Baby Sleeplessness

Dr. Alan Greene answers the question, Why isn’t my baby sleeping very much?


My son is 3 months old and will not sleep much. He seems to be tired all the time, but won’t sleep. He will sleep a total of nine hours a day and that’s about it. He is hungry all the time and I am wondering if maybe he is not sleeping because he is not getting filled up.


    The average amount of sleep at 3 months is 15 hours out of 24 give or take an hour or two. This may come in almost any combination of naps or nighttime. But when kids sleep less than about 12 hours out of 24, it is important to determine why.

    It could be related to nutrition, but it also could be a variety of other things: an ear infection that hurts when he lies down, a food intolerance, a cow’s milk allergy (up to 20 percent of those intolerant to milk are also intolerant to soy), even a hernia. Sometimes, too much thyroid hormone can keep kids awake. Either way, this is a good reason for a visit with your pediatrician.

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    The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.