How much sleep does my baby need?

As a parent and especially as a new parent, you may be worried about your baby’s sleep pattern: Are they getting enough sleep? Are they sleeping too much or too little? Worry no more! You will find the answers here to those important questions. 

 

Sleep is of paramount importance to young children that can affect their brain and body development as well as their behavior. This is the reason why you need to be aware that a baby doesn’t require the same amount of sleep that a child or an adult. To be able to better understand, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), based in the United States, published in 2015 a chart summarizing recommendations for total daily sleep needs by age:  

 

 

 

Age Range 

Recommended Hours of Sleep* 

Newborn 

0-3 months old 

14-17 hours 

Infant 

4-11 months old 

12-15 hours 

Toddler 

1-2 years old 

11-14 hours 

Preschool 

3-5 years old 

10-13 hours 

School-age 

5-13 years-old 

9-11 hours 

* Naps are included  

 

It important to remember that all children are different, and some may need a little more or a little less than others.  

 

 

How do I know if my baby is tired?   

 

There are some behaviors easily recognizable to help you know if your child needs more:  

 

  • Pulling at ears 
  • Yawning 
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Arching backwards
  • Problems paying attention
  • Fussing
  • Crying

 

As a parent, it is your responsibility to care for your child’s sleep because a lack of sleep can result in problems linked to cognitive performance, social skills, obesity, and quality of life later in childhood. 

    

 

Is it possible for my baby to sleep too much?  

 

It is indeed possible for a child to sleep too much, and this practice is not recommended, especially at a young age. As newborns and infants, children tend to wake up because they are hungry. Therefore, if they get too much sleep, they will not be able to receive the right amount of food, resulting in an unhealthy development.  

 

You also need to note that at times children require a greater amount of sleep: a sick or a premature child will have the tendency to sleep more, for example.

 

 If you have any hesitation or questions regarding your child’s sleep pattern, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician.