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To Wake Or Not To Wake: Can Your Baby Really Sleep Too Much?

It’s easy to wonder if your baby’s sleeping too much, especially in these early days. But there are simple tips to remember – and ease your mind

When your baby’s a newborn and snoozing for up to 18 hours in every 24, it can make you worry he’s sleeping a bit too much. Even if you are secretly jealous he can drift off that easily – those were the days, eh?

But, it’s generally nothing to worry about. Some babies are just sleepier than others and in those first few months, there are times when you’ll need to wake him up, even if it’s only for a few minutes and he nods off again soon afterwards.

Wake him for feeds

The main occasion you’ll need to wake your child is for a meal. ‘Never let your newborn go for more than five hours between feeds,’ says paediatric nurse and health visitor Dawn Kelly. ‘If he doesn’t wake by himself, you can stir him by changing his nappy and unwrapping him so he’s a bit cooler and not so snug.’

Never let your newborn go for more than five hours between feeds

Look for other symptoms

If your baby seems to be enjoying the Zzzs a lot more than usual, it could be a sign he’s unwell.

‘Even then, there’ll be other indicators such as poor feeding, a fever and just not being himself,’ says Dawn. ‘But, if he’s feeding fine, has lots of wet and full nappies, and seems happy enough when he’s awake, there should be no need to worry.’

If you’re ever concerned, see your GP.

Make the most of it

Your baby will sleep less and less during the day as he gets older, so take advantage of these early months and catch up on your own sleep. Can’t switch off? Put your phone on silent, dim the lights and even try a sleep mask.

The naptime guide

Don’t worry about daytime naps disrupting your baby’s night as he gets older – he’ll generally sleep and wake when he needs to.

‘I wouldn’t recommend waking from day naps for children over six months unless they’re sleeping beyond 4.30pm and you’re expecting them to have a bedtime of 7pm for example,’ says Dawn.

‘Every child is different but waking a napping child could only make him cranky and overtired.’

We know the feeling!

 
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