How Much Sleep Does A Baby Need?

How Much Sleep Does A Baby Need_ - Sleepy Bubba

We all know that babies sleep a lot. For that first couple of months, especially right after being born, babies spend more time asleep than awake. And it is for a big reason, which is that they are still recovering from birth and it takes a lot of energy just for them to breathe.

As a baby’s sleep routine is a total 180 from an adult’s, it can be a concern for us parents as we worry about our babies not sleeping well. But before you go running off to a baby sleep specialist in Singapore like myself, you should monitor your baby’s sleep to have a clearer picture.

Recommended hours of sleep for babies

Now, there is no one-size-fits-all for the number of hours a baby must sleep, but there is a range that babies generally adhere to. However, this is by no means a set range. So, even if your baby sleeps an hour less or an hour more than the recommended hours, it does not pose an issue for every baby is different. 

Note: Do remember that the total sleep time includes nap time.

Recommended hours of sleep for babies - Sleepy Bubba Singapore

Newborns (up to 3 months old)

During the first few months of a baby’s life, there is a lot of sleeping involved, and also a lot of waking up at ungodly hours. This is due to the need to feed. So, it is quite rare to find a baby sleeping through the night right off the bat. 

Infants (4 to 11 months old)

More changes happen during the infantile stage. Infants are awake more and they start to sleep through the night. And as they approach the 1-year mark, their nap time reduces. 

How is it different for premature babies?

Premature babies are even more delicate than full-term babies. So, they need even more sleep, which is about 90% of the time. The amount of sleep though, does depend on how premature the baby was born. The further from full-term the baby is born, the more sleep he or she will need. 

Eventually, though, over roughly the course of 12 months, a premature baby’s sleep pattern will resemble a full-term baby’s. It is at the initial stages of things where we need to be extra accommodating and careful as our babies push through the tough patch.

Why do babies need to sleep so much?

Sleeping seems like such a simple activity that we take for granted every day, but really, sleep impacts a baby more than you think.

1. Growth

Babies usually double and triple their weights over a 12-month period, which is a lot of growth for them to be doing. The reason why they need good, quality sleep is partially because of a growth hormone, somatotropin, that is mostly released during a child’s sleep. Without proper sleep, the growth hormone is not effectively released and this can lead to stunted physical growth.

2. Obesity

Weight gain does not only come from the physical act of eating. In adults, it can come from sedentary lifestyles and other factors. As for babies, research has found there to be significant links between a lack of sleep and weight gain in a child’s later years. So, we might not see it now if our baby is sleeping too little, but the effect may show up in the next couple of years without us knowing why.

3. Immune system 

A baby goes through multi-stages of development in the womb, but it does not end there. Even after leaving our tummies, our little ones continue to grow and develop more intricate systems within their bodies. And one of the most important ones is the immune system. Our immune system protects us from infections. If a baby does not get the required amount of sleep he or she needs, he or she is more susceptible to illnesses and will have a slower recovery process.

4. Mental development

Brain development is of utmost importance, we all know that. And a baby’s brain about doubles its size during the first year. As the brain develops, a baby processes more information and stimuli, has a better memory, and has an improved learning ability, but all this happens a lot while they are sleeping, which is why sleep cannot be compromised.

My baby just can’t seem to want to sleep. What can I do?

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You can see just how much sleep has an effect on our babies, physically, mentally, and generally on any aspect of life. And we want that quality sleep time for them. So, what if I told you that you can give it to them, as I have to mine? 

Your answer might lie in your need for a baby sleep specialist in Singapore, and I am here for you. As a certified baby sleep consultant, I am confident that I am able to guide you in your family’s journey to achieving quality baby sleep in Singapore with a thorough plan customised to your baby and your needs as parents. It all starts with a FREE 15 minute discovery call which will be the beginning of our baby sleep consultations as we navigate through this milestone together.

Author

  • Leann Low

    Hi, I am Leann Low, a Certified Baby Sleep Consultant and a mother to two healthy and energetic boys. I am a Baby Sleep Consultant based in Singapore, certified by the Sleep Sense™ Program created by Dana Obleman. As a sleep-deprived parent turned sleep consultant, I am certain that I can help you achieve the good sleep that you and your little one sorely need.