We all want our babies to sleep – but can you have too much of a good thing when it comes to baby sleep? We’ve written before about babies sleeping too much, but what if your baby suddenly starts sleeping more than usual? What if you’re suddenly seeing marathon naps, later-than-usual morning wake-up times, and/or finding that you need to bump up to an earlier bedtime?
This can make many parents worry.
So what’s behind this sudden onset of sleepiness? Why is your baby sleeping more than usual? We’re sharing 3 common reasons – keep reading for details!
3 Reasons Your Baby Is Sleeping More Than Usual
If your baby suddenly starts sleeping more than usual and seems extra-sleepy, it’s likely one of the following three reasons is to blame:
- Your baby is sleeping more than usual due to a growth spurt. Growth spurts are typically the number-one reason a baby or toddler suddenly starts taking extra-long naps and sleeping later in the morning. This is especially true for newborns; lots of parents find, in the first few months of their newborns’ lives, that their babies go through a number of sleepy spells when they seem to sleep around the clock!
- Your baby is sleeping more than usual due to a bout of teething. Teething – it’s high on the list of most parents’ least favorite things! So many clients have told us that just when it seems like sleep is going well, a new tooth begins to pop through, and bam – everything falls apart! Now, while it’s true that teething can lead to increased night waking and shortened naps, a particularly nasty bout of teething can work almost like a bad cold virus, and can cause your baby to need more sleep than usual. Some parents find that their babies even run low-grade fevers and are especially mucus-y during teething, all of which can make baby feel lousy and extra sleepy.
- Your baby is sleeping more than usual due to illness. Similar to teething, illness often causes your baby to feel lousy and extra sleepy. Yes, she may also wake more than usual at night (due to discomfort), and wake early from naps too. However, your baby will likely need more total sleep throughout the day when she’s sick; her body will need lots of extra rest as it works to fight off the illness.
To learn more, read this article about baby’s growth spurts and sleep.
To learn more, read this article about baby teething and sleep.
To learn more, read this article about how illness affects your baby’s sleep.
Baby Sleeping More Than Usual: Rule Out Medical Concerns!
While the three reasons listed above for babies sleeping more than usual tend to be the most common causes of extra-sleepiness, it’s important to rule out any medical concerns that could be causing lethargy and more-than-average sleep. For instance, sleep apnea can affect children, and can cause a baby or toddlers to seem extra-sleepy. If you have concerns about your child’s tiredness, see your healthcare provider.
Engage Your Baby While Awake
If you are concerned that if your baby is sleeping more than usual that he or she won’t be learning enough new skills, consider toys that are educational and engage them while they are awake. Here are a few of our favorites:
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