Do prem babies sleep more than their full term counterparts?

(14 Posts)
pingulingo Thu 04-Apr-13 20:50:06

My DD was born at 32 weeks, and is now 6 months old actual (4 months adjusted) and I am amazed at how much she sleeps even now. Is it normal for prem babies to need a lot of sleep compared to full term babies? She wakes every 3-4 hours for a feed and a poo and thats it. She's probably awake for 60-90mins before she goes back to sleep. And then sleeps 10-12 hours at night.

Do prem babies generally need more sleep? Or is this just normal 6 month old behaviour? I should know as she is my second child, but my first just didnt sleep for the first 9months so I have no concept of normal!

Gurke Thu 04-Apr-13 23:42:55

Hi pingu - not sure whether it's normal or not, but mine also sleeps a ton. He is 6 1/2 months actual now (3 1/2 adjusted), and has only in the last week or so started to stay awake sometimes for up to 90 minutes - until recently he could barely manage an hour. And he sleeps even more when he seems to be gowing through a growth spurt.

From what I've read there seems to be quite a lot of variation in how much babies sleep, even if they are term. So I wouldn't worry. When she is awake does she make eye contact and seem alert (even if only for short periods at a time)?

MiaowTheCat Fri 05-Apr-13 13:25:08

Don't think of her as a 6 month old (which I know gets harder as they grow and un-dinkify)... if you think of her as a 4 month old in terms of her sleep needs she'll probably be on par with them.

I know we had a couple of growth spurts around 6 months (DD1 has the same adjustment required to her age) where instead of the whole "feed me... feed me... FEED ME" thing - she slept like an insane thing instead.

clabsyqueen Fri 05-Apr-13 13:36:06

I think this must be her temperament rather than prematurity. I recall that My 28 weeker never slept for longer than 40mins at a time and didnt seem to need much sleep. Now at 18 months only really likes a 40 minute nap. Exhausting.

KindleMum Fri 05-Apr-13 13:36:39

DS was prem and slept tons. As a newborn he had to be woken for feeds. He was on 2 naps a day for way longer than everyone else and kept the afternoon nap until 4yrs. He's 5 now and sleeps 12-13 hours a night with the very occasional weekend nap as a top-up. And growth spurts definitely manifest themselves as tiredness for him, whereas for DD it's hunger.

As a comparison to yours, at 6mo, DS would have slept 7-7 at night, gone back for a nap 9-11am, back down sometime between 1 and 2 until 4 or 4.30pm and sometimes more. He was late to learn to walk and crawl and I used to joke that he wasn't awake long enough to learn!

My girls still sleep a lot. They are 27 weeks old and still have three naps a day (4 hours in total) and sleep around 12 hours a night. The longest they can stay awake is 2 hours but we often have grumpy, overtired babies who cry a lot when that happens! 1h30 is their optimal stay awake time. I also put it down to prematurity.

pingulingo Tue 09-Apr-13 22:47:55

Thanks for your experiences, I'm obviously worrying about nothing! She is perfectly alert when she is awake and full of smiles. I should just enjoy the peace whilst it lasts I guess. Thanks again

rhondajean Tue 09-Apr-13 22:49:14

My 32 weeker slept loads too. She's 8 now and unfortunately I can't get her to sleep now!

pingulingo Wed 10-Apr-13 23:57:14

rhondajean - Oh dear, I had better get the sleep in while I can! To be fair, I'm an awful sleeper, so will be my faulty genes to blame for DCs lack of sleep!

Idreamofsunshine Sun 05-May-13 23:04:23

My 28 weeker got a blood transfusion as he slept so much in Scbu. It made no difference so they stated he was just lazy haha.

MiaowTheCat Wed 08-May-13 08:13:28

I've now concluded that genetics mean dd1 will just be very tall and able to sleep like a sloth- I blame her father for both of these factors.

DD2,a later gestation preemie has nowhere near the same sleep needs, guess she inherited her mother's insomnia tendencies.

countrymummy13 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:41:34

They have so much growing to do I think it's only natural that try sleep a lot. Just look at her line on the growth chart!

My DS was born 27+5 and at 4 months corrected was only awake for a couple of hours before needing another 2 hr nap.

In fact he is now 14 months corrected and still sleeps 11hrs at night and 3hrs in the day.

minipie Tue 30-Jul-13 09:46:41

My DD was a 32 weeker and apart from the first 7 weeks or so, she has refused to sleep not seemed to need much sleep at all. I think prem babies may need more sleep than a full term baby of the same actual age (especially at the beginning, which makes sense as they should still be in the womb) but as they get older it's more about temperament.

minipie Tue 30-Jul-13 09:47:25

uh, sorry, she was a 34 weeker...

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