Sleep

Sleep is different for all babies. Some sleep more than others, while some sleep less. Some fall asleep easily and stay asleep for much of the night. Others find it hard to get to sleep and wake up at the slightest noise. This is not something you can change: it’s just the way your baby is.

There are, however, some ways that you can help your baby (and yourself!) have a better night’s sleep:

  • Lay your baby in their crib when they are drowsy, but still awake. Give them a chance to soothe themselves to sleep by making sure their sleep area is quiet and the lights are dim. Some babies like soft music or a mobile over their crib to look at.
  • Have a routine before bedtime and naps so that your baby learns to associate certain things (taking a bath, bottle/breast feeding) with going to sleep.
  • To ensure your baby has the safest and most comfortable sleep, place them on their back, keep the room at a cool temperature, and make sure their belly is full.

Although we tend to think babies can “learn” to sleep, it’s not common for babies between 6 to 12 months to sleep through the night without needing to eat or without having some help to fall back asleep. Your baby’s sleep patterns may also change when they are sick or teething.

We’ve included a rough estimate of how much your baby or child should be sleeping, but remember that all kids are different and some may need a little more or less than others.

Newborn – 2 months

Total Sleep: 16-18 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 8-9 hours

Naps: 7-9 hours (3-5 naps)

2 – 4 months

Total Sleep: 14-16 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 9-10 hours

Naps: 4-5 hours (3 naps)

4 – 6 months

Total Sleep: 14-15 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 10 hours

Naps: 4-5 hours (2-3 naps)

6 – 9 months

Total Sleep: 14 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 10-11 hours

Naps: 3-4 hours (2 naps)

9 – 12 months

Total Sleep: 14 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 10-12 hours

Naps: 2-3 hours (2 naps)

12 – 18 months

Total Sleep: 13-14 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 11-12 hours

Naps: 2-3 hours (1-2 naps)

18 months – 2 years

Total Sleep: 13-14 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 11 hours

Naps: 2 hours (1 nap)

2-3 years

Total Sleep: 12-14 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 10-11 hours

Naps: 1-2 hours (1 nap)

3 – 5 years

Total Sleep: 11-13 hours

Nighttime Sleep: [10-11] 10-13 hours

Naps: 0-1 hours (naps usually stop by age 5)

5 – 12 years

Total Sleep: 10-11 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 10-11 hours

Naps: n/a