Preemie sleep patterns.

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
Registered User
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 07:47 am

Re : Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby pugmommy7 » Tue Feb 24, 2004 07:55 am

Another echo here.
He is using a lot of his energy to grow!
Bella slept and ate and slept and ate and that was it, for what seemed like forever.

and to echo again...enjoy that snugglin' now.
Bella is a fiesty 13 month old, who cannot be bothered to slow down to snuggle with mommy;)

Mama to Bella, born 34 weeks at 3lbs,6oz.Pre-E and PIH.
Babygirl #2,EDD 6/24/04

Registered User
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 01:59 pm
Location: Acworth, GA

Re : Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby hutced » Tue Feb 24, 2004 07:37 am

I am having the same problem with my son who is now 4months old. His ped keeps telling me he is fine and that they go by his adjusted age. Even taking that into consideration he sleep way too much. He is now awake about 30 min after each feed but many times he goes back to sleep right after he eats. He is gaining weight like a pro and is now in the 75th percentile for weight. I am keeping a sleep/wake chart and he goes in for his 4 month well baby check up tomorrow so I hope to get some reason for his sleepiness then, if I get any reason that makes since I will let you know. I'm sure one day he will surprise us and stay awake for the whole day and all the worring is for nothing.

Emily 3-6-02 41 1/2wks, 7lbs15oz
Evan 10-21-03 35wks, 5lbs6oz, PIH/PE (placental abruption)

Forum Moderator
Posts: 2527
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:53 am

Re : Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby annes » Mon Feb 23, 2004 08:47 am

Just to echo what the others have said, my 33 weeker slept a lot during those first 2-3 months. So much so that I asked the pediatrician about it. She said not to worry, because Parker had a lot of catching up to do. Now at 7 months, he still sleeps a little more than an average 7 month old, I have to remind myself that he technically only 5 months. I have a real aversion to the "adjusted age", but it is helpful to remember at times of worry. Good luck with your little one, they don't seem to stay little, and cuddly, for very long![:I]

Parker 7/6/03(severe pe)33wks

Registered User
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 06:39 am

Re : Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby angelical » Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:02 am

Aaron slept most of the day and night when he was tiny too... We had to wake him for feedings. Now, he's still a sound sleeper (i figure we could run the vacuum beside of his bed), but he fights going to sleep, as I suppose most toddlers do.

Good luck!

Sharel O'Connell
Local coordinator for Pittsburgh area
'Parents of Preemies' co-moderator
Survivor of Preeclampsia, HELLP Syndome, & preemie parenting
Future adoptive mom

Aaron (28 weeker, 5/2/02)
Kevin - DH

Registered User
Posts: 3282
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 08:54 am

Re : Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby deerhart » Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:11 pm

my 37 weeker slept most of the day for the first 6-8 weeks of his life. He would wake up long enough to cry for a feeding, then fall asleep still eating, wake up and want more food.

My 36 weeker is an extremely light sleeper and thus wakes up with any movement near is room and always have, but he was probably 6-8 weeks old until we started to see him come oput of the pattern of 1 1/2 hours awake, 2-3 hours of sleep, plus 3-4 hour stretches during the night.

Also, babies (even FT) seem to go through a lot of growing around 3 weeks then again at 6-8 weeks, then again at about 16 weeks and it continues on thtrough out their childhood. We can always tell when either boy is about to hit one because they do tend to sleep more a week or two before it happens and then while it happens, especially when they were infants. At 5 weeks old and being a preemie, its possible that the extra sleep is what is needed to allow for faster growth.


Moderator - First Time Moms, Parents of Preemies
Missouri State Coordinator
Mommy to Alex and Mason

Registered User
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 09:41 pm

Re : Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby tanjanika » Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:48 pm

My little guy, Joshua, was the exact same way. As a matter of fact, he's STILL a big sleeper. Joshua was a 32 weeker, and he didn't even wake for feedings. In total, in the beginnning, we was awake for maybe an hour to an hour and a half per day, until he was about 6 or 7 weeks adjusted. The amount of time gradually (very slowly) crept up from there. He's 19 months old, and he just, very recently, cut out his third daytime nap. I do recall the NICU nurses mentioning that he'd sleep tons in the beginning. I think it might just be par for the course...

Jani (29)
Joshua (6/22/02) 32wks, Severe Preeclampsia & HELLP Syndrome

Registered User
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 04:35 pm

Re : Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby mrudman1 » Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:04 pm

My daughter was born at 33 wks, and for the first 6 weeks she slept about 23 out of the 24 hours... she slept all the time! We had to wake her up 90% of the time to feed her.

Then about 3 days before her due date, something in her body must have clicked and she started acting just like a normal newborn. Would have longer periods of wakefulness, would be much more alert/looking around when awake, etc.

So hang in there! Your baby might do the same thing.

Michelle (30)
Hubby (32)
Gracie (3 yrs) - Born on 11/28/00 at 39 wks d/t mild pre-e
Allison (1 yr old) - Born on 12/11/02 at 33 wks d/t severe pre-e

maxs mom
Registered User
Posts: 594
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 08:12 pm

Re : Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby maxs mom » Sat Feb 21, 2004 04:39 pm

Max used to sleep a lot too. I wondered why he couldn't stay awake as long as a FT baby his adjusted age, but then I realized he wasn't like other FT babies. He was in the hospital for 15 1/2 weeks, he came home a few days after his due date. He sleeped all the time when he was in the NICU, he was only awake during feedings. When he came home, he kept sleeping, and was only awake during feedings. Slowly, he started to have more alert times, probably most significant at about 6 weeks adjusted, and then it grew from there. He has always been a sleeper, and I think it has really help contribute to him being so healthy. Around 11 months old, he stopped wanting to take naps. My pedi said it is due to the fact that he was now creeping and wanted to play more. He gets a little cranky at night now if he doesn't nap enough during the day, but my Pedi said don't worry, as soon as he starts walking, he will go back to a regular nap schedule.

If you really think about it, your baby isn't even supposed to be born yet, so in reality being awake only long enough to eat is appropriate. I think the sleep is good, it is helping them build the energy and strength they so desperately need.
I hope this helps!

Kara (33)
DH, John (35)
Max, 1/20/03, 25 wks, 534g. (IUGR), severe PE

Registered User
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:25 pm

Preemie sleep patterns.

Postby gabrielsmom » Sat Feb 21, 2004 04:11 pm

Hello all,

Update on Gabriel.. He is now 6.4 oz and growing well. (still below the charts for hieght and length but his head hit at 10 % at our 1 month appointment) This is good but I have some minor concerns..(Sometimes I think I am not happy unless I am worrying about something [:I]

Gabriel is now at about 38 weeks / 5 and half weeks old. My question for any of you out there is about sleep patterns. I know alot of you have trouble getting your babies to sleep, but I have the opposite problem.

He sleeps about 20/22 hours out of the day. [|)] Some of it is deep sleep and alot is light sleep. When he is alert/active alert he is focusing and calm, he seems much like a typical newborn. His alert state usually lasts about 20/30 mins (depending on the activy) before overstimulation / tiredness sets in. If I am holding him he falls asleep with minimal fussing. He will wake to eat but then he is back to sleep. I am concerned because I was under the impression that he should be awake around 5/6 hours or more per day by now. This is not happening. If I try to "keep" him up or wake him up he is crabby and ends up in a panic/screaming until I calm him down enough to go back to sleep.

I know this is a strange thing to worry about but I am concerned with his alert development. Early Int. is coming in about a week and half but until then.. Does anyone have any info /shared experience/ resources / good books / websites or comments? Should I be worried or should I wait until he is a certian age to be worried? Any thoughts appreciated.

Thanks Ahead!!


Mom to
Torin - DOB 8-9-97 42 weeks 8lbs 9oz
Hunter - DOB 4-8-99 40 weeks 8lbs 3oz
Gabriel - DOB 1-14-04 32 weeks 4lbs3oz (Emergency Csect, Eclampsia)

Return to “Parents of Preemies”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest