Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Sleep for Infant

Question: What is the normal amount of sleep for a 2 month old? My son seems to sleep for 20+ hours a day. He will sleep one full day besides feeding and diaper changing then he will sleep very small short naps lasting 10 minutes at a time the next day. Is this a sign of illness or developmental problems? - Nicole

Answer: On the other side of the coin, how about a baby that sleeps for 4 hours in 24 and is up the other 20!

Yes, it happens. Every baby has their own internal clock. And yes, back to my favorite subject of genetics. Temperament is very individualized in both adults and babies. Why do some adults get by with only a few hours of sleep while others need much more?

A baby that is well fed and without any discomfort or excessive stimuli (for example: A tense environment at home) is more apt to remain a peaceful sleeper. Of course there comes the time when that wonderful sleeper starts reorganizing his sleep pattern (and everyone elses)!

Teething, which by the way usually starts at around 2 months may make your baby uncomfortable enough so that long stretch of sleep is interrupted. Your baby will also be more aware of his surroundings and will want to stay awake more to learn all he can.

If your baby is on target with milestones such as smiling, cooing and following objects (just to name a few ), the fact that he sleeps the majority of the time is fine.

Because nutrition is necessary for growth and development, make sure that weight gain is appropriate. Your baby's pediatrician would be in the best position to guide you. The 2 month physical is a good time to ask all your questions of concern.

Keep a pad handy so you can write down questions that pop up. Bring those questions to well baby visits. Enjoy your baby!

Also see:

  • What is the cause of ITP and is there anything that can prevent it from recurring?
  • Can a pediatrician comfortably prescribe and manage ADHD medication or is it better suited to a psychiatrist?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.