When your 2-month-old seems to spend more of the day sleeping instead of awake and learning about the world, you might worry about whether her sleep needs are excessive. Understanding your baby's sleep needs can help you ensure that she gets just the right amount of sleep and not too much extra.
Many parents worry that their baby is sleeping too much during the day if their nighttime sleep is not long and restful. Actually, young babies usually do not sleep longer than four hours at one time during either the night or day. A baby younger than 3 months old has not yet developed sleep maturity, which is the ability to enter deep sleep quickly and stay asleep for longer periods of time. Some babies do not develop this ability until after the sixth month of life, and many older babies regress when undergoing developmental milestones.
If your 2-month-old baby seems to be a night owl who takes her longest sleep stretches during the day instead of at night, this doesn't necessarily mean that something is wrong. You can try to help her shift her schedule, though, if you would like. During the day, interact with your infant as much as possible. Keep your home bright by turning on lights and opening curtains to let in natural daylight. Don't force her to stay awake but do wake her if she falls asleep during a feeding. Let the television, telephone and dishwasher run as usual during the day since keeping things too quiet encourages your baby to sleep deeper and longer.
Even when you are trying to get your baby to sleep less during the day, don't deprive her of too much of her total sleep. A 2-month-old needs about 15 to 15.5 hours of sleep per 24-hour period. For most babies, this means eight to 10 hours at night and five to seven hours during the day, broken up into about three short daytime naps and two or three nighttime stretches of sleep.
The main concern about a baby who sleeps too much, either in daytime or nighttime, is the potential for weight loss. This can occur because a 2-month-old's stomach cannot hold much breast milk or formula. The contents of a 2-month-old's stomach are digested within about four hours, so he needs to wake up and eat at least this often to maintain growth and development. A baby who sleeps an exceptionally long time might also miss out on valuable touch and bonding opportunities.