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Baby Sleep chart – How long should a baby really sleep, throughout the day and night
First – the guidelines. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2016 established new guidelines for the amount of sleep a baby and/or a child 0-5 year olds should sleep each day.
Please keep in mind that these numbers are a sense of the “norm” but what really is “normal” in baby sleep? and are all babies sleep the same? These numbers are gust suggestions and should be handle as such.
- Infants 4–12 months: 12–16 hours total in 24 hours
- Children 1–2 years: 11–14 hours total in 24 hours
- Children 3–5 years: 10–13 hours total in 24 hours
What are the Sleep needs of a newborn?
Your baby sleep varies and changed depending on their age. While newborns babies sleep the majority of time, their sleep is in very short segments. As your baby grows, the total amount of sleep hours gradually decreases by age, but on the other hand the length of night sleep increases more and more each year.
In general, and not for every mom, newborns daytime sleep is between 8 to 9 hours. Nighttime sleep is about 8 hours, but unfortunately newborns may not sleep more than an hour to two hours at a stretch. So when does a baby sleep through the night?
Here is the answer: Some babies will sleep through the night (6 to 8 hours stretch) without waking starting at around 3 months of age. About 60% of babies are able to sleep through the night on a regular basis by the age of 6 to 8 months.
The following are the usual nighttime and daytime sleep needs for newborns through age 2 years old:
Total sleep hours
Total hours of nighttime sleep
Total hours of daytime sleep
Here are the most common sleep schedules you can give your baby by his/her age, but please take in consideration your baby’s individual needs, and want's this is not for all babies out there.
Day Baby Sleep Schedule
No. of Naps
Day Sleep Notes
Approx Total Day Sleep
0 - 4 Months
45-120 mins awake time between naps. Nap irregularity in frequency and duration is common.
No schedule yet, keep baby rested. Avoid over tiredness and long stretches of wakefulness. Don’t be afraid to soothe your baby – s/he needs sleep! Single sleep cycle naps (3045 mins) are common in the second half of this phase.
Many babies will sleep 15-16 hours in 24 hours during first 2-3 months, then decreases to more like 14-15 hours +/- by 3-4 months.
4 - 6 Months
4 down to 3
4 months – single sleep cycle (30-45 mins naps) are still normal. By 5-6 months, babies are capable of lengthening naps. 2-2 ½ hours awake time between naps. On 3 nap pattern, third nap is shortest (30-45 mins).
Schedule is emerging. Prioritise your baby’s naps, paying attention to sleep location and environment now. Start your day at a regular time (30 min window), work towards three nap a day pattern with longer wake times between the naps by 6 months.
3 - 4.5 hours
6 - 9 Months
3 down to 2
3 nap schedule: 2-2 ½ hours between naps 2 nap pattern: Ladder schedule. Approx. 2-3-4 hours between each sleep session starting with morning wake.
Schedule is solidifying, keep bed/wake times regular. With three good naps, night sleep may condense (night shortens, typically later bedtime). When naps transition from 3 to 2, night sleep increases (earlier bedtime) and ladder style schedule of increasing stretches of wakefulness after each nap.
3 - 4 hours
9 - 18 Months
2 naps until approx.
2 naps: typical schedule: Wake up – approx. 2.5 hours awake – nap – 3+ hours awake – nap – approx 4+ hours awake– bed.
1 nap: typical schedule: Wake up – 4-6 hours awake – nap – 4-5 hours awake – bed. May have catnaps before or after main nap during transition.
Night shortens again (later bedtimes) before the 2-1 nap transition. Night lengthens (earlier bedtime) after the 2-1 nap transition. Keep bed/wake times regular, but compensate with earlier bedtimes when needed for overtiredness.
3 + hours up to 12 months, then down to 2 -2.5 +/- hours with nap transition.
1.5 - 3 Years
Wake up – 4-6 hours awake– nap – 5+ hours awake – bed
After transition, which may take several weeks, long period of regularity. Be careful of catnaps. Be careful of late naps plus early bedtimes which can lead to early am wake ups. A napping 3 year old will have a shorten night than a napping 18 month old.
2 + hours
Wake up – 6+ hours awake – nap – 5-6 hours awake – bed
Naps are very beneficial at this age, even though nights will shorten quite a bit with a napping preschooler. Allow enough wake time in afternoon/evening to rebuild sleep pressure for a smoother bedtime.
1 -2 hours
Night Time Baby Sleep Schedule
No. of Feedings/Wakings
Night Sleep Notes
Total Night Sleep
0 - 4 Months
On demand under three months. After three months 2-3 feedings after first 4-5 hour stretch
months. After three months 2-3 feedings after first 4-5 hour stretch
9-11 hours Approx total sleep in 24 hours: 15 – 16
4 - 6 Months
2-1 feedings after first 5-8 hour stretch
Regular bed and wake times, with well consolidated sleep before first and second feedings. feedings. Great sleep environments. Stop swaddle with rolling. Avoid dream feedings. Last third of the night remains erratic. Four (or 5, or 6) month regression is common)Sleep Training may begin if desired.
10 – 12 hours Approx total sleep in 24 hours: 13.5 – 15 (if your baby is sleeping 4 hours during the day, it is unlikely s/he will do a 12 hour night)
6 - 9 Months
7-9 hours without feeding, then 0-1 feedings
Older babies who are still taking three average length naps will almost certainly not do 12 hours. Night lengthens (bedtime earlier) when third nap drops awake. Full night consistency is developing through the last third of the night. Babies are old enough to find pacifier around 7-8 months old.
10.5 – 12 hours Approx total sleep in 24 hours: 13.5 – 15
9 - 18 Months
Parents’ choice. May be helpful to have one feeding in last third of the night for extended breastfeeding.
Separation anxiety and developmental milestones may cause new regressions.
10.5 – 12 hours Approx total sleep in 24 hours: 13 – 14
1.5 - 3 Years
Parents’ choice. Early morning feeding may help with extended breastfeeding.
Long period of regularity. Fears and bedtime battles at bedtime may appear.
10-12 hours Approx total sleep in 24 hours: 12 – 14
Non napping preschoolers need at least 11 hours of night sleep. Napping preschoolers may only do 11-12 hours total in 24 hours.
9-11+ hours Approx total sleep in 24 hours 11 +/-
Sleep Schedule Important!!
Not all babies are the same and it is important to remember that the tables above are according to the average number of hours of sleep and that it varies from baby to baby according to their needs, it is very important to see how your baby functions while he or she are awake.
Now, after you understood the importance of sleep, the challenges when and how much your baby should sleep here are 5 steps you can start today for a quite night and a healthier night sleep. These 5 steps will help you and your baby achieve a better night sleep and get up refreshed in the morning.
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