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Article: How Many Hours Should Newborns Sleep?

How Many Hours Should Newborns Sleep?

How Many Hours Should Newborns Sleep?

"Sleeping like a baby" is a metaphor that has long been used to describe deep, sweet sleep. This is also the envy of many insomniac adults. They feel that babies are carefree throughout the day, except for drinking milk and changing diapers, as if they are sleeping the rest of the day. So how much sleep should babies get a day, and why do they sleep for so long? If you want to learn more about baby sleep, take a cup of coffee to read this article with Kaiya Baby.

How much do newborns sleep


There are individual differences in the sleep time of babies of different months. In general, they usually sleep 12 to 22 hours a day. As babies get older, the amount of sleep they get gets shorter. Newborn babies sleep longer, 20-22 hours per day. 1-3 months of baby sleep time is generally 16-18 hours a day. 4-6 months of baby sleep time is in 14-16 hours a day. More than 6 months of baby sleep time is in 13-15 hours a day. Over the age of 12 months, the baby's sleep time is gradually shortened, generally 12-13 hours a day.
Some babies may sleep slightly longer than the above, and some babies may sleep slightly shorter. However, as long as their mental state is good, mood is happy, drinking milk amount is normal, and baby’s height and weight growth can reach the average level of the baby of the same month, it means that the baby's existing sleep time is sufficient. If the baby's sleep time is significantly shorter than the above standards, there is irritability, crying and other terrible performance during the day. At the same time, their height and weight growth is not up to the average level. Then in this case, it is necessary to actively find the reason why baby's sleep time is too little and timely consult pediatrician.
Here is a rough guide to daytime, night and total sleep time for babies of different months. But these are only averages. Each baby is unique so sleep times may vary.

Newborns (0-2 months) :

Daytime: Newborns usually need to eat, change diapers every time they wake up. So their daytime sleep is usually shorter, about 2-4 hours at a time.

Nighttime: Sleep for a long time at night, usually sleeping for 2-4 hours at a time, then wake up to eat, and then fall asleep again.

Total per day: Newborns sleep a total of about 14-17 hours per day.

2-4 months:

Daytime: Sleep during the day gradually begins to stabilize, usually for about 2-3 hours at a time. 

Nighttime: Sleep time gradually lengthens at night, usually 4-6 hours at a time, but still need to eat at night.

Total per day: Babies 2-4 months of age sleep a total of about 12-16 hours per day.

4-6 months:

Daytime: Sleep time will be slightly reduced during the day, about 1-3 hours at a time.

Nighttime: Sleep time gradually stabilizes at night, usually 5-8 hours at a time, but may still need to feed at night.

Total per day: 4-6 months of baby sleep a total of about 10-15 hours per day.

6-12 months: 

Daytime: Sleep is further reduced during the day, about 1-3 hours at a time.

Nighttime: Sleep is usually more continuous at night, perhaps 7-10 hours at a time.

Total per day: Babies aged 6-12 months sleep a total of about 11-14 hours per day.

How much sleep do babies need?


Day sleep

Night sleep

Total sleep

0-2 mo

4-6 hrs

8-9 hrs

16-18 hrs

2-4 mo

3-5 hrs

9-10 hrs

14-15 hrs

4-6 mo

2-4 hrs

10-11 hrs

14-15 hrs

6-12 mo

2-3 hrs

10-12 hrs

14-15 hrs


Why does your baby sleep so much

Babies normally sleep more than adults, because their age and developmental stage require longer periods of sleep. For example, during the newborn period, the baby sleeps most of the time in addition to eating. During the neonatal period, infants can even sleep for more than 20 hours. As they get older, the amount of sleep they need decreases. There are several reasons to clearly explain why babies sleep longer.

Body and brain development needs: When babies sleep, they can secrete growth hormones, which help promote their body's growth and repair. And their brains also develop during sleep, and more sleep helps babies mature their cognitive and nervous systems.

Energy loss: When the baby is in infancy, their body is relatively weak. The usual crying consumes a lot of the baby's energy and strength. And baby is easy to feel sleepy after fatigue, so baby needs a longer sleep time to restore physical strength and energy.  

Nervous system development: Due to their too young age, baby’s nervous system is underdeveloped at this time. Their cerebral cortex excitability is low, easy to fatigue. So their sleep time required is much longer than that of adults, which is a normal phenomenon.

Immature digestive system: Infants' digestive systems are relatively immature. They often takes more time and energy to digest food than adults. This causes the baby to feel very tired after feeding and want to sleep more.

Why is my newborn sleeping longer than usual?

While it's common for babies to enjoy longer sleep duration, it's important for parents to be mindful that excessively long sleep may indicate underlying healthy issues. Sleep status is one of the indicators that reflect whether the baby is sick.

The baby love to sleep is usually a normal phenomenon, but if the baby sleep time is too long, that is, it exceeds the physiological range or the usual sleep time, you should pay attention to whether it is caused by the following reasons.

Insufficient nutrition: When the baby is undernourished, they are weak. Their body lacks enough protein and calories, which more easily lead to fatigue and lethargy. It is recommended to ensure adequate milk for breastfed infants, and to add formula in time when breast milk is insufficient.

Have a Cold: Baby cold is one of the main reasons why babies love to sleep. When the baby has a cold, its body resistance is weak and it will recover its strength by sleeping. At this time, let the baby drink more water, after a period of time they can gradually recover. If necessary, you can follow the doctor's advice to use baby's cold particles, Jianer Qingjie liquid and other drugs for treatment.

In addition, the situation may also be caused by anemia, it is recommended that timely treatment for targeted treatment. Make sure your baby gets enough sleep during treatment.


Babies' long sleep is a normal, natural sleep pattern for them. Sufficient sleep is akin to watering a seed, nurturing baby to grow strong and healthy. Parents should also act as the guardian baby of their baby's sleep, create a comfortable sleeping environment for the baby, and let the baby sleep more sweet and comfortable.

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Yujia Shi

An expert in sleep sack design, is a valued contributor to Kaiya Baby's blog. With a strong background in baby sleep bags and maternal care, she is highly regarded for her professionalism. Yujia Shi prioritizes baby comfort and safety in her designs, using high-quality materials. Her insightful articles on sleep bags have been featured in reputable publications and have gained a significant readership. Trust Yujia Shi to help you create a comfortable and safe sleep environment for your baby, backed by her proven track record in the industry.

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