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How Much Sleep Do Newborns Need?

How Much Sleep Do Newborns Need?

Sleep is an essential component of everyone’s health, including newborn babies. It’s important for their growth and development. In this article, we will explore the sleep needs of newborns, understand why sleep is crucial for their health, and provide some practical tips for establishing healthy sleep habits.

Explore the sleep needs of newborns, understand why sleep is crucial for their growth and development, and discover practical tips for establishing healthy sleep habits.

What is Considered a Newborn?

A newborn is a baby who is less than two months old. This is a period of rapid growth and development, with sleep playing a pivotal role.

How Much Sleep Do Newborns Need?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, newborns typically need between 14 to 17 hours of sleep per day. This sleep pattern often occurs in small bouts spread throughout the day and night, as the newborns’ circadian rhythm — the internal body clock — is yet to be established.

Guideline for the sleep needs of children from newborns to toddlers:

Age RangeTotal Sleep NeededDaytime SleepNight-time Sleep
Newborns (0-3 months)14-17 hoursVariesVaries
Infants (4-11 months)12-15 hours3-4 hours8-12 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years)11-14 hours1-3 hours9-11 hours

Please note that these are general guidelines and individual sleep needs can vary.

Why is Sleep So Important for Newborns?

Sleep is crucial for newborns for the following reasons:

  • Brain Development: During sleep, the brain forms new pathways that help with learning and memory. It’s an essential time for the brain to process and consolidate new information.
  • Physical Growth: The growth hormone is primarily secreted during sleep. Adequate sleep is thus essential for a baby’s growth.
  • Immune System: Sleep helps to bolster the immune system and fight off illness.

“Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker

Tips for Helping Your Newborn Sleep

Here are a few strategies that can help your newborn establish healthy sleep habits:

  1. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: A quiet, dimly lit environment can help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep. Try using a white noise machine to drown out any background noise.
  2. Establish a Bedtime Routine: A consistent bedtime routine can help signal your baby that it’s time to sleep. This routine could include activities such as a warm bath, a bedtime story, and cuddling.
  3. Swaddling: Swaddling can help newborns feel secure and may aid in prolonging sleep.
  4. Recognize Sleep Cues: Look for signs that your baby is tired, such as rubbing eyes, yawning, or fussiness. Putting your baby down to sleep when showing these signs can help establish good sleep habits.

Remember, every baby is unique, so what works for one might not work for another. The most important thing is to be patient and flexible.


Understanding your newborn’s sleep needs can greatly contribute to their health and development. Remember to consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby’s sleep patterns. After all, a well-rested baby is a happy baby!

Remember: “The future depends on what you do today.” – Mahatma Gandhi. The sleep habits you establish for your newborn today will impact their health and wellbeing in the future.


Disclaimer: This article is meant to provide general information and does not replace professional medical advice.

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