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Sleep

Sleep



How many hours of sleep does my baby need each day?

What are the sleep needs of an infant?

Sleep needs for babies vary depending on their age. While newborns do sleep much of the time, their sleep is in very short segments. As a baby grows, the total amount of sleep gradually decreases, but the length of nighttime sleep increases.

Generally, newborns sleep about eight to nine hours in the daytime and about eight hours at night. Most babies do not begin sleeping through the night (six to eight hours) without waking until about 3 months of age, or until they weigh 12 to 13 pounds. About two-thirds of babies are able to sleep through the night on a regular basis by the age of 6 months.

Babies also have different sleep cycles than adults. Babies spend much less time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (which is dream time sleep) and the cycles are shorter. The following are the usual nighttime and daytime sleep requirements for newborns through age 2 years old:

Age Total Sleep Hours Total Hours of Nighttime Sleep Total Hours of Daytime Sleep
Newborn 16 hours 8 to 9 8
1 month 15.5 hours 8 to 9 7
3 months 15 hours 9 to 10 4 to 5
6 months 14 hours 10 4
9 months 14 hours 11 3
1 year 14 hours 11 3
1.5 years 13.5 hours 11 2.5
2 years 13 hours 11 2


What are the signs of infant sleep problems?
Once a baby begins to regularly sleep through the night, parents are often dismayed when he/she begins to awaken in the night again. This typically happens at about 6 months of age. This is often a normal part of development called separation anxiety, when a baby does not understand that separations are temporary. Babies may also begin to have difficulty going to sleep because of separation anxiety, over-stimulation, or over-tiredness.

Common responses of babies experiencing these night awakenings or difficulty going to sleep may include the following:
  • awakening and crying one or more times in the night after previously sleeping through the night
  • crying when you leave the room
  • refusal to go to sleep without a parent nearby
  • clinging to the parent at separation
Because sleep problems may also occur with illness, consult your baby's physician if your baby begins having difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep, especially if this is a new pattern.



Comments: Sleep

Comments 26 to 49 of about 93.
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noel - 1785 days ago.
OK moms, I'm looking for advice... Dillon (16 months) has always been a pretty good sleeper. Lately he does NOT want to got to sleep. He can't even keep his eyes open but won't go to sleep, he just screams and rubs his eyes. The Ferber Method doesn't work - he'll scream for an hour or more if we let him. Consoling him doesn't help because as soon as we lay him back down, he starts screaming again! And we can't get him to calm down wihout picking him up. He stays with his grandma's during the day and they lay in the room with him until he goes to sleep, but we won't do that because (a) we never had to before and (b) we know he needs to be able to go to sleep on his own. TonightI thought he was going to hyperventilate from screaming and even when we went in the room, he would not calm down. Hubby finally laid down on the floor with him until he fell asleep. (After about an hour of screaming and consoling, holding, talking, and trying to calm him.) Once he's finally asleep, he usually sleeps through the night, but he acts like we are torturing him when we put him to bed. The doctor recommended giving him Benadryl (basically to knock him out), but we don't want to drug him either. And we've tried it a couple of times out of desperation, but haven't had consistant results with it anyway. Any advice would be appreciated. Please help!

ms m - 1785 days ago.
My little guy is 4 months and has started waking every few hours. He was previously going about 5- 6 hours at a stretch and even the odd 8 hours. Is it a growth spurt, has been going on for almost 3 weeks now. What is going on?? Last night I was up every 10 - 15 minutes between 4 and 5 am. I don't want to start creating bad habits by giving in to a feed every few hours. Any comments on my page would be appriciated. Thanks.

athenaB1984 - 1785 days ago.
My poor baby... We have a soon to be 18 month old, who for the past 2 months would NOT sleep in her own crib..she would fall asleep every and anywhere..but once we laid her in the crib, the screams began. We recently bought her a toddler bed, thinking this might help. WRONG! 2 weeks of co-sleeping with her father and I. Last night, I finally let her cry it out for about 20 minutes..it was horrible and painful for me to do that to her, but it's something I knew I had to do. I knew she was extremely tired, but refused to lay in her bed. Eventually, the crying stopped. I went into her room, poor baby was in the sitting position hunched over her trash can snoaring while cuddling her blanky. My hubby transfered her to her bed..and she stayed in it ALL night...oh man, what a surprise to us. Normally she wakes up screaming bloody murder at around 2-3 am...ahhh...I hope we don't have to go through this again tonight!

mk983 - 1787 days ago.
Help!!! I have 4 month old daughter, and she can't fall a sleep in her crib by herself.I have to carry her all around the house till she falls a sleep. What should i do to make her fall a sleep on her own.

TonynOllysMommy - 1854 days ago.
my son is just days from turning 1. He has slept with a blanket for a long time now. He has been sleeping through the night for a few months now, which has been wonderful! Up until a few nights ago...he has started waking up looking for a tag on his blanket...you know, it's like a shirt tag, on the edge of the blankets? He cries until he finds it, then starts to go back to sleep, but as soon as he relaxes he loses the tag and wakes again, crying!! This goes on for hours!! I'm thinking of just cutting the tags off his blankets...(I have made sure these tags are sewn on very well, so there is no chance they will rip off and pose as a choking hazard). What do you all think??

4thonitsway - 1861 days ago.
help! my 7 month old doesnt sleep. on a good night she only wakes up about 3 times, but on average were talking every other hour. Im due in july to have another so I HAVE to get her sleeping thru the night, no way could i get up with 2 babies. she naps fine in the day, bout 4 hours but refuses to sleep at night

Mommy at 19 - 1870 days ago.
My son has an ear infection so he's not sleeping the night through anymore. :-[ I just started to get him on a schudule (we've been on it for about 3wks now) and now its kind of messed up because he goes to bed at 10:30pm or 11pm and wakes up every 2hrs (because he's in pain). Do you think once his ear infection is treated he'll go back to our schudule, Also I think he might have that sleep anxiety. He will not stay asleep unless I'm holding him. If my mother or sister puts him to sleep and they lay him down he'll stay asleep for about 15-25mins but after that he wakes up crying. I'll lay him dowm so I can do something and he'll start crying really hard. He sleeps in my arms...he usually lies next to me and my arm is under him; holding him. He's 3months old. I know I have to break him from that but how do I do it? I even feel weird if I'm not holding him while I sleep.

smurfwxmama - 1870 days ago.
My husband totally pissed me off last night! I've been trying to get my son to start sleeping through the night, he's 8 mths and the last few weeks more often than not he's up every 1 1/2 to 2 hrs, I know he's not hungry, I know it's not a growth spurt cuase it's been going on for a few weeks now...so I have decided to get hardcore this week and what does daddy do last night, last all of 5 mins and then caves and gets him a bottle!! I was so mad, how am I supposed to get him to sleep the night if hubby won't let me?! He wants him sleeping through the night and not waking for comfort feedings by the middle of April when I'm going to be gone for 2-3 wks but he won't let me do it. Leaves everything to me concerning deciding things for lil man but this time he decides to not.....SO annoying!!! Any info anyone has about things to try to get him to sleep would be great! He went 4 hrs monday night and then last night it was 3 hrs so now I'm picturing 2-3 hrs tonight if the pattern holds true, which is has the last 2 wks...oh and he's solely bf but we've starting him on formula a few times to see if that will help him sleep more at night and nothing, he took 8 oz the other night and still was up at 4 hrs!!

lisadpa - 1872 days ago.
Parent-reinforced night wakings are awful, and it caused me to live in hell for 10 months. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy! After 10 months of sleep hell, it's finally fixed. Anyone interested, details here in my blog: http://www.i-am-pregnant.com/vip-blog/lisadpa/1236592078

boady - 1881 days ago.
well your first mistake is to get her out of bed.. we had that problem with our son. What we did was not go into his room the minute he wakes up. Wait 10 minutes and if she is still crying go in and lie her down reasure her you love her pat her back tell her to go nite nite and leave the room. if she continues to cry wait 5 minutes and repeat what you did the first time. this may take 3 to 4 nights but it works. and it will only work if you are consistant for those 3 to 4 nights.. do not give in no matter how hard it is. It only take one night to start a bad habit but takes 3 to 4 nights to get them back on their schedule. My son was waking up every 2 hours and it got to the point we were taking him out of bed and he would fall asleep on us.. well he was like 10 months old that was getting to hard on all of us. By the 4th night he was sleeping through the night, but we did not give in we did the same thing for 3 nights and it worked. Good luck

kmokat - 1882 days ago.
My daughter slept great through the night up until about 2 months ago. She has slowly gotten progressively worse. In the last 2 weeks, she has gotten to the point where she wakes every hour or so. Ican usually rock her back to sleep, but I don't know why this started. It is also very hard to get her to sleep. This has always been easy. Now her whole schedule is messed up. She just turned 1 years old 2 weeks ago.

annie - 1882 days ago.
I think mine are the exception to the rule, my twins are 17 months and have NEVER sleapt through since birth, they have always woke every 2 hours day or night, at alternative times i have not had a full nights sleep since i was 6 months pregnant, if it wasn't for my fantastic husband and 3 older daughters i think i would have gone nuts by now, but all i can think is how much i love them and it's not gonna be forever.

Bri - 1884 days ago.
JaguarEyes - To make you feel even better...Kekoa is just about 16months and just slept through the night. He woke once at 11 but put himself back to sleep before I got to his room. I went to bed and when my alarm went off at 6 I realized I didn't get up at all last night. YAY! HAHA!

JaguarEyes - 1885 days ago.
Well, at least this is making me feel better that I'm not alone. It seemed like everyone I read about and talked to was saying at 4 months their babies slept through the night. Still waking up 4-5 times between 9pm and 9am. Ugh.

jenim24 - 1886 days ago.
My son is 9 months old and has never slept through the night. He eats baby food, eats snacks, and still wakes up for bottles in the middle of the night. It can be anywhere from 1-3 times a night. I am a single mom of 2 boys and work full time. I am about to cry if he doesn't start sleeping through the night!!! I just ordered a book - no cry sleep solution something or other.... I don't know what else to do.

JenWVU - 1888 days ago.
My son, Wyatt, is 4 1/2 months old now. I exclusively breast feed him.. no formula ever! He used to sleep through the night.. from like 7 weeks old to 3 months. Then he started waking up through the night once or twice probably due to a growth spurt. Some nights he would sleep all night though. I usually didn't have to feed him to get him back to sleep. Well at 4 months, I started rice cereal in the evenings. I have noticed that he sleeps WORSE now that I am giving him rice cereal. Today I tried oatmeal cereal this morning instead of rice to see if that makes a difference. I also wonder if he is teething.. poor guy! I also tried a bath before bedtime with the bedtime bath soap to see if that helps. A bath used to make him wake up more during the night, but I am trying anything!! I am exhausted from getting up 3-4 times a night with him!! Last night he did a little better and only got up twice. It is like having a newborn again!!

JaguarEyes - 1889 days ago.
Wow, thanks Bri. I came to the same conclusion about solids early - I don't want to take the chance of starting before he's ready. I'll try not nursing every time. Thanks so much for your long note.

Bri - 1889 days ago.
JaguarEyes - I feel your pain. My son does the same thing while teething or sick. He wakes up in the middle of the night and the only thing he wants is to nurse. I would suggest trying not to nurse everytime. I know this is tiring but I got in trouble that way. My son got used to breastfeeding every time he woke up. It was awful and it took us a long time to get him to sleep without nursing. If he is waking because of teething have you tried tylenol or teething tablets. It might help sooth the pain. I know when I have a tooth ache it always is worse at night. When Kekoa is teething we give him a bit of tylenol before bed and he usually sleeps a bit longer. Oh and it could also be separation anxiety setting in. He wakes up and see that you aren't there and gets himself in a tizzy and nursing is what comforts him. So many things it could be. As for solids. He is big but I would recommend researching the benefits and draw backs to solids early on. It is now known that cereal does not help baby sleep longer. Solids early on can lead to early diabetes, gast. problems, allergies and other conditions. If your baby is ready for food then he will be very interested in what you are doing while you eat and will be able to eat from a spoon. If your baby still has the thrust reflex then he is definately not ready. Please do your research before giving food early. I'm a firm believer in not giving food before six months but like you said your baby is bigger so he may be ready. Research the signs and make your own decision. Good Luck!

JaguarEyes - 1889 days ago.
Thanks, momentfrozenintime, maybe I'll try solids if this keeps up. So many sources say wait until 6 months, so I'll see how it goes for another week or so, and then decide.

momentfrozenintime - 1889 days ago.
Jaguareyes -- It COULD be that he is more hungry. If you haven't started solids yet, maybe you could try and see how it goes. If he is that big already, I figure it is time to start, but everyone has their reasons. If the only thing making him sleep better is food, there is a chance that he is still a bit hungry when he goes to bed.

JaguarEyes - 1889 days ago.
I need some help. My 4/12 month old has started waking up every hour to hour and a half. He is teething for sure. But that's been going on for a month already. I started trying to make him nap for longer during the day about a week ago (two 1.5 hour naps), so I'm hoping that will help him sleep better at night - I think he was overtired. He does sleep for a total of about 10 hours during the night - just interrupted. I've tried having my husband comfort him, the binky, diaper change, back patting - nothing helps him go back to sleep other than the breastfeeding. I'm so tired. Any thoughts? He's a really big 4 month old - 18 lbs and 28 inches already. Could it be a growth spurt? Should I try starting solids?

Juls023 - 1897 days ago.
Here is a website that was helpful for me and my 5 1/2 month old daughter: http://www.thesleepstore.co.nz/Sleep+Information/ Babies+4+to+12+months/Why+is+your+baby+waking.html

lizzie287 - 1907 days ago.
K so I thought I had things down to an art. Ava is about 6 1/2 months old now, was going down easily after her bath and nursing. She would look up at me when I'd put her in her crib, then roll over and go to sleep. Well we moved a week ago. At first she was fine, she slept through the night the first night, but the second nigh I ended up having to sleep with her. The rest of the week it took a little longer to put her down, but she did eventually. Now the past cpl nights as soon as I put her down she screams. Not only at night, but all day I have to hold her or at least be very near her. I've been having to sleep with her so that I get any sleep. How do I fix this without 'crying it out?'

emi - 1914 days ago.
My little one keeps calling out in the night.. i go in with the idea of just putting her dummy back in but she's wide awake. I know I shouldn't pick her up and rock her or feed her to get her back to sleep.. but if i just put the dummy in she spits it out and calls out 5 minutes later. Does anyone have this problem or any good advice of what i should be doing.. i don't want to start bad habits :) Has anybody had good or bad results from letting them cry? Feel free to respond on my page or here. Thanks so much!

rickey - 1915 days ago.
Hi there, we have a 6 week old little girl that refuses to go to sleep night or day. I initially thought it was over stimulation as we are busy with renovations and contractors at home but there has been nobody here for the past week. She does eventually fall asleep but then only sleeps for 15 minutes and wakes up crying and fussing like crazy. She has her 7 hour sleep at night and if I am lucky she will sleep for maybe 2 hours during the day. We have tried everything from giving her a pacifier that she spits out, putting her into a baby sling and me carrying her around, pushing her in her push chair, driving around with her, and just walking around with her and nothing helps. The moment the movement stops she is awake.. If anybody has any advice pls post on my page... Thanks so much!


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