Health Topics

Sleep Patterns in Newborns

The average newborn sleeps much of the day and night, waking only for feedings every few hours. It is often hard for new parents to know how long and how often a newborn should sleep. Unfortunately, there is no set schedule at first and many newborns have their days and nights confused -- they think they are supposed to be awake at night and asleep in the daytime.

Generally, newborns sleep about eight to nine hours in the daytime and about eight hours at night. Most babies do not begin sleeping through the night (six to eight hours) without waking until about 3 months of age, or until they weigh 12 to 13 pounds.

Watch for changes in your baby's sleep pattern. If your baby has been sleeping consistently, and suddenly is waking, there may be a problem such as an ear infection. Some sleep disturbances are simply due to changes in development or because of overstimulation.

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When to Feed Your Baby

Sleep States of a Newborn

Alert Phases of a Newborn

Helping Your Newborn Sleep

Signs of Sleepiness

Sleeping Positions for a Newborn


Last Updated: 12/2013