Whether you have a newborn or an older infant, your baby may sleep excessively. An older infant who sleeps excessively is often only doing so when ill or after a hectic day, while a newborn who sleeps all day is more of a potential problem.
Due to their limited stomach size, newborns must feed regularly to receive the necessary nutrition. Breastfed infants shouldn’t go without food for more than two to four hours, while formula-fed infants shouldn’t go without food for more than three to four hours. Although leaving a very tired newborn asleep may be tempting, you must wake the baby up if it doesn’t feed on its own. Keep a tight watch on the time for the first two to three weeks, and wake your infant when it’s time. Allowing your infant to sleep for more than two to four hours while you are trying to nurse creates a double problem. The baby won’t get enough food, and your milk supply may decrease.
Each infant has somewhat varied sleep requirements and routines. During the day, older infants may take a longer sleep than usual after a very active day. The odd additional daytime rest is nothing to worry about as long as nighttime sleep isn’t disturbed. Giving your baby more than four hours to nap can make it more difficult to tuck them in at night or cause your baby to wake up earlier than usual the next day.
Long lengths of sleep followed by a refusal to wake up for feedings may indicate that your baby is sick. It’s natural for your baby to spend much more time sleeping when he has a sickness since sleep helps fight diseases and recover faster. If your baby sleeps for six to eight hours at a time when only a month or two old, call your pediatrician.
It may be challenging to get a sleeping baby to feed. If you wake your infant while in a light REM stage of sleep when his arms or legs are moving, his face is changing expressions, or his eyes are fluttering, you’ll find it more straightforward. Do your best to convince your infant to take a complete meal because you went to the effort of disturbing him. It’s alright to let your baby doze off again if, despite your best efforts, he is only interested in a bite. But let your doctor know if you’re having problems fitting in two whole feedings in a row.
Allowing your sick child to take longer or earlier naps than usual is OK. Even so, it’s worth waking him up if she takes longer naps than three to four hours at a period since lengthier breaks might prevent him from sleeping through the night.