My child is four months old but only sleeps an average of ten hours in a twenty-four hour period. Does that mean something is wrong?

Hannah - posted on 03/05/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )




My baby seems to think sleep is for wimps. She is growing well and eating well, but I can't get her to take naps during the day and I can only get her to sleep about 8 hours at night. If she takes any naps they are only about 15 minutes at a time. We have established a bedtime routine and are consistent with it. I just don't know what else to do. Could this be a medical or developmental problem that keeps her from sleeping? Any suggestions on how to get her to take a nap?


Lori - posted on 03/05/2012




Every baby's sleep needs are different. There is an "average" amount of sleep that babies "should" get... but like anything else many many babies don't fall into the "average" category.

Is your baby happy and content when she's awake or does she seem tired and cranky? When she wakes in the morning is she refreshed from her nights sleep? Does she get more cranky during the day as she gets tired but still refuses to nap, or is she just as happy in the afternoon as in the morning despite very little sleep.

If she's happy and content with as little sleep as she's getting, then you may just have a baby who doesn't need as much sleep as others. However - if she is tired and just fighting it it might be worth your efforts to get her some more sleep time somehow. I like Ania's suggestions of putting her in a sling or a stroller and see if she'll fall asleep that way. I know one "mistake" many of us make the first time around is to think the only good place for baby to nap is in her crib. My LO would fall asleep in her car seat (I'd bring the infant seat inside, and just let her finish her nap in the car seat). Or if she falls asleep in the swing - just let her sleep in the swing. It doesn't mean she won't learn to sleep in her bed as she gets older.

Heather - posted on 03/05/2012




Hannah-I am a mom of three. My youngest-and only son-is the same way! I thought maybe it was because he is a boy! :)

From the time he was about a month old, he has barely napped. Yes, like your baby, he only naps for at most 30 minutes, maybe 2 times per day. But he slept 4-5 hour stretches at night...starting at around 10 pm, then getting up around 7:30-8 am. He hit around 5 months has been an exhausting few months! He started getting up every 2 hours, now the past 2 months, every hour, sometimes twice an hour! He sleeps well from about 7:30-10 or 11, then is up every hour til 6. Then is wide awake! I am exhausted but he is very happy. I am not sure if its now comfort or habit (since he is BF)...Medically, there is nothing wrong with him...Developmentally, he is busy esp with all the new things he can do! :) I think I am his sleep association...and I need to just let him fuss a bit to see if he will go back to sleep on his own...also, we co-sleep. he slept in a cradle next to my side of the bed until he could sit up on his he is in with us. Maybe time to move him??

Not sure if I helped, but know that you are not alone!


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Janet - posted on 03/08/2012





I used to have that problem with my son a while back ago. I decided to up his food intake throughout the day and now he sleeps 7:30 pm to around 7 am (he wakes up at 5 am to eat, then goes back to sleep). Maybe your little girl is waking up out of hunger.Have you tried filling her up right before bed?

Evelyn - posted on 03/07/2012




i have the same problem my daughter doesent nap at all and if she does max is 10min and at night she wakes up all the time what can i do

Janet - posted on 03/07/2012





don't worry about the sleeping patterns of your LO. Every LO is different. My little guy only ever slept 1/2/hr at a time (if I'm lucky) since I can remember, and he's super healthy and growing like a weed. Every baby is different and they don't stick to sleeping a certain amount of time for their age. Some are sleepers, some are not. As long as your LO is happy and not cranky, that's all that matters. My son sometimes fights sleeping just to stay up and "explore" but there are times when sleep overwhelms him and he just can't help it. Try putting you LO to sleep at around the same time every day. If you LO goes down, great, if not, then try again at the next nap time. Maybe trying to set some type of routine will help.

Anna - posted on 03/06/2012




We went through that phase too when my son was a few months old. It could be some temporary discomfort he's going though such as teething. Try to develop a routine for napping too and if he doesn't want to nap, use it as quiete time. Try lying down with him or wear him in a baby carrier. You'll be surprised how quieckly babies fall asleep in carriers. Eventually, it should work out.

Ania - posted on 03/05/2012




Don't worry. Your baby is probably overtired, but it seems like you are doing whatever you can do fix that. Don't worry it will pass. Some babies are just like that and there is nothing wrong with you or them. Maybe try to keep your baby on you and go for a walk to get a nap or a stroller ride or rocking. Some babies need some extra stuff and they just are not ready to sleep at such young age. I know it must be horrible, because it seems like every book is telling you that something is wrong with you baby, but don't worry, your baby is unique just like every other baby and she can't sleep yet, not ready for nap schedule. Try early bed time, but not too early either 7 pm? and see how that works. Good luck

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