing any other symptoms of a bacterial or a viral infection.
One of the best ways to ensure that your baby develops a proper internal sleep cycle early on is by creating a fixed schedule for feeding and naps.
Avoiding excessive exposure to loud music, television, or mobile phone screens. Even when the baby grows into a toddler, don’t rush them into the sweet drug that is caffeine.
Avoid excess sugar in their diet and keep it as healthy as you can. This will ensure that the only reasons your child sleeps more than usual are a peaceful home and a full belly.