How long should a baby sleep?
We always say that a newborn baby should spend his time sleeping, so when you become a parent for the first time and you notice that baby only takes one or two micro-naps during the day... It’s panic time!
Is my baby getting enough sleep? Why doesn’t he sleep as much as the others? How can I rest if he doesn’t sleep? All these questions are particularly distressing.
In general, between 0 and 6 months, baby sleeps between 16 and 20 hours a day. Between 6 and 9 months, waking times become longer and longer during the day. Between 9 and 12 months baby sleeps only about 15 hours, which represents a night of 12 hours and 3 hours of nap time during the day, often divided into 1 hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.
But these are general data. In babies, as in adults, there are big sleepers and small sleepers...
In all cases, there are certain rules to follow:
Help baby to regulate his internal clock by making the difference between day and night.
Get baby used to falling asleep on his own and in his own bed, so that he can go back to sleep alone if he wakes up in the middle of the night. If he needs your arms to fall asleep, you will be condemned to no more sleep!
Make sure that baby is not in pain, because if he is ill, has a toothache or is simply hungry, he may have a bad night’s sleep, and so will you!
Check that the atmosphere around him is not too exciting. Stimulating your baby is good but not all the time...
If, after all these checks, your baby is still not sleeping more during the day, it may be that he is a light sleeper. In this case, arrange for him to have some quiet time, to go for walks which will allow him to relax and calm down.