How To Figure Out The Amount Of Sleep That Your Newborn Must Have? - Diary of mummy

How To Figure Out The Amount Of Sleep That Your Newborn Must Have?


Do you have a complaint that your newborn awakes all day or he/she sleeps for 15 hours a day? Figuring out the amount of sleep that your newborn must have can be difficult. It becomes even more difficult when you compare sleeping habits of your child to your sister’s baby and neighbor’s baby. Every child has different sleeping habits. It is very important to set your expectations as it may be the first step to knowing how much sleep your newborn baby needs.

I have observed some parents believe that their three-month-old baby should nap 2-3 times a day for 1-2 hours each time. But few babies require much more sleep than this; whereas, others may not need this much sleep. In some cases, baby sleeps more in the daytime as compared to night. This may also disturb you if you believe that sleeping at night is more beneficial for baby’s health. So how would you decide that how much sleep does your newborn need?

Don’t worry; you have come to the right place, this guide is all about average baby sleep needs.

Average Baby Sleep Needs

newborn baby sleeping habits

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As per national sleep foundation, newborns need fourteen to seventeen hours sleep in a day. But some newborns may sleep for eighteen and nineteen hours over a 24 hour period. Newborn feeds about nine to eleven times in a day, so he/she wakes up in every couple of hours. Those babies who sleep for a longer time at night should be awakened to feed.

You should wake up your newborn after every 3 or 4 hours to feed until your baby shows good weight gain. It occurs within one month. After that, it is okay to let your newborn sleep for a longer time at night.

Every baby has different sleeping pattern and needs. A newborn may get up many times at night during the first month, and it can be the hardest time for parents as well. Here is the sleeping chart that helps you know more about sleeping needs of your baby.


Average Sleep Needs

Newborn to 3 months old

10-11 hours at night and 4-5 hours in day (3-4 naps in day)

4-5 months old

10-12 hours at night and 3-4 hours in day (3-4 short naps)

6-8 months old

11-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours in day(2-3 short naps)

9-17 months old

11-12 hours at night and 2 hours in day (long nap 1+ hour)

18-36 months old

10-12 hours in night and 1 long nap in day for 1-2 hours

3-5 years old

10-11 hours in night and 1 long nap in day for 1-3 hour long

Baby More than 5 years

9-10 hours in night, no nap in day

These are average baby sleep needs, but if your baby sleeps more or awakes all the day, then you should consult with a doctor.

How can You Help Your Baby get Enough Sleep?

newborn baby sleeping habits

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  • You can create a right sleeping environment for your baby by setting a suitable bedtime and put him/her to bed while he/she starts feeling drowsy. It helps to create the right aura to help your baby settle at night.
  • When your newborn wakes up after dark, speak to him/her softly, and keep the lights dim.
  • You should schedule your baby’s naps at the same times each day to get him used to be in a routine.

How Should Your Baby Sleep?

sleeping habits of newborn

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Some parents choose room sharing during the first month of baby’s life and keep baby’s play yard, portable crib, and bassinet in the own room as it keeps newborn nearby and helps with comforting, feeding and monitoring at night.

How to Create Safe Sleep Environment for Your Newborn?

  • You should keep your newborn away from smokers as it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Dress your newborn for the room temperature and avoid overheating. There are some signs of overheating such as feeling hot to touch and sweating. Whenever you watch these signs, try to make your child comfortable.
  • Don’t put pillows, plush toys, sheepskins, blankets, quilts, unfitted sheets, comforters, and bumper pads in the crib.

How can You Help Your Newborn to Have a Sound Sleep?

Newborns have their sleeping schedule in the initial period. However, after a few weeks or months, it is observed that the newborn starts following a fixed sleeping schedule or pattern. This is helpful for parents if their newborn has a settled sleeping pattern.

Initially the newborn may fall asleep during any time of the day and may wake up many times during the night. Once your newborn went asleep, it is very hard to predict that how long will he/she sleep? This happens especially in the initial phase. It takes few weeks to few months, for a newborn to start differentiating between day and night. This process is natural and takes the required time. To make sure that your baby sleeps well at night, try following tips:

  • Keep feeding him/her 2-3 times at night.
  • Keep a check on his/her diapers and change them if required. Wet diapers are not at all comfortable and are a great cause of disturbance during the sleep.
  • ​Keep the lights dim.
  • ​Do not interact with your newborn, once he/she starts feeling drowsy at night.
  • ​You also imitate that you are sleeping, so that your newborn may know that this is the time to sleep.
  • Shift your baby to crib in the night. This will help him/her understand that it is a place where he/she needs to sleep.
sleeping newborn

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Does Keeping Newborn Awake throughout the Day, Help in Getting Sound Sleep in the Night?

If you keep your newborn awake during the day, hoping that this will make him/her sleep well at night, then you are wrong. You should not try this. This is found that if newborns have had a good sleep in the day, they fall asleep easily at night, whereas, newborns who are tired, find it hard to sleep at night. They get irritated and keep crying due to that.

This practice is also not good for the health of your newborn. So it is advisable, to assure proper and adequate rest for your newborn in daytime, so that he/she may sleep well at night.

Is It Fine to Cuddle, the Newborn while He / She is Trying to Fall Asleep?

It all depends on the nature of your newborn. If you find that your newborn is annoyed, then it is fine to cuddle him/her. You can also sing some tunes to make him/her feel good. This will make him/her sleep easily. Moreover, it is found that if newborns have taken proper care during the day, they act a bit less fussy in the night.

When should You Call a Doctor?

It is very difficult to decide the exact time of sleep required for a newborn. But still, if you find you’re your newborn is showing some exceptional behavior or unpredictable sleeping habits, then it is necessary to consult a doctor.


It is very necessary for newborns to have an adequate sleep. This is very important for their overall development during this initial phase. Excess of sleep and lack of sleep, both are not good for newborn’s health. So, you must take proper care and ensure that your newborn is getting adequate and sound sleep during day and night.

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