How Many Hours of Sleep Does Your Baby Need?

How Many Hours of Sleep Does Your Baby Need? | Baby Chick

How Many Hours of Sleep Does Your Baby Need?

There is a ton of research on babies and sleep, but one thing for sure is that sleep looks very different from family to family and that’s okay. While it is crucial for your baby to get the appropriate amount of sleep in a comfortable environment, don’t feel too pressured if you’re not going by all the rules. Here is a guideline of what sleep looks like during the first year of life, and some tips I wish someone would’ve shared with me sooner.

How Many Hours of Sleep Does Your Baby Need?

During week one:

Your baby will sleep what feels like most of the time! They should get anywhere from 16-18 hours of sleep but many newborns sleep even more. Half of this will be during the night and the other half will be stretched out across four naps. Newborns have small stomachs and digest fast, so your baby will need to be fed every 2-3 hours, and yes you will be exhausted. There is no need to wake your baby to eat (unless recommended by your pediatrician to ensure weight gain).

In the first two months:

Your baby won’t be able to tell day from night because they haven’t developed a circadian rhythm yet, so it’s important that you help teach them when to sleep. Provide a comfortable and safe environment for your baby to sleep in with appropriate bedtime lighting. It’s never too soon to teach your baby sleep language, so let them know that it’s time to go “night-night in your crib.”

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From week two to month two:

Your baby should be sleeping 15-17 hours per day with 8-10 of those hours at night and the rest of the time stretched across three naps. It is important that you hold your baby and love on them as much as you want. However, by week four you should get into the habit of putting them down while drowsy and awake for at least one of their naps. Between six and eight weeks, you should have a more established bedtime routine. If you are nursing your baby to sleep, rocking your baby to sleep, playing music, etc., remember that this will be a part of your baby’s routine that will be hard to break later on, so start teaching your baby how to sleep early on!

By month three:

Your baby will have a bigger stomach and sleep in longer intervals of four or more hours. Your baby should be getting 15 hours of sleep with at least 10 of these hours at night and the rest stretched across three naps throughout the day.

By month four:

Your baby may sleep a little less than 15 hours with two long naps of 90 minutes or more, and one shorter nap in the afternoon. Your baby should now already be able to sleep for 8 hours without eating. If they are waking up, just pat your baby’s back and use that sleep language. Don’t feel bad for not feeding your baby in the middle of the night. Continue with your routine and you and your baby will sleep great. If your baby sleeps swaddled, this is usually the time to un-swaddle and have at least one arm out if you haven’t already.

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By month five:

Your baby is able to sleep 10-11 hours straight at night, but most babies don’t. In fact, when people say their baby is “sleeping through the night” this could mean they are sleeping 5-8 hours at a time which is a milestone itself!

From month six to month eight:

If you haven’t already, it is advised that you cut out the mid-night feeds. Remember that a routine is key and car/stroller naps are only disaster naps. They are usually interrupted and outside of your routine. Your baby should still be sleeping 14-15 hours a day, but many babies cut back to two naps during this time.

From month nine to month twelve:

Your baby should still be getting the same amount of sleep but has most likely cut back to two long naps and 10-12 hours at night.

By month twelve:

Your baby is becoming more independent and may struggle to go to sleep as they’d rather spend time playing with their parents. My advice: don’t give in! Once you give in, all the hard work and routine building you’ve done will go out the door and it’s difficult to start that all over again.

Don’t allow your baby to wake up before 6am. If they do, don’t get them until later. And while sleep looks different for all babies, your baby should not stay awake for more than four hours at a time. This leads to over-tiredness which makes it a struggle to fall asleep in general for many babies. Your baby should still be getting two naps during the day, but many cut back to one two-to-three hour nap by fifteen months. And if by 18-24 months your toddler is refusing to take a nap, try and continue having an hour-to-two of “quiet time” in the middle of day to wind them down and give you peace of mind.

READ MORE
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While your baby needs up to 15 hours of sleep on average during that first year, remember every baby is different. Routines are essential, but please use sleep advice as a support tool and not the bible. Don’t be upset if it isn’t what sleep looks like in your household. I have a twelve month old who still nurses for 5 minutes at 3am and that’s okay! Wishing you and your baby sweet dreams!


Resources:

What to Expect the First Year, 3rd Edition, Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Getting Your Baby to Sleep, July 2018.

WhatToExpect.com, Newborn and Baby Safe Sleep Practices, January 2018.

WhatToExpect.com, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), August 2015.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Reduce the Risk of SIDS & Suffocation, January 2017.

National Sleep Foundation, Children and Sleep, 2018.

National Sleep Foundation, How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Really Need?, 2018.

National Sleep Foundation, How Much Sleep Do Children Really Need?, 2018.

WhatToExpect.com, Crying It Out and Sleep Training: What Parents Need to Know, January 2018.

About the Author /

Hello readers! My name is Aida (like the opera). I am a wife, first-time mom, and educator with a MA in Sociology. I enjoy capturing moments visually and through writing, and I am thrilled to share with you the experiences of my journey into motherhood.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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#postpartum #mentalhealth #ppd #motherhood #selfcare #kindnessmatters #postpartumprogress #postpartumlife #newmom #newmotherhood #mommychick #babychick #depression #mentalhealthmatters
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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