Most parents don’t realize how much sleep their children need. A rested child will typically be an overall happier child. Newborns and infants are learning so much every day and sleep them helps to absorb everything in this new world of theirs.
At Night Night Baby Consulting, I am frequently asked how long babies should be awake and parents are usually very surprised to hear the truth. As you will see in the chart below, a newborn’s wake time is only about 45 minutes to one hour… That’s not a long time!
What does it look like when your child isn’t getting enough sleep? Overtiredness in children doesn’t look the same as it does in adults. Children become hyperactive (wired, manic, even giddy) and most likely will resist bedtime.
Here’s a quick table of how much sleep your baby needs:
|Age||Number of Naps||Time Awake||Avg. Hours Night Sleep||Total Hours Sleep|
|0-10 weeks||4-8||45min-1 hour||10-14||14-18|
|11wks – 3.5 months||3-4||1.5hrs||10-13||12-16|
|3.5-5 months||3||2 hours||10-12||12-16|
|5-7 months||2-3||2.5-3 hours||10-12||12-16|
|8-13 months||1-2||3-4 hours||10-12||12-16|
Paying attention to what time they wake and calculating their Time Awake, you will notice that they begin to show that they are tired before the sleepy cry begins. Once a baby hits the sleepy cry, he may already be overtired and therefore, may be difficult to put down again for a nap.
Sometimes, a simple change in schedule of by 30-60 minutes can make a world of a difference. Every child is different and there is no one-size-fits-all way to tell you what is the winning formula. However, identifying what their wake time is and knowing how much sleep your baby needs will help you to get your baby on the path to sleeping well.
My Services Are Not Medical Advice. The advice you receive from me is for informational purposes only and is intended for use with common early childhood sleep issues that are unrelated to medical conditions. My advice is NOT intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health practitioner regarding any matters that may require medical attention or diagnosis, and before following the advice and using the techniques described in The Sleep Sense Program. Reliance on any information provided by Susete Pinto is solely at your own risk.
Susete Pinto, Certified Sleep Sense Consultant
Photo credit: www.kathleenfelionphotography.com