sleeping baby
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Is my baby sleeping too much?

Before we get to the good stuff, we want to note that sleep support is only intended for full-term healthy babies. Medical diagnoses or prematurity can greatly impact sleep and change what you can reasonably expect from your little one. Sleep is a highly individual process, and we encourage you to reach out to your pediatric provider or a sleep professional for support as needed. 

Most parents expect to sleep very little during the newborn stage, when nighttime can be quite a noisy and fitful affair. When Baby finally sleeps through the night, it will feel like a miracle. Sometimes Baby will even apply the same restful approach to daylight napping, and some will wonder: “Is my baby sleeping too much?”

Monitor their sleep

First, try keeping track of how much time Baby typically spends in dreamland. The average newborn gets about 16 hours of sleep each day: these hours can range from long, steady periods to brief and intermittent bouts. However, some babies tend to hit the pillow harder and can rack up as much as 18 to 20 hours of sleep each day!

What happens if Baby sleeps more than most?

This higher-end sleep average is no cause for alarm, but it will usually mean having to interrupt Baby’s sleep cycle for feeding and other essentials. While this might make for some audible angst, most babies need to eat at least 8 times in 24 hours for the first two months or so. In addition to feeding, Baby also needs to receive sufficient “touch time” with you.

One way to get your cuddles in without waking Baby regularly is to wear them around the house in a carrier or sling for some time each day. This will allow Baby to keep on counting sheep while feeling physically close to you. Newborns with jaundice tend to sleep a little more than babies without it, but it’s especially important for them to eat frequently, since getting sufficient amounts of fluids and pooping regularly helps them recover.

Going forward

For the long haul, be sure to keep an eye on your baby’s behavioral development. As long as Baby continues growing and meeting developmental milestones, chances are they are getting exactly the sleep they need. 

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team 


  • M. Lampl, M.L. Johnson. “Infant growth in length follows prolonged sleep and increased naps.” Sleep. 34(5): 641-50. Web. May 2011.
  • “How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need?” National Sleep Foundation. National Sleep Foundation, 2017. Web.
  • “Sleeps too much?” AskDrSears. AskDrSears. Web.

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