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How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Really Need?

How often should my baby nap and how long for? Is my baby getting enough sleep at night? These are the questions that race through our mind during those first few months. These questions are often answered with “all babies are different”. That is true but we all need something to go on.

Babies have the ability to start sleeping through the night at different ages. The best thing you can do is support your baby in this by helping him to learn how to self-settle and by making sure that he has had enough to eat during the day.

Babies need a lot of sleep. As they get older they need less in a 24-hour period and are able to sleep longer in one go at night. The younger a baby is the more frequently they need to be fed as they have very small stomachs. As babies grow up the size of their stomachs increase so they can take more in at each feed. As their stomachs get bigger they can go for longer between feeds.

Below are two tables that provide the information you need.

Table 1 shows how often the average baby needs to be fed in 24 hours at certain ages. Table 2 shows the amount of sleep an average baby needs in 24 hours at certain ages.

Number of feeds in 24 hours

Total sleep for a baby

How much sleep and how many feeds is your baby getting? Does this match the information in the table?

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Michelle

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2 responses to How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Really Need?

  1. For a premature baby we have to go on weight until we can change the feeding frequency – when they are >3kg you do not have tho wake them every 3hrs day and night.
    As they are older and want awake/play time but still under 3kg are they missing out on precious sleep time…? I often ask what is more important, sleep or the total amount of milk they get in a 24 hr period?

  2. Hi Debra

    That is a tricky balancing act. Do they get 15 – 17 hours in 24 hours?

    The 3kg milestone is a big one. Once they get to that weight you can start them on a routine as well which will help them get longer periods of sleep at night.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Does anyone else have experience with premature babies that they would like to share?

    Michelle

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