Why Do Babies Sleep So Much? Here are Three Reasons Why
One of the things that will amaze you as a new mother is the amount of time your baby spends sleeping. According to the National Sleep Foundation, newborns will spend between 14-17 hours sleeping within 24 hours.
However, before you go dancing in excitement and planning lots of activities into this time slot, you should know babies do not sleep the entire 17 hours at a stretch. Some sleep for short bursts of 30- 45 minutes while a few could go to up to 3- 4 hours.
Why Do Babies Sleep So Much Explained
Your baby’s birth into the world is just as overwhelming for him as it is for you, and while he might spend the first few hours awake, he will fall right into these short spurts of sleep soon after, waking only to feed and go right back to sleep. This will continue for the first month of his life and even into the second.
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Common Reasons Why Your Newborn Sleeps So Much
It’s What He’s Used To
From the 32nd week in Nitro, babies spend about 92% of their time sleeping, and from the 38 week, this increases to as much as 95%.
Since they are already used to sleeping this much, he only just continues this schedule when he gets into the world.
He’s Tired Out
Haven’t being cocooned in the warmth of the womb, a baby’s entrance into the world is overstimulating, luring him into frequent bouts of sleep.
The whole birthing process is just as tiring for him as it is for you, and this lures him right into sleep.
However, as he grows, he will sleep less, and by the time he’s 6 months, his sleep hours should be down to 12 – 15 hours.
He’s Going a Growth Spurt
You might also notice a slight change in your baby’s sleep pattern if he’s undergoing a growth spurt.
According to a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor at the University of Calgary Medical School, Peter Nieman, babies undergo vital physiological changes in the few days or weeks leading up to a growth spurt.
Your Baby Sleeping a Lot: When You Should Worry
Babies sleeping a lot is never a cause for concern, so long as they still feed every 2-3 hours and are gaining weight healthily.
However, there are instances when your baby sleeping excessively might be a pointer to an underlying health problem.
Health practitioners have found that the following medical problems can make a baby sleep excessively:
Cold and Other Minor Illnesses
Cold in babies will present itself through a stuffy nose, a slightly increased temperature, possible fever, and more sleep.
Most cold in babies usually can be treated at home and should run its course within 7 – 10 days. You can make your baby as comfortable as possible during this time by giving plenty of fluids and a few drops of saline into both nostrils to decongest the nose.
You should see a doctor if your baby continues to grow fretful, has a temperature over 38°C, or stops eating or taking fluids.
Your Baby Has Jaundice
Your baby would also sleep a lot more or less if he has jaundice. You can usually tell he has jaundice from his skin as he will have a yellow color to his skin and the white of his eyes.
Some mild cases of jaundice don’t require a hospital visit as they can be treated and monitored at home. If your baby has mild jaundice, he should be breastfed regularly, this will help flush the bilirubin from his system, and it should clear within a week or two.
For moderate to severe cases, however, your baby would require treatment under light called phototherapy. A few days of this usually sees the baby free of the ailment.
And possibly other accompany treatments like an intravenous transfusion of an immunoglobulin, enhanced nutrition, and, in more severe cases, exchange transfusion.
Your Baby Has a Respiratory Disorder
A baby’s breathing is slightly different from an adult’s. Within a few days to a few weeks, you should become used to your baby’s breathing pattern and should be able to tell when something is not quite right.
Some signs your baby is not breathing properly include:
- Grunting when he breathes.
- Breathing loudly.
- Gasping slightly for air.
- A wheezing or whistling sound as he breathes.
- Fast, labored breathing.
- The skin around his ribs sinking in slightly as he draws in air.
- Breathing possibly accompanied by a fever.
You should contact your pediatrician for all suspected breathing problems immediately.