If you ask any new parent, they'll probably tell you that their little bundle of joy could use more sleep. I mean, babies aren't exactly known for sleeping well, and their parents are likely to suffer from at least a little sleep deprivation themselves. Thankfully, there are actually signs your baby needs to sleep more often — especially when it comes to their health, wellbeing, and your sanity — and things you can do to help your baby improve their quality of sleep.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, once a baby reaches 4 months of age, they should get at least 12 to 16 hours of sleep every day between naps and nighttime sleeping. In fact, according to a consensus statement published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, not getting enough sleep can not only make your baby over-tired, but actually impact their short- and long-term health and emotional well being. Unfortunately, according to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 29 percent of parents report that their babies sleep less than the doctor-recommended amount each day.
The good news is that if you are unsure about whether or not your baby is getting enough sleep, they will likely show you in a variety of ways. As Stanford Health notes on their website, babies who are overtired will rub their eyes, yawn, and generally appear sleepy. Or as mom and pediatrician Kathryn Bucklen, M.D. writes for childrensmd.org, they might get seriously crabby and over-stimulated. Helping your child get good rest during the day can improve their mood, health, and ability to fall asleep at night, too, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And once they get on the right track, everyone can get more sleep. Yes, including you.
For more about how to know if your baby isn't getting enough sleep, read on: