Newborn Always Sleeping: When To Worry?

May 3, 2024

We spend hours and hours watching them sleep for fear that they might fall asleep and never wake up again, especially if the newborn always sleeping. They instill so many fears in us that even though it is not the first child, we never know if we are doing the right thing, we feel tired, especially of others’ judgment.

So, if your newborn sleeps a lot and you are accumulating anxiety because you can’t find answers, you can continue reading the information we have gathered for you.

How much should children sleep?

Babies sleep more than adults.

Sleep time, however, also depends on the age of the child. A baby who is only a few months old needs more sleep than one who is 7 to 8 years old.

The Sleep Foundation claims that infants usually need 14-15 hours of sleep, while children up to age six need 11-13 hours.

Anxious parents might argue that the baby is usually asleep all the time, even during feeding, but this should not be seen as a red flag as sleep is necessary for infants to activate mental ability and neuronal functions.

Studies have shown that newborn babies who sleep more acquire higher abilities than babies who sleep less.

Sleep plays a key role in the development of infants’ cognitive abilities.

Newborn always sleeping

Newborn Always Sleeping: When To Worry?

If the newborn always sleeping and we are concerned that he or she may not be well, according to some doctors, some tricks can be put into practice that can reassure us.

We need to worry exclusively when the baby does not wake up to eat or does not follow the stimuli to which he is subjected. If he wakes up a lot and eats, although it may be hard, it means he is in the normal range.

So if the infant eats and sleeps there is no reason to be alarmed because it is normal.

Some babies even have to be woken up to eat, and they never fail to doze off during feeding. These are babies who are fine!

Rather, it is good to always put certain arrangements in place that do not cause the baby to oversleep, that is, it is advisable to assess the environmental temperature and dress and cover the baby appropriately, as too hot or too cold could induce prolonged sleep.

Of course, all these precautions should always be in line with SIDS prevention and avoid unreliable methods to sleep train the baby.

Certainly! Here’s the table with sleep hour ranges for newborns up to 12 months:

Age RangeTotal Sleep (hours)Night Sleep (hours)Daytime Sleep (hours)
0-1 month14-178-97-9
1-2 months12-168-93-5
2-4 months12-158-104-6
4-6 months11-159-122-5
6-9 months11-1410-121-4
9-12 months10-1410-121-4

These ranges can vary from baby to baby, but they provide a general idea of typical sleep patterns during the first year of life.

A child’s sleep cycles

As mentioned earlier, infants are the most sleepy babies, they can get up to 18 hours of sleep (in the first two weeks of life).

Many parents complain of the opposite fact, that the baby does not sleep and needs to be fed every three hours, resulting in numerous sleepless nights for mom and dad.

Sleep habits can be introduced to the baby from three months onward, to lead him or her toward stability, resulting in longer sleep during the night.

Sleep cycles in the infant turn out to be quite different than in an adult. The infant has sleep during the REM phase which is characterized by the processes of change that occur in his or her brain.

Non-REM sleep will turn out to be deeper from six to eight weeks after birth, a period in which he will sleep less during the day to cope with a longer sleep during the night, although he will still sometimes tend to wake up to eat.

Giving the newborn clear and precise routines from the beginning will be of great help in instilling sleep habits in the baby.

However, in the first three months, it will be difficult to teach him not to wake up at night, as the baby will need to feed every three to four hours, this should not be seen as a vice or a whim, but as a natural part of life.

How can I tell if the child is tired and needs to be put to bed?

Those who already have children will surely know what the signs are that let parents know that the baby is tired and needs to be put to sleep.

Usually during the first few weeks, babies this young tend to fall asleep easily, even while feeding.

For babies three months and older, signs of tiredness may be crinkling of the eyes, dark halo under the eyes (dark circles), crying for no reason, irritability, hyperactivity, reactivity, and loss of interest in distractions that are offered; they also tend to whine and cry.

These are signs that should prompt new parents to let their child take a nap.

Being a parent is not easy; on the one hand, we have parents with babies who always sleep, and on the other hand, we have parents with babies who never sleep.
Whatever your current situation is, knowing your baby’s sleep, learning how to read to him, and helping him to be peaceful in letting go of sleep is so important.

That’s why we’ve put together a guide dedicated specifically to the baby’s sleep and consequently the parent’s, “MAMISleep” will help you better understand sleep cycles and establish good ways for your baby to fall asleep and fall back asleep, should the need arise.

We are with you.

At Parentalife, we are by your side throughout the parenting journey, so you can always feel calm. We support you with personalized guides, classes and counseling.

Remember, on this journey you will never be alone: we are with you.

SOURCES

Ednick M, Cohen AP, McPhail GL, Beebe D, Simakajornboon N, Amin RS. A review of the effects of sleep during the first year of life on cognitive, psychomotor, and temperament development. Sleep. 2009 Nov;32(11):1449-58. doi: 10.1093/sleep/32.11.1449. PMID: 19928384; PMCID: PMC2768951.

About the Author

Claudia Denti

Claudia Denti is the founder of Genitore Informato and Parentalife.