Babies require a significant amount of sleep to support their growth and development. The amount of sleep a baby needs will vary depending on their age, but there are general guidelines that can provide a good starting point.
So, how much sleep does your baby need, below is a rough outline:
Newborns (0-3 months):
Newborns typically sleep for 14-17 hours per day, with periods of sleep lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Infants (4-11 months):
Infants typically need 12-15 hours of sleep per day, with the majority of this sleep occurring at night and around 2-4 hours of naps in the day.
Toddlers (1-2 years):
Toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep per day, with around 10-12 hours of this sleep occurring at night and the rest in the form of naps during the day.
Baby Sleep Myths: Sleeping through the Night
For many years parents were led to believe that sleeping through the night meant your child slept from 7pm to 7am or fully asleep without waking up for the whole period we recommend above.. This is false and often leads parents on an anxiety-filled journey with all sorts of problems. No one can really sleep through the night, even adults. But most of us can put ourselves back to sleep again if we ever wake up in the middle of the night.
With this belief of sleeping through the night, parents become stressed because they are trying to get their children to sleep for longer periods of time than they biologically can. This in turn causes children to behave strangely or have increased anxiety around bedtime. Everyone has different sleep needs at different stages of life but mostly are within the range we have shown above.
So when will your baby sleep through the night without a feed?
Your child will be ready to drop their night feeds around the age of 6 months. From the clinical point of view, if your child’s six months or older, gaining weight as expected, and your PD says you’re okay to end nighttime feeds because all the indexes are looking good, you have the clearance to start the weaning process. This however may vary between children and my advice is to always consult your healthcare provider should you decide to proceed to night wean.
Tip: should you decide to wean your baby at night and you’re breastfeeding, schedule a pump session before your bedtime to prevent engorgement and drop in your supply. Your body usually can adjust back in a few days.
It’s important to remember that the amount of sleep a baby needs may fluctuate, and they may need more or less sleep depending on various factors such as illness, teething, or changes in routine. Additionally, all babies are different, and some may need more or less sleep than others.
In conclusion, adequate sleep is essential for babies’ growth and development. As a parent, it’s important to provide a safe and comfortable sleep environment, establish a regular sleep schedule, and be responsive to your baby’s sleep needs.
If you have any concerns about your baby’s sleep patterns, it’s always best to consult with your pediatrician.