How much should a newborn baby sleep? Babies may be too short to compete in the Olympics, but they definitely hold the world’s record for championship sleeping. 

How Long Do Newborn Babies Sleep?

With an average of 16 hours a day (and, rarely, up to 20!), newborn babies rack up more sleep than at any other time in life.

How Much Do Babies Sleep?  

You would think that 16 hours of baby sleep would leave you a ton of free time every day. But baby sleep is shredded into confetti-like bits sprinkled throughout the light and night. 

And if your child only needs 12 or 13 hours of sleep per day, it is even crazier. Between feeding, bathing, nappy changes, and calming crying—God help you!—it can feel like you never get a break.

And many parents are surprised by their baby’s sleep pattern. During the first day of life, most babies are alert for about an hour, and then they can fall into deep sleep for 12 to 18 hours. (Like most of us, they are exhausted by the whole ordeal.)

Is My Newborn Baby Sleeping too Much?

As mentioned above, most babies sleep quite a bit. However, their sleep tends to be in short bursts of 30 minutes to an hour, and up to 3-4 hour bursts. They will often continue on this pattern for 14-19 hours per day. Most babies do not have a regular sleep schedule until they are around 6 months.

What Should a Baby Sleep in?

We recommend newborns sleep in the SNOO baby cot. The SNOO keeps babies safely on the back  in a sleep sack, while rocking them at various speeds, and using soft white noise to calm and aid in putting your baby to sleep. You can learn more about the SNOO here.

Final Thoughts: How Much Should a Baby Sleep

During the initial period of bringing your baby home, you should cuddle your baby (skin-to-skin is great) and offer feedings—but even if she suckles, the breasts contain very little milk on the first day. Do not worry, however! Your early milk (colostrum) is rich in protein, antibodies, and nutrients to get your baby off to a great start. Additionally, like a little camel, your baby is born with an extra pound of food and water in her body.

Over the next day or so, your baby will become increasingly awake and begin the classic pattern (awake for 1 to 2 hours, then sleeping for 2 or 4) that will dominate her life for the first month.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.