How do I know if my baby is sleeping too much?
All babies are unique and have different sleep needs. The range of normal is quite wide. So even if your baby seems to sleep more than others, there is a good chance they are just a super sleeper! The amount of sleep babies need changes with every passing month. Newborns may spend between 14-17 hours of the day asleep, but by the time they are toddlers this has reduced to 11-14 hours.
So, here is what we know. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) brought together a group of experts to study the scientific evidence for how much sleep children need to stay healthy. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine also issued a statement on sleep ranges by age. The NSF also suggested some upper limits for sleep at different ages. So, the best evidence suggests that newborns (0-3 months of age) should generally sleep no more than 19 hours per 24 hour period, infants (4-11 months) no more than 18 hours per 24 hour period, toddlers (1-2 years) no more than 16 hours and pre-schoolers (3-5years) no more than 14 hours per 24 hour period. Remember you need to count daytime naps as well as night-time sleep into this total.
Keep in mind that babies who are unusually long sleepers may not be getting refreshing sleep. If your child is regularly sleeping for longer than these upper limits you may want to get this checked out with your child’s health care provider.About Dr. Catherine Hill