Can Your Baby Sleep Too Much?

Can Your Baby Sleep Too Much?Whether you have a newborn baby, a toddler, or a baby aged in between, there might come a time in most parents’ lives when you ask yourself if your baby is sleeping too much. Granted, many people arrive at The Baby Sleep Site® because their baby is NOT sleeping enough, but once you have helped your baby sleep through the night and helped your baby nap better, you may come across a time when you aren’t sure if your baby is sleeping too much or not. On the other hand, there are babies who are naturally good sleepers. These parents may wonder how their baby will learn to sit up, crawl, walk, or talk, if all they do is sleep! What would parenthood be without worry? This article will help you figure out if your baby is sleeping too much.

Before we get started, if you EVER have any questions about the health of your baby, talk to your doctor first and foremost! That is why they are there. Don’t worry about being an over-protective parent. Trust your instincts and if you feel like something might be wrong, it does not hurt to ask. But it might hurt not to ask!

Your Newborn Baby’s Sleep

Newborn babies need to sleep A LOT. If you have read the book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, you know the author, Dr. Karp, believes that babies actually need another trimester in the womb. But if a baby were to stay longer, we’d never be able to give birth to such a large baby. I can’t even imagine! So, if you consider the possibility that this is true, that means the first 2-3 months of your baby’s life is still full of rapid growth. Therefore, your newborn needs a lot of sleep.

Unless your baby literally never wakes up, not even to eat, there is most likely no reason to worry your baby is sleeping too much. In the first few weeks, it’s also very common for you to need to wake your baby every 2-3 hours to ensure he eats, and he may go right back to sleep afterward. Again, talk to your doctor if this goes on too long.

It is very typical for newborns to sleep anywhere from 14 to 18 hours a day, on average. Some newborns need even more sleep and wake for 30 minutes or less at a time and sleep most of the day and night away. If your baby is sleeping too much during the day, but wants to party at night, she most likely has her days and nights confused and you should review our newborn sleep tips.

My biggest tip in this stage is if you have a newborn baby who sleeps a lot, take advantage now because it will change rapidly. If your baby isn’t sleeping as much as other newborns do, your baby is most likely normal, too. There is a wide range of what “normal” is and your baby’s sleep needs are as unique as she is.

Your Baby’s Sleep

Beyond the newborn phase, you may start to worry about your baby’s development, if she sleeps too much. After all, how can she learn to roll or crawl when she is sleeping? What is too much sleep?

When your baby is sleeping 13-15 hours per day, this is within normal ranges for a very long time. If your baby is sleeping less, this may or may not be enough sleep. Depending on your baby’s age, a typical baby will sleep 11-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day. Since averages are just those, your baby may need more like 12 hours at night and 4 hours in naps. This is unlikely to be a cause for concern.

It is a lot of sleep, but a great 12-hour night sleeper and great long napper is fantastic! There is still enough awake-time to learn all the wonderful skills such as rolling, crawling, walking, and talking. She likely needs more time to process all of it and simply needs more sleep than other babies her age. Watching her behavior when she is up is a good sign everything is okay. Again, enjoy it while it lasts. 🙂

If your 6 month or older baby is sleeping like a newborn, though, hardly up during the day for more than an hour at a time, for example, I believe this would warrant a talk with the doctor. There are medical conditions that can cause the need for too much sleep. You do want to rule them out.

If your baby is napping really well, but waking at night, or sleeping really long at night, but napping very little, this may be one of the 5 times you should wake your baby.

Your Toddler’s Sleep

toddler sleep too muchAs your baby grows into a toddler, her sleep needs will decrease, however, long luxurious afternoon naps are very common in toddlers. Some toddlers can sleep 3 hours in the afternoon and still go to sleep by 7 p.m. Not mine, though! 🙂 So, just as it’s normal to have toddlers who can sleep 12 hours at night and take a 3 hour nap, there are also toddlers who sleep 11-12 hours at night and take a 1-2 hour nap. Again, there is a wide range of “normal.” The only time I’d be concerned is if your toddler sleeps so much that she doesn’t have time for a gross motor activity or spending awake time with you where she can learn to communicate and other skills.

Your instincts will be a good guide as to whether your baby is sleeping too much or not enough. Keep in mind that temporary increases in sleep can also be due to illness or growth spurts, too. If your baby is happy, growing, learning, and thriving, there is likely no cause to be worried she is sleeping too much. Even if your baby doesn’t hit all his milestones exactly “on time” that doesn’t mean he is not “normal.” Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns whatsoever. And otherwise, enjoy your baby or toddler. And enjoy the downtime if he’s sleeping a lot!

Does Your Baby Sleep Too Much or Not Enough?

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85 thoughts on “Can Your Baby Sleep Too Much?”

  1. Hi, my baby just turned 8 weeks old and sleeps a lot. She typically goes through stretches of 3-4 hours at night (btw 8pm and 8am) and has several short naps (~45 minutes) during the day. My concern is that she gets tired easily 20-30 minutes after waking up from her nap. I try keeping her awake but it just makes her crankier… I feel that if she was able to stay awake for a longer period she may also be able to sleep for a longer stretch at night… Any insight?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hello Mary,
      Thank you for visiting The Baby Sleep Site, and congratulations on your new little one! It sounds like she’s sleeping pretty normally for her age. We do expect babies under 3 months to be pretty sleepy for the most part, and not necessarily staying awake too long. Being kept awake can actually make a baby overtired and lead to choppier night sleep, and the only thing I notice is that her naps seem a little short for her age, which may be affecting her wake time. We have a sample schedule for an 8 week-old that you can check out here:
      I hope this helps!

  2. My baby sleeps right through the night and wakes up at about 7am. I breastfeed him as soon as he wakes then at about 9 am he falls asleep again but not longer than 15-20mins. After every feed (3-4 hours) he sleeps, is it normal. He is 6months should I be worried?

    • Hi @Megan – Thank you for writing to us! There is a wide range of typical sleep for babies, and your little one may be higher on the sleep needs scale! I’d recommend using our free sample schedules as a guide to see if your baby is sleeping at good times for him and is getting a good amount of sleep. Here’s a link:
      Good luck Megan, and please contact us at any time if you need any further assistance!

  3. Hello, my baby is 5 months old and he currently sleeps 11-12 hours at night without waking. He takes 2-3 naps a day. These naps can add up to anywhere from 4-6 hours. I’m worried he is sleeping too much.

    • Hi Lindsey,
      Thank you for your comment! At this age, the average amount of sleep we’d expect is 14-16 hours/day, so it does sound like your son is within the normal range. If he seems to be sleeping a lot but is very unhappy, fussy, hard to soothe, etc., then we would encourage you to check in with your pediatrician just to rule out any health concerns. I hope this helps!

  4. My daughter just turned two months old, she sleeps 11 hours at night without waking up and can stay awake during the day for up to 6 hours at a time. Is it normal, are there different patterns to sleep like this? She is formula feeding 4 ounces every 3 or 4 hours.

    • Hi @Stacy – Thank you for writing to us! There is much to be said about the old adage “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” but if you are concerned, please check out our recommended schedules for 2 month old babies here:
      We do recommend many naps at this age, as you’ll see on the schedule. You might try adding more naps and see how things go? Regarding her sleeping 11 hours at night, if you’re concerned that she might need a feed, do please ask your pediatrician, and base this on how she’s growing and developing.
      Good luck and thanks again!

  5. My baby was sleeping badly at igut s d during aps. I sleep trained her and ow she is an excellent sleeper. She sleeps about 1e hrs at night with 1 waking and 2 -3 naps in the day time. 1-2hr aps. On average a total.of 15-16 hours of total sleep. She is 7.5 months old… is this too much sleep?

    • Hi @Shauna – Thanks for writing to us, and congrats on an excellent little sleeper! There is a wide range of of sleep needs for babies, and if your baby is growing and developing well, with plenty of time for play and interaction, your baby is probably right on track with the sleep she needs. 15 hours is pretty typical for this age too. Check out our free sample 7 month old sleep schedules here, which you can use as a guide:
      Thanks again for visiting us Shauna! We hope you keep reading!

  6. My 5 week old baby boy on average sleeps between 14-15 hours per day in 2-3 hour windows. Today he has been sleeping over 3 hours consistently. He has been up for his feedings; although his las feeding lasted on 7 minutes because he fell asleep. Is this normal? Potentially a growth spurt?

    • @Gaby – Thank you for reading and for sharing with us! We’re so glad to hear that his sleep lengthened a bit for you that day. Babies do tend to experience a growth spurt around 6 weeks of age. Parents start to notice sleep disruptions, more feedings, maybe a bit of fussiness or clinginess during this time. If you only noticed this behavior for one day, it could have been a “glitch” or the beginning of better sleep for you all (which we’re hoping for!). Generally growth spurt sleep changes last at least for several days. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you need any further support, Gaby! Hang in there!

    • Hello

      My baby sleeps A LOT and I don’t know if it should be a cause for concern. He is 6 months next week and sleeps about 13 to 13.5 hours a night with 1 feed after 9 hours and takes 3 naps a day (2 x 2 hours and 1 of 1 hour on average)

      He can’t seem to be awake more than 1 to 1.25 hours (sometimes makes it to 1.5) except after the last nap where he knows he has to be awake for 2 hours

      Is this normal? Is he sleeping too much? How will I ever start feeding him solids if he’s exhausted all the time?
      Thanks for your help

      • Hi @Kareen – Thanks for writing to us! There is a wide range or sleep needs in different babies, but if you are concerned at all, please do check in with your pediatrician! They will have the best info for your baby since they’ve known her personally and since birth and can do a full exam! He is sleeping more than average, but again, there is a wide range of typical sleep! You may want to check out or recommended schedules for 6 month old babies here: I hope this is helpful and thank you again for writing!

    • @Dr S – Thank you for your comment. We generally wouldn’t expect a newborn to sleep 22 hours without waking to eat, for a diaper change, etc. here and there throughout the day. If your newborn is sleeping more than 22 hours per day, we’d encourage you to reach out to your baby’s medical professional for advice and guidance. All the best to you all!

  7. Hi my nephew of 5 and half months old has been really sleepy in the last few days a d my sister is worried.
    He is a very active baby and never sleep a lot. Only at night he sleeps all night around 8 to 10 hours since he born but in the last few days he is always sleppy and is sleeping long hours even during day time.
    Should she be worried or is it normal?
    We thought that as he grow he would sleep less!
    Thank you

    • Hi @Micaela – Thank you for writing to us about your nephew! Since sleeping so much is new for him, I’d recommend having your sister speak to your nephew’s doctor. We hope all is well with his health, and it’d be best to ask his doctor! Good luck to you and your sister!

    • My 13 month old boy sleeps alot he sleep after eating meals or drinks .and 4 hours of play times rest of the day sleep he also sleep even more if he cry or fall down got hurt .he wanted go to asleep .but while he’s sleeping he crys in his sleep every night and wake up screaming bloody murder crying this been going on since he was 6 month old . i had forced him drinks so he wont be hydrated. he poops size of a dime for the last since he was 6 month old.he also have a very large pot belly .ive had talks to his dr about all of this he said it’s very normal .. .he never had spit up and he never had any passing gas .to me i just dont think it’s nomal .i sometimes i wonder if he in Alot pains …i just wish he could talks to me right now tell me what is bothering him .

      • Hi @Joni – Thanks for writing and sharing your story! Sorry to hear that you’re concerned about your toddler’s comfort, sleep, and health. You can always ask a second doctor for an opinion, if you think something is going on that the first doctor is not finding. It may give you peace of mind! Hang in there Joni! I hope that things smooth out for you and your family!

  8. Hi, my 18 month old has done this thing twice where she’ll sleep for 14-16 hours straight, be awake for about 5 and then sleep for 18-20 hours straight. She did this about 2 months ago and again tonight. I’ve talked to a nurse and she said it was fine. She usually sleeps about 12-14 hours a night and take 1 nap that is between 1-3 hours long. She doesnt have a normal sleep schedule, her awake/asleep cycle is closer to 30 hours instead of 24, and it gets off track often, sometimes bedtime is 4 am, sometimes its 11am, sometimes its 10pm. Also she was a terrible sleeper when she slept in the same room as us and now that we moved her to her own room that isn’t connected to the house she sleeps a ton more, before it was 6- 8 hours at night and 3-4 during the day. Anything I should be concerned about? Mind you, most of the time when she wakes up shes pretty happy and wants to play a lot. And has been learning words and her knines are coming in.

    • @Vika – Thank you for sharing with us and for reading! WOW, that is quite a long period of sleep she’s getting! We certainly understand your confusion as to whether you should be concerned or impressed though that this doesn’t happen all the time is nice, too. If her nurse has said it’s fine, it’s likely so though you should always feel encouraged to get a second medical opinion if you’re still worried. Hang in there, Vika!

  9. My baby just turned 4 months old and she sleeps around 11 hours a night, waking once to feed. She goes for her first nap about an hour after she gets up which is for an average of 3 hours. Her awake periods between naps are about 1 to 1.5 hours long. Then she probably has 2 more naps that are usually around 1 hour long. Is this a normal amount of wake time and sleep time? Should I be trying to get her on a nap schedule, napping at certain times?

    • Hi Alexandra,
      Thank you for your comment! It sounds like your baby is sleeping pretty well for her age. Most babies do not nap on a firm schedule until much later, 6-8 months-old, but we do have a sample 4 month-old schedule you can compare to your baby’s sleep to see whether it’s similar or not, here:
      I hope this will help – please let us know if you have any questions!

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