My name is Mica. I am a certified sleep consultant and founder of Rested Mama, Happy Baby. I help families on their journey to establish healthy sleep habits and get the whole family sleeping again!
Is my baby’s sleep normal? Do we have a sleep problem?
These questions completely break my heart to hear, mostly because the majority of the moms I’ve heard this from happened to hear of their friends’ babies who sleep much differently, or much ‘better’ than theirs. Sometimes, it is because they see everywhere on their feeds that they HAVE to sleep train or that they are teaching ‘bad habits’ because they rock or feed to sleep.
How do I respond? Every child is different, exhibits different needs, and requires different things for sleep. The guidelines I post are simply that. They are GUIDES and a reference to be used as a marker. MOST children will fall into that range, and if they don’t let’s dig in and figure out why. That does not make your child or your child’s sleep abnormal.
Do you have a sleep problem? The only person who can define that is you as the parent. If you are getting the sleep that you need, and you have no issues with the way things are currently, then there is nothing to change. If you are rocking your child to sleep or feeding them to sleep, and it works for you, then don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. On the other hand, if you are struggling to get the rest you need at night for you and your child, and it’s starting to affect you, then it’s okay to feel like you want to change things. Ultimately, the decision is yours, and no one else’s to make.
Newborn sleep can look very different for each child. There are babies who sleep a lot during the day and the night with no problems. Then there are other babies who don’t fall asleep so easily in the day and struggle to sleep through the night. Some babies exhibit the ability to sleep for long stretches naturally by month 2, while some babies may continue to wake every 2 hours. This is also why the recommended sleep range for newborn babies is anywhere between 16-20 hours. Below are some of my most frequently asked questions and answers around “normal baby sleep”?
4 FAQ's about "Normal Baby Sleep"
1. My child sleeps all day and then won’t fall asleep at night. Is there a problem?
ANSWER: NO! It’s common for newborns to have what is called “day and night confusion” and it’s due to the fact that they have not developed circadian rhythms. Giving them lots of natural light and capping naps will help!
2. My baby doesn’t sleep ANYWHERE near the recommended guidelines. Is that normal?
ANSWER: ALL children have different sleep patterns, and the fact is that 80% of children are not really getting the recommended amount of sleep. This is where we can work together to develop a schedule and habits that help them maintain their goals. You aren’t alone, and it’s very common.
3. My baby will not sleep in their bassinet or crib at night. Is there something wrong?
ANSWER: Absolutely not! This is a VERY common issue with newborns, and specifically common for some newborns who do not want to sleep on their back. Sometimes it’s gas-related which is something that will self resolve, and sometimes it is something your baby just needs a little practice with. Having a plan in place to practice this skill will help them get more comfortable.
4. My child has been so fussy lately, is there a problem?
ANSWER: If I get this question around the 6-10 week mark it’s important to note that MOST babies hit the peak of crying during this time which can be upwards of 4-5 hours a day! That is a lot of crying, but very developmental. This is the time where we can put a plan in place to help soothe them and provide them with the rest they need to avoid being overtired.
In addition, babies are changing and growing every day. What might look like great sleep one day turns into very disruptive sleep after a regression or vice versa. This is why consistency is really the key to navigating sleep because normal looks different to every baby at every milestone. The next time you wonder if your baby’s sleep is normal, don’t feel alone. And if you ever need support, I am just a phone call away!
I'd love to hear from you! In the comment section below tell me what sleep problems you are having, the age(s) of your children, and what you need help with!
Rested Mama, Happy Baby Founder
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