No one can possibly be this tired. You’re so tired that you put your pants actually on inside out and wore them like that all day. You have dried pesto sauce on your jeans and you ate pasta sauce on your spagetti only once recently and it was last week. You have turned into a slob, an actual slob. You went to Starbucks yesterday in your Hello Kitty pajamas and pink slippers. Your darling baby just fell asleep in the car and you’re so desperate for some quiet time, which feels like it is almost to yourself, you drive by your house at least 10 times while listening to the Pussycat dolls and eating wine gums. Because the second you stop the car, he’s going to wake up. If that happens you may just burst in tears.
Every parenting book I have read says the first year with a baby is quite frankly, a blur because of no sleep caused by night feedings, teething issues, tummy aches, ear infections, etc. Your other Mom pals who you hang out with are just as exhausted as you are and your neighbor is still nursing her 5-year-old daughter at night. Hey this is okay and normal right? Cause it is just the way it is with a baby.
Is There Such a Thing as Normal Sleep for Baby?
The answer is YES.
The first few weeks after your baby’s birth, your baby’s sleep may be all over the place. Baby may be sleeping so much you may be wondering what all the fuss is about Mommy not getting enough sleep. Or they may never sleep for more than a 35-minute period at a time, which leaves you wondering if you can possibly make it through one more night of sleep deprivation.
It seems that a lot of newborn babies have an extra fussy few hours in the evening, usually from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM. This is often called the “witching hour.” Everybody is sleep deprived and exhausted and you can’t even pass the cranky baby, because all the people you want to pass the baby to for a break (grandparents, sister, aunt,friends, etc.) are at home taking it easy and are thrilled that they do not have a fussy newborn to deal with.
It can be a difficult time for everybody and the fussiness and non-sleeping tends to reach a peak at 6 weeks. This does not mean that your baby will become easy at the 7th week but things usually start to get gradually easier from that time on.
Your baby will usually consolidate their naps somewhere between 2 to 6 months of age. This means that instead of taking 4-5 little naps during the day they’ll take 3 big 45 minute naps now. Whatever the configuration of their naps (lots of small vs. a few long ones) the actual amount of time they spend napping and the total number of hours they sleep at night should be close to the targets for sleep as outlined in the chart below.
|Age||# Naps||Duration of Naps||Time Between Naps||Bedtime||Hrs of Sleep @ Night||Total Hrs of Sleep per Day|
|Birth – 6 Weeks||4-8||15 minutes – 4 hours||45 min – 1 hour||Variable but often late 9:00 – 11:00 PM||8-14||14-18 hours|
|6 Weeks – 3 Months||3-4||30 minutes – 2 hours||1 hour – 1 hour 45 minutes||Variable but often late 8:00 – 11:00 PM||8-13||11-15 hours|
|3-6 Months||3||1-2 hours||~2 hours||8:00 – 10:00 PM||9-12||12-14 hours|
|6-9 Months||3||1-2 hours||2-3 hours||8:00 – 10:00 PM||9-12||12-14 hours|
|9-12 Months||2||1-2 hours||~3 hours||7:00 – 8:00 PM||10-12||12-14 hours|
|12-18 Months||1-2||1-2 hours||3 hours||7:00 – 8:00 PM||10-12||12-14 hours|
|18 Months – 3 Years||1||1-2 hours||NA||7:00 – 8:00 PM||10-12||11-14 hours|