Whereas some new parents have the problem of wondering if they will ever get enough sleep again; other parents seem to have an opposite problem, wondering is their newborn sleeping too much? A baby who sleeps too much can cause as much anxiety for parents as a cranky, fussy baby can.
If you’re wondering about your newborn sleeping too much, you firstly need to understand that a newborn baby’s primary occupation is sleeping – as much as 16 to 20 hours in a day. There are babies who seem to need a lot less sleep but this is simply because each baby is a very unique individual with very unique needs. While for one less may be normal, for another more sleep is needed.
When there is no reason to worry about your newborn sleeping too much
Apart from restful sleep there are several other parameters that will indicate a baby’s good health and wellbeing as well as that she or he is progressing well:
If your baby is taking proper feeds at regular intervals, showing a healthy appetite then this is a good sign. Some babies can have a more phlegmatic temperament and may sleep for longer intervals but may still be taking enough at each meal to develop properly and thrive. If your baby has the usual 8 or more wet/soiled diapers a day, he or she is probably eating enough.
The other parameter of good health is if a newborn is gaining weight steadily. He or she may nurse for very long periods, but may still not be gaining weight, so weight gain is a very significant indication of infant health and development.
Behavior or demeanor
Being content and seeming well are also indicators of good health. A newborn sleeping too much could be a worrisome thing if a baby also seems weak, lethargic or fussy or if baby seems feverish, flushed or has any other symptoms of illness.
If your baby seems fine on all of these fronts, he or she is likely to be doing quite well even if you think that baby is sleeping too much. In fact you may just be one of those lucky parents who actually gets enough shut eye themselves even with a new born around, and should probably just let baby sleep as much as required!
Should you wake up your sleeping baby?
If you are a usual conscientious and well-informed parent you will know that newborns need to be fed every couple of hours or so, particularly if they are breastfed. If your newborn is sleeping too much, you would naturally wonder how your baby is going to get enough nutrition.
According to Mayo Clinic, during the first 10 or so days of a baby’s life, there is likely to be some weight loss. During this time, if you have your newborn sleeping too much, you may have to wake baby up for a feed. Later however when your baby starts to gain weight as per schedule, you can wait for baby to wake up for feedings.