Your 2 or 3-month-old baby’s sleep is a period of transition. Your baby is still eating frequently and sleeping in short cycles. However, during this stretch, you will likely notice that your baby is increasingly alert. This can mean that some of the peaceful sleep you may have enjoyed during the first 8 weeks disappears.
By contrast, some parents find that sleep tends to even out a bit around 3 months. Some parents even start getting that elusive longer stretch of sleep at night around this time. That is, until possibly the 3 month old sleep regression or the 4 month old one.
However, if you’re still dealing with lots of night waking or with short naps, don’t worry. These are very common problems at this stage.
2 or 3 Month Old Baby’s Sleep: An Overview
At 2 months old, you will no doubt notice that your baby is becoming more and more alert. While this newfound alertness is exciting, it can also mean that your baby’s naps suddenly become shorter and more erratic. That can make it much harder to get your baby to actually fall asleep.
By the time your baby is 3 months old, however, sleep may have started to regulate itself. You may also find that your baby is beginning to consolidate feedings. You may start seeing more feedings during the day, with fewer happening at night.
How much should a 2-Month old sleep?
Most 2-month olds need 10-12 hours of nighttime sleep and 4-6 hours of sleep during the day for a total of ~14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
How much should a 3-Month old sleep?
Most 3-month olds need 11-12 hours of nighttime sleep and 3-4 hours of sleep during the day for a total of ~14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
The main difference between a 2-month old and a 3-month old is that a 3-month old may have transitioned to a 3-4-nap sleep schedule and their sleep may be becoming a bit more predictable.
2-3 Month Old Baby’s Sleep: Growth Spurts
There’s a growth spurt right around 2 months, and then another at 3 months. While some families may not notice these growth spurts at all, others will notice the telltale signs of a growth spurt at these ages – that is, a baby who seems extra hungry and extra sleepy.
This article about how baby growth spurts affect sleep is a helpful resource to get you through all your baby’s growth spurts.
2 Month Old Baby’s Sleep: Naps and Bedtime Help
Your 2-month-old baby’s naps may be erratic and short. That’s thanks to your baby’s new alertness and awareness of the world. You may also find that it’s harder to get your baby to fall asleep, now that she’s interested in and aware of what’s happening around her.
Don’t let this get you down – stick to your usual sleep and feeding cycles and routines. You’ll also want to watch for signs of over-tiredness carefully, as your baby may be too focused and alert to get drowsy and fall asleep when she’s really tired.
If you haven’t yet created a bedtime or nap time routine, this is a great time to start. There’s no better way to signal to your baby that it’s time to get drowsy and fall asleep! For more 2 month old baby sleep help, check out this article.
3 Month Old Baby’s Sleep: How Does It Change?
Your 3-month-old baby, on the other hand, may start to fall into a semi-predictable nap and feeding schedule. Not all 3-month-old babies do this, of course, but some babies show signs of regulating their sleep a bit at this stage.
By 3 months old, many parents start to notice slightly longer stretches of awake time during the day, and longer stretches of sleep at night.
However, don’t assume that this means sleep problems are solved. The 4 month sleep regression tends to throw even the best 3-month-old sleepers off their game!
That’s why it’s key to continue strengthening your nap time and bedtime routines at this stage. This is also a great time to begin working towards independent sleep if you haven’t already. Try putting your baby down drowsy but awake for one or two naps during the day.
How Many Naps Should a 2 or 3 Month Old Take?
This baby and toddler nap chart is a great resource for helping you determine the number of naps (and the ideal nap lengths) for your baby.
What Bedtime for a 2-3-Month-Old?
As for bedtime, many parents find a later bedtime works for their 2-month-old babies. That’s because, at this age, it still makes sense to time baby’s bedtime up with your own, in order to maximize your own sleep. Since a baby’s longest, deepest stretch of sleep is usually the first stretch after bedtime, this helps your sleep as well.
However, you can start easing into an earlier bedtime once your baby is 3 months old. This bedtime chart will help you identify your baby’s ideal bedtime.
Daily Schedules for a 2-Month-Old? Is That Possible? What About a 3-Month-Old?
Your 2-month-old baby’s schedule should allow for a relatively short wake time between naps. It should also allow for plenty of daytime feedings. Feeding often during the day is an important step to encouraging your baby to sleep through the night.
It’s also important not to focus much at all on the clock at this age. Instead, focus more on sleep and feeding cycles. While a small percentage of 3-month-old babies may fall naturally into a clock-based schedule, that is still a ways away for many babies.
Review these sample schedules for your 2-3-month-old but remember, they won’t always be overly predictable at this age:
To get a customized nap schedule template for your baby – one that accounts for your child’s age and usual morning wake-up time – use our custom baby and toddler schedule maker. Or, join/login to our VIP Members’ Area and use our members-only schedule maker. It includes feeding times!
Your 2 Month Old or 3 Month Old Baby: What You Need To Know About Sleep Training
Generally speaking, 2 months or 3 months old is too early to start working on formal sleep training in earnest. You’ll want to wait until your baby is around 4 months old before you start that.
However, this is a great time to start strengthening your pre-sleep routines. It’s also a good time to begin laying a foundation for healthy sleep habits if you haven’t already.
One way to do that is to establish fixed points in your baby’s day. You can start with your baby’s morning wake-up time. Then move to fixing the timing of the first nap, and/or bedtime. Fixed points are a great way to begin establishing a predictable sleep schedule, which is key to having a baby who eventually sleeps through the night.
If you are looking for ways to get your 2 month old or 3 month old baby sleeping better, our VIP Members Area is an awesome resource! It’s the sleep help resource that really grows with your child. When you join The Baby Sleep Site®’s VIP Members Area, you’ll have access to sleep tools designed for newborns through toddlers – and everything in between! Our VIP Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources. This includes e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a VIP member, you’ll also enjoy chats with an expert sleep consultant and our “Ask the Author” feature!
For more help with your 2 month or 3 month old, you may be interested in these VIP Members Area-only resources:
- Meet Caitlin Who Successfully Sleep Trained Her 3 Month Old
- Essential Keys To Your Newborn’s Sleep (digital e-Book)
- Mastering Naps and Schedules (digital e-Book)
- Chat Live with a Sleep Consultant
- Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits in Your Newborn (audio course with Nicole)
- How To Put Your Baby On A Schedule (audio course with Nicole)
Educational Toys for Your 2-3 Month Old
Although toys do not promote sleep, how you spend awake time with your baby can influence their sleep. Be sure to give them a great opportunity for stimulation. These are some great educational toys:
29 thoughts on “2-3 Month Old Baby Sleep Guide”
What’s considered a Catnap? 15-20 min? 30-40?
Hi Alicia – Thanks for writing! a 15 minute naps is definitely a catnap, and so is a 30-40 minute nap! Anything less than 45 minutes or so would be a catnap in most scenarios! : )
My little man is 8 weeks old and sleeps through the night already most nights(9/10pm-7/8/9am). He is mixed fed but exclusively breast fed in the night, we Co sleep so it’s pretty much dream feeding. However he will only sleep maybe 2-3 hours a day. Does he just not need the sleep during day because he us getting so much at night or do I just need to find what dies get him to sleep. He will just lay contently in his bassinet during sleep time
Thank you for visiting The Baby Sleep Site! I’m sorry to hear you’re having some trouble with naps. Although there are some babies who can get by with that little daytime sleep, I’m sorry to say, it’s relatively rare. Most 2 month-olds are sleeping something like 4 hours a day, with 10-11 hours at night. You might like to see our chart on sleep needs by age here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-needs/baby-how-much-sleep/
If you’re having a lot of trouble getting day sleep, we’d recommend checking in with your pediatrician just to make sure growth is good and your son doesn’t have any health issues that could be affecting sleep. It is also normal for your son to need your help to fall asleep at this age – he may not be able to fall asleep on his own when tired.
I hope this helps, and good luck!
Hello, I have a 2 month old that we are trying to get on some sort of a sleep schedule. He naps a few times a day, with a range from 1 – 2.5 hours.
Couple questions: Sometime he naps in stroller/car seat when we are on the go picking up my toddlers. Is that a bad habit?
Should we have fixed points during the night where we wake him for feedings or just see how long he sleeps? We usually feed him (because he wakes up) at 9:30pm, 12pm, 3:30pm and then he starts fussing around 4:45am/5am and it is difficult to get him back down to sleep so I usually have him sleep on me and then I feed him around 6ish. Sometimes he goes longer/earlier than the above times. But wondering if we should start waking him instead of him waking up crying and then us feeding him.
@Julie – Thank you for stopping by our sleepy little village and for sharing with us. We find that some babies nap on the go and some just won’t! We generally tell our parents that nothing is a problem until it’s a problem! 🙂 These are great questions about waking and feeding but likely just a bit more detailed than I can help you with on the blog. Please consider connecting with one of our sleep consultants for more support and a plan of action there. You can read more about our lovely ladies here:https://www.babysleepsite.com/about and our services here:https://www.babysleepsite.com/services
My baby boy is 2 months old. Lately it has been hard to get him asleep at night, to stay asleep, and to get him back to sleep. He naps in his rock n play and sleeps in his crib. I have a bedtime routine and night waking routine. He was doing really well with it and he would sleep for 6 hours straight, wake up to eat, and then go right back to sleep. Now it’s hard to get him to sleep at night and he tries to stay awake after his night time feeding. He went from waking up 6 hours after bedtime to now waking every 3 hours again
Hi @ Melissa,
Thank you for writing to us! I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your baby sleeping as well as he was! You are certainly not alone! If you haven’t yet, you can sign up to receive our free guide written just for families with young babies, “15 Baby Sleep Facts New Parents Need to Know.” Here is the link:
We do offer a few more in-depth solutions for parents who need more help. Our e-book, Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep, may be a good option for you. In it, we give you a complete toolkit to help your baby establish healthy sleep habits today and throughout the first year.
In addition, our highly trained sleep consultants can help families of newborns manage soothing issues, crying, schedules, sleep associations, and coordinating sleep and feeding times. Our sleep consultation packages are perfect for those that want to skip the DIY options.
You can read more about our wonderful newborn options here:
I hope this helps!
i have a two month old son
I want to know how.many times a day should i breastfeed him.
His feeds are very short say not more than 5 min.
Hi @Sapna – Thanks for writing to us, and congratulations on the birth of your baby two months ago! You may want to ask your baby’s doctor if you are concerned about the amount of breastmilk he is getting/how many feeds he may need, and to make sure he is feeding enough. Our newborn same schedule may help too, but your doctor/medical professional will know best for your baby’s growth and development: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/newborn-sleep-feeding-schedule/
Our e-book, Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep, may be a good option for you to help your son get on track with managing sleep and eating too. In it, we give you a complete toolkit to help your baby establish healthy sleep habits today and throughout the first year, and this includes feeding schedules.
You can read more about our wonderful newborn options here:
Thank you again for visiting us! We wish you all the best!
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