Baby Sleeping Guideline

baby sleeping

Sleeping is one of your baby's habits that you will spend the most time worrying about, assuming you've had enough sleep yourself to form a coherent thought. So how do you know if your little one is getting enough sleep? Here is a rough guideline:

Age

# of Naps

Total Length of Naps

Overnight Sleep Hours (Avg.)

Total Amount of Sleep

Newborn

Newborns sleep 16-18 hours per day over 6 or 7 sleep periods

1 month

3

6-7

8 ½-10

15-16

3 months

3

5-6

10-11

15

6 months

2

3-4

10-11

14-15

9 months

2

2 ½-4

11-12

14

12 months

1-2

2-3

11 ½ -12

13-14

 

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Of course, this is just an average. You will always find a few babies that either don't need as much sleep, or for some reason need much more. The important thing is that your child should have ample opportunity to nap several times a day as well as have a long, quiet stretch at night. When babies are awake they should be interactive and energetic, not irritable or sleepy.

{ MORE: Nap Time Revisited: Schedules, Routines, and When It Ends }

If you think that your baby needs more sleep, you can take steps to encourage him or her to sleep for longer periods. At bedtime, keep the volume low and set up a routine. This could mean a bath, a book and a cuddle in a rocking chair, or anything that will help your little one to settle down and sleep more deeply. At night, the room should be dark and quiet. Consider playing soft music or a source of white noise, like a humidifier, at night so your baby can get back to sleep easier if he or she wakes up.

What do you think?

Baby Sleeping Guideline

Tell us what you think!

42 comments

  1. April says:

    My daughter sleep about right on schedule for being three months

  2. mommy nhoj says:

    I think my baby is short of 1-2 hours of sleep. She sleeps late since last month.

  3. Brenda says:

    My babygirl who is almost 8 months takes 2 naps which are usually about 30 to 45 minutes but they feel like 20 ahah

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  6. Kerry says:

    Swaddling our baby has really helped, since it reduces his self-startling, and makes him feel nice and cozy like he’s being held, or is still in utero. We really need to get a routine down, since we’re currently feeling forced to go to bed when HE goes to bed since we don’t have a functioning baby monitor and are in a 4-level townhouse. It’s hard to want to go to bed before 10, so he could use more sleep. I’ve heard, too, that "sleep begets sleep"; I agree that my guy sleeps better at night when he gets naps, instead of being fussy.

  7. hum…interesting..my son (7 mths) takes 2 naps a day. One morning nap and a late afternoon one. He only sleeps maybe 30 mins to a hr. for each one. Think I going to try to have him sleep a little longer! His night time sleep is excellent!!!!!

  8. LoriPassioPirl says:

    Are you feeding him any cereal at night? this was a life saver for me!!!! Puts her out like a light and she sleeps a good 6 – 8 hrs straight for me….she is 4 months!!

  9. LoriPassioPirl says:

    Does he cry in his crib before he falls asleep??? your routine is just like mine, except my 15 week old girl goes to bed around 8-8:30….I always make sure she is asleep before I put her to bed cause she will just cry!! I’ve been told to let her cry herself to sleep, but its so hard for me to do!!!

  10. LoriPassioPirl says:

    My little girl is 15 weeks, sleeps an average of 6-8hrs straight at night and then is up every hr to every hr and a half most nights…however, she doesnt like to nap for me very much!!! i’m lucky if she takes one 2hr nap!! She is a very pleasant baby though, so no complaints here!!!!

  11. sheenaholman says:

    My girl is not a sleeper! But she is happy when she is awake.

  12. Melody says:

    My 6 month old is inconsistent. Some nights she’ll get up only once or twice–other nights she gets up every two hours (or worse). I do everything I can to be consistent with her naps and routine…so I have no clue what’s keeping her up. GRRRRR!!!

  13. Grace says:

    i don’t know either, my little boy has nights where he will wake once or twice and others when he is up all night

  14. Grace says:

    no, each child is different, maybe i guess keep to a routine when he wakes, maybe play soft music to help sooth him back into slumber

  15. Grace says:

    each baby is different my boy does not take long naps during the day either

  16. Grace says:

    i’d ask his doctor, i don’t know, i think babies sleep more when they are going through growth splurts

  17. Grace says:

    my boy also wakes just once sometimes 2 times a night

  18. MadHenRob says:

    My son has been sleeping all night since he was 2 weeks old.
    He is now 4 1/2 months and still sleeping the whole night.
    During the day he’s also on a sleeping routine, bed time is 9:30.

  19. ChrisS says:

    My 4 months old son naps 3-5 times a day 30min-3hrs, sleeps 9-11 hours but wakes up in between.

  20. Keishamorgan says:

    My baby is 8 weeks old and some nights she sleeps great other nights she’s up every two hours or so and she’s in a pretty basic routine don’t really understand why some nights are worse than others

  21. TinkFL says:

    My recommendation (because it works wonderfully for us) is to establish a basic bedtime routine. At the same time every night – and you should stick to this part like glue – give your baby a bath. I caution against soaping every night, as this can cause his skin to dry out. Let him play in the water for about 15 minutes, or until he wears down. Next, give him a baby massage with lavender lotion before dressing him in night clothes (make sure these are clothes he ONLY sleeps in – it will help him to recognize bedtime as he gets older). For the massage, gently squeeze his limbs and pull down toward the ankles/wrists, like you are milking a cow. Keep the lights in the room dim during the massage and dressing, and speak softly. After he is dressed, give him a bottle or nurse him. I feed my son after his bath and before bed even if he has just eaten an hour or two before. It reinforces the routine, helps to soothe him, and ensures he is full before he goes to sleep.

    I began this routine with my son around 12 weeks, he is now 16 weeks. He wakes once in the night usually between 2 and 3 for a clean diaper and a meal, and goes right back to sleep until 8am.

    One other thing, I put him in his crib while he is still awake, but groggy. This let’s him learn self-soothing skills that he uses should he wake in the middle of the night.

  22. tammy says:

    my youngest is 10 months old and seem to be following the guideline lol

  23. meggiepoo says:

    My 4 month old only sleeps around 12 hours. He sleeps 9-10 hours at night. His naps only total 2-3 hours during the day. He’ll either take one long nap or catnap throughout the day.

  24. Melanie says:

    my son is 8 months and still wakes up 2 or 3 times in the night. any tips?

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