Newborns need 8 hours of sleep during the day and equally 8 hours of sleep at night totaling between 14-17 hours of sleep a day, but they can’t stay awake longer than 1-2 hours at a time, and their sleep patterns change randomly because all they do is eat, poop, and sleep round the clock in the early days. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, newborns should get 12-16 hours of sleep per 24 hours.
We all want our babies to sleep, but is there too much of a good thing when it comes to baby sleep? What if your 8 week old suddenly starts sleeping more than usual? What if you’re suddenly seeing Marathon naps throughout the day?
This can be worrisome to any parent. So what’s behind this sudden onset of daytime sleepiness? Why is your 8-week old sleeping more than usual during the day?
Common reasons why your 8 week old is sleeping all day
If your 8-week old baby suddenly starts to sleep more than usual during the day and seems extra sleepy, it’s likely one of the following reasons to blame;
1. Your baby is sleeping all day due to a growth spurt
Growth spurts are typically the number one reason why a baby suddenly starts taking extra long naps and sleeping later in the morning. Many parents find that in the first few weeks of their newborns’ lives, their babies go through several sleepy spells where they seem to sleep around the clock.
It’s alright to let them eat and sleep more at this time. However, if you feel or think that your baby is sleeping and eating more than it’s healthy, it never hurts to consult a health professional.
2. Your 8 week old could be sleeping all day due to illness
Similar to when toddlers are teething, illness often causes babies to feel lousy and extra sleepy. Fighting off a cold or flu is exhausting, and understandably, they’ll need more sleep to overcome, so let them sleep as long as needed so that their body is strong and healthy to tackle foreign germs.
These may be accompanied by a loss of appetite, which is normal when getting over a cold. They’ll likely need more total sleep throughout the day because their bodies will need more total extra rest as it works to fight the illness.
3. Recent vaccinations
Some vaccines are effective due to having small traces of germs they are protecting against. It’s common for a child to exhibit similar symptoms to illnesses immediately after vaccination. The process to accommodate the injection can be exhausting for the little one.
They’ll probably feel more sleepy and act as if they are sick while they exert this energy to adapt while their body is developing immunity.
4. Blood sugar could be fluctuating
Gestational diabetes during pregnancy could affect your baby if not adequately controlled. Obesity can play a role in this, and your doctor should advise you on simple ways to combat it, like diet and exercise. If left unattended, it can lead to babies being over nine pounds with the risk of developing injuries at birth.
Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes will develop low blood sugar shortly after birth. They can struggle with Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which makes babies tired, leading them to sleep all day long.
8-week old sleep schedule, development, and sleep patterns
By 8 weeks old, many babies are sleeping longer at night, and you’ll start to see earlier and earlier bedtimes as they lengthen nighttime sleep to 11-12 hours, and they nap 3-4 hours a day on average, but they still need 14-16 hours of sleep in 24 hours.
In addition to the common 8-week growth spurt that will make your baby tired and drowsy, some parents stop swaddling at this age because the baby is rolling, which can become problematic for nighttime sleep hence the baby falling asleep longer during the day.
Here’s what your 8-week old’s schedule may look like:
|7:00 AM||Wake up, diaper change, and milk|
|10:00 AM||Milk and diaper change|
|1:00 PM||Milk and diaper change|
|4:00 PM||Milk and diaper change|
|7:00 PM||Milk and diaper change|
|10:30 PM||Fill-up feed/Dream feed|
|3:30 AM||Milk and diaper change|
Kindly note that not all babies, especially breastfed ones, can transition to just two-night feedings by 8 weeks, especially if they are in bed for 12 hours. Some babies will still get 3 feedings, which is still within average.
Why do babies eat less when they sleep more?
A child sleeping more and eating less could be teething, and food might not sound like a great idea if their gums are irritable. And as we mentioned earlier, growth spurts also fundamentally transform their bodies from the inside out, and their little bones exert extra energy and need more rest.
Why do newborns sleep so much?
Newborns are tiny and need a considerable amount of rest and nutrients to grow when they emerge from the womb. So they need to properly fuel their bodies to enable their development to evolve into strong, healthy children.
While the reasons listed above for 8 weeks old sleeping all day tend to be the most common causes of extra sleepiness, it’s important to rule out any medical concerns that could be making the baby lethargic, leading to more than average sleep.
Sleep apnea, for instance, can affect babies and cause them to feel extra sleepy. If you have concerns about your 8-week old extra tiredness, check in with their pedestrian to rule out anything, but you could just as well accept the fact that you’re simply dealing with a good sleeper.
Whether they’re sleeping too much, or completely on the other end, and not sleeping well through the night, we parents need to be aware of the clues to help comfort our little ones.