My baby is sleeping 8 hours a night. Is that normal?

While experts will tell you what babies “should” do at a given age, there really is no hard and fast rule on baby sleep.

Dear Is This Normal,

Is it normal for my 1 month old baby to sleep 8 hours in the night without waking up for a feed?

Too Much Sleep

Dear Too Much Sleep,

This is one of those things you almost don’t want to ask about, right? Because your baby is sleeping through the night! Months ahead of when most babies even sleep in six-hour stretches! The tricky thing is that while experts will tell you what babies “should” do or “typically” do at any given age, there really is no hard and fast rule on baby sleep. BUT, there are some pretty important guidelines in how much a baby should be eating, so if that’s being impacted by these long sleep stretches, it’s time to change things up a bit.

Now, I wouldn’t call your baby sleeping eight hours at a time at night ABnormal, but it’s certainly not what parents usually expect with a newborn. At one month, many babies will start to sleep longer stretches, like 4-6 hours, but still wake up to feed every four hours or so. In a 24-hour period, babies that age need about 14 hours of sleep, and that’s throughout the day—nighttime and naps included. So if your baby is sleeping eight hours at night, how much are they sleeping during the day? Again, there’s no right or wrong answer here, but you want to make sure they’re getting enough sleep throughout the day.

Breastfed babies will typically (there’s that word again!) nurse every 3-4 hours at one month old. Formula-fed babies should be eating approximately four ounces of formula every four hours. Even though they don’t actually do anything, they need a constant supply of calories and nutrition to support their growth and development in these crucial first few months! So food math tells us that a formula-fed baby should be getting about 24-30 ounces of formula in a 24-hour period, while a breastfed baby will nurse approximately 8-12 times in 24 hours. It might be a good idea to track your baby’s feeding for a couple of days, to see how much they’re getting in their waking hours. Also keep an eye on how many wet or dirty diapers they have in a day – that’s going to be a good indicator for whether or not they’re getting enough to eat.

If your baby is eating as much as they should, and has six or more wet diapers a day, and they’re gaining weight and hitting their growth milestones, all while sleeping eight full hours a night? Well, mama, it sounds like you’ve got yourself a unicorn baby. BUT, if they’re not getting enough to eat during the day, or aren’t gaining weight at the rate of about 1½ pounds a month, or they’re not sleeping at all during the day, then it’s time to check in with your pediatrician and come up with a game plan that may involve a nighttime routine. I know the old adage says never wake a sleeping baby, but you can 100% wake your sleeping, HUNGRY baby to fill them up before putting them back down again. If your ped agrees, set an alarm to go off four hours after they’ve gone to sleep, feed them, and put them back down. One feeding in an 8-hour stretch is perfectly normal, as they should be eating every 3-4 hours.

I would still recommend giving your pediatrician a call regardless, just to let them know what’s going on. You can do a quick weight check to make sure your baby is hitting on their markers, which can offer some peace of mind. But for now, try waking your little one up every four hours for a feeding, and then putting them back down. I know it seems strange to want your baby to sleep less, but parenting is just like that sometimes!

Rise and Shine!

Is This Normal


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