Is it normal for a baby to sleep a lot?
First-time mothers have many doubts about their babies, especially when they are newborns. At all times, fears, discoveries and lessons become apparent as time goes by.
One of the doubts is related to the baby’s sleep. Many are very concerned about the amount of hours their children sleep in the first months of life. This concern ends up turning into anxiety and fear, faced with risks, such as sudden death.
Many mothers dream of having babies who sleep well, but cannot relax during this phase. They’re going to the crib all the time, making sure everything’s okay. In other situations, relatives or people close by question about it.
If you, Mom, can’t relax when your baby sleeps or take heed to other people’s observations on the subject, know that it’s very normal for the baby to sleep a lot in the first three months.
When the opposite happens, the baby may become upset, sick, have impaired learning, and it may be necessary to check if there is any health problem or not.
To better understand, you first need to know how many hours of sleep experts recommend and how this influences your child’s quality of life.
Baby’s sleeping needs
According to a chart released by the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics, newborns need to sleep from 16 to 20 hours, divided among nap cycles of one to four hours and night sleep.
However, it is recommended that naps do not exceed two hours in duration. When the baby takes very short naps, you can let him take a longer one, with a maximum of three hours.
At this early stage the baby is still learning to live outside the womb. It is normal not to have only certain hours to sleep and still wake up at night. This irregularity, however, changes as he adapts to a routine.
Babies up to a month old also need to have the same hours of sleep. From the second month, the total hours reduce to 17 hours, divided into three naps and nine hours of night sleep. The total naptime, however, is an average, since all babies are unique. Three to five naps are recommended.
At six months, up to 15 hours is recommended, being 11 hours of night sleep, with two naps. However, some babies can still take up to three naps. At a year old, the baby needs to sleep from 12 to 14 hours and the need for naps is reduced, with the recommendation of 11 hours of sleep at night.
Sleeping the recommended time is not only beneficial for the baby. It also avoids problems such as obesity and delays in learning and development. It also regulates hormones and the circadian cycle, resulting in a much happier baby.
Reinforcing that this chart is the time recommended by pediatricians only in order to give a parameter, you need to observe your baby’s sleep signals. If he gets cranky during the day, he may need more naps or more hours of sleep.
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The importance of naps
Just as it is normal for your baby to sleep a lot at first, taking naps during the day is part of the baby’s development process and are as important as a night sleep.
Those who do everything to keep the baby awake during the day are wrong by thinking that by doing so will improve the baby’s night sleep. Depriving the baby of those daytime rest hours will only harm when night comes.
It ends up having a domino effect, that is, the baby who does not take naps becomes cranky and cannot sleep properly at night and, consequently, also sleeps badly by day and does not create an ideal routine.
Creating a sleep routine
Babies always like everything the same way; they feel safer. Therefore, it is very important to create a routine from birth, as soon as the baby starts family life, which should happen as of leaving the maternity ward. The time varies for each baby.
Even for babies who breastfeed in free demand and intersperse breastfeeding and sleeping almost constantly during this period, it is possible to create a routine. Activities to stimulate development can be embedded.
Stipulate an hour for night sleep. Create a sleep ritual, with relaxing bath, massage, more comfortable clothing, lullabying or white noise, with lights off or dimmed to the maximum.
Remember that the baby is learning how to sleep alone, so be patient and keep the routine every night. The results will appear in a few months.
Risks of sudden death
Mother, if this causes you to become apprehensive when your baby sleeps so many hours in the day and also at night, there are some precautions, indicated by pediatricians, that will eliminate the risks of sudden death.
The first one is to always lay the baby on his back. No matter what your mother, grandmother or aunt might say, that is the right position. The baby can breathe easier and turn his face in case of regurgitation.
Eliminate blankets, sheets, pillows and other crib decorations, which pose a danger to suffocation or baby’s increased body temperature. If it is cold, the best recommendation is to wrap your baby well, wearing layers, i.e. clothes on top of clothes.
Do not forget to burp the baby after feeding, before putting him in the crib. This reduces the possibility of milk regurgitating and causing him to choke. In order to feel more at ease, you can always install an electronic baby monitor.
Seeking professional help
If you want a help from those who really understand a baby’s sleep and will know how to create the ideal routine for your baby, access the BebeDorminhoco site and know more about the course created by nutritionist, specialist in baby sleep, child neuro-psycho-pedagogist, postgraduate in neuroscience, with a master’s degree in education, I.S coach and mother, Karla Mendonça.
Through the course, you will learn to leave the environment conducive to your baby sleeping the amount of hours sufficient to grow up healthy and happy. You too will be able to have a sleeping baby, who sleeps up to 12 hours at night, without regrets.