2-3 Month Old Baby Sleep Guide

2-3 Month Old Baby Sleep Guide

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.

Sample Schedules

Review these sample schedules for your 2-3-month-old but remember, they won’t always be overly predictable at this age:

2 Month Old Sample Schedule

3 Month Old Sample Schedule

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:

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:

How is YOUR 2 month or 3 month old baby sleeping?!

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29 thoughts on “2-3 Month Old Baby Sleep Guide”

  1. My 10 week old is difficult to put to sleep at night – we swaddle him, turn on the white noise machine, and hold/pat him (between 7 and 8pm). He will cry, drift to sleep, cry, drift to sleep and this often takes about 40 minutes until he will fall all the way asleep when we put him down in his co-sleeper. Is there something we are missing? Anyway to make this process shorter with less crying?

  2. I see @amanda did not get a reply. After reading her post, I was VERY eager to read the reply as it is very similar to where we are with our 11 week old. He is exclusively breastfed (though he is still difficult to feed as he has a poor latch we and our IBCLC can’t figure out iF that is important to know) and sleeps great at night in his crib in our room from about 10:30/11:00 PM with a feeding between 2 and 5 AM and then usually ready to be awake for the day around 6:30/7:00 AM. However, naps are a whole different story. He fights sleep hard and always has—he requires considerable bouncing, patting and loud “shhh”ing. That is able to be handled; however, he absolutely refuses to be laid down to sleep at nap time. I have tried swaddling, not swaddling, dark room, light room, drowsy but awake, rocking to sleep, etc. Occaisionally I can put him down in the Rock N’ Play after he is good and asleep in my arms and he’ll sleep there for 30-45 additional minutes, but that probably only has about a 30% success rate. I will be going back to work in 5 weeks and he will need to be able to nap in a Pack N Play at daycare—they do not have the option to hold him for every nap. Is it too early to expect more than that? Should I expect a dramatic change in the next 5 weeks? What suggestions do you have to prepare my babe for daycare and allow me some time for dishes, laundry, etc. during the day?

    • @Morgan Bienhoff, Thank you for writing to us! I am sorry you’ve been struggling with your son’s naps. I remember those days vividly with each of my son’s and I can totally relate. Part of this is developmental and he will be able to nap independently. It is possible he will develop some bad habits (also known as sleep associations) but that is not a result of you doing anything wrong, some newborns just need the help with naps more than others. Here’s an article that explains that further: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/bad-nap-sleep-habits-baby-may-develop/
      If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our free nap guide you can sign up and download here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/free-baby-nap-guide/
      The key things to watch out for during the day with a baby this young is to make sure you are offering sleep a lot. You son make take a ton of super short naps a day, and that is ok at this age, we just don’t want him staying awake longer than 1.5-2 hours (less than that is normal too). If he exceeds this he will likely get overtired and sleep will become more difficult for him. When my son’s went through this, my baby carrier was my friend when I really had to get stuff done. I wouldn’t wear them for every nap (as that tired out my back) but it was especially helpful when I needed to cook dinner or clean up a bit.
      Hang in there! It will improve soon!

  3. My 3 month old daughter only takes 30 minute naps. I wake her up every day at 7AM & she goes to bed around 6:30PM every night. She’ll wake at 11:30PM & 4:30AM to eat. How do I get her to nap longer than 30 minutes? I put her down for her first nap at 8:30AM. Regardless of if she’s rocked to sleep or put down awake or drowsy, she’s always up within 30 minutes.

    • @Lauren – Hi! Thank you for commenting. I am sorry you’re struggling with short naps for your daughter. That is amazing to hear she is sleeping so well for you at night! It is common for a baby to get good at one area of sleep (such as nighttime in your case) and struggle with the other because naps and night time sleep come from different parts of the brain. This was helpful for me to learn, as it explained so much!
      It is common for babies your daughter’s age to still take short naps, although some babies have begun to lengthen them out at this time so it can be difficult if you are comparing to an older sibling or to a friend or relative’s child. Here is an article that has some tips on how to tackle short naps if this does not resolve in this next few months (we’d say it’s a problem if by 5-6 months this is still going on): https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/short-baby-naps-explained/
      Thank you for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource for sleep!

  4. Hi there,

    My three month old daughter was born 6 weeks prem (due date 03/12/17 born 24/10/17). She has never been an enthusiatic feeder. Do I need to be concerned that she is wanting to sleep through the night? She will have a “top up” feed anywhere between 9 & 12pm at night but then doesn’t want to feed during the night. Is this okay? She is formula fed

    • @Jackie, Thank you for your comment! It is tough for me to say for sure, so I would suggest you reach out to your daughter’s pediatrician as most babies should not go longer than 3 hours at night without a feed in the early days. Since she was premature they may still want her to do that based on how she is gaining weight and how much she is feeding during the day. I would make sure she is at an appropriate weight according to her doctor and see if they advise you wake her more often. My sister was in the same situation as you, and her son was not gaining weight, so she had to wake her son, but every situation is different! He was very very sleepy for months so it was tough work waking him up! I apologize I can’t give you a certain answer as all babies are different!
      Thank you for stopping by and using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource!

  5. My baby boy is 3month’s now. But he is still sleeping on a fix position only. There is no movement start.

    • Hi Nalini,
      Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site as a resource! I’m sorry, but I’m not sure if I understand your question correctly. If you’re asking about rolling, it is very normal for a baby not to begin rolling until older than 3 months. We do recommend a baby be put to sleep on their back until at least 1 year-old, even if they then roll themselves 🙂 I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have any other questions!

  6. Hi! I have a 2 1/2 month old son that has been co-sleeping with me since birth. I know this is a terrible habit! However, I would really like to get him sleeping in his own crib. Now I am trying to lay him down and he immediately wakes up and starts crying. I’m letting him cry but I’m not sure how long to let him cry. Any advice? Thank you!

    • Hi @Cassie!
      Thank you for visiting us! Often when working to transition your baby to his own bed, it helps to start spending time in or on the bed during the day and during non-sleep hours so that he can start to get an idea that it is his bed, and is a “nice” place to be. You might also consider sleeping with/holding the fitted sheet before putting it in his crib, so that it smells like you, as this will help comfort him. he may not have mastered the skill of falling asleep on his own yet, or falling back to sleep on his own yet at his young age, so you may want to limit crying by staying with him and soothing with your voice, patting, etc. You can also work slowly by putting him in his own crib at bedtime only, and then decide which wakings you may bring him into bed with you but to slowly start weaning him from coming to bed with you when he wakes.
      There are some additional tips here that you might also find helpful:
      This Ebook may help with this, and many other common issues up through 12 months of age –
      We hope that things go very smoothly! Good luck!

  7. Hi!

    If wake up time is fixed at 7am let’s say, what happens if the bed time at night varies from 9pm to 6:30pm? Do we still wake them at 7am regardless?

    • Hi Kaline,
      Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site as a resource! Yes, if you’re attempting to do fixed points with your baby, you would wake them up at the same time every day, regardless of bedtime. The idea is that, over the course of a couple of weeks of the same wake up time and first nap time, bedtime would also start to fall within the same 30-60 minutes every night naturally. I hope this helps!

  8. My daughter started taking shockingly short naps around four weeks that haven’t gotten any better. We’re talking 5-10 minutes without fail if she’s placed on her bed, my bed, my chest, a swing, a bouncy seat…pretty much everything. I discovered that she sleeps okay in a wrap since I can anticipate her wakings every 10 minutes or so and bounce rather violently on an exercise ball to head it off. I can’t do this forever, though. She’s only 10 weeks old, but at what point do I start consistently putting her down to nap in spite of the brevity? She can get a giant nap in the morning (1.5-3 hours) and progressively shorter naps throught the day (45, 30, 25…) in a wrap, so I have trouble believing it would be beneficial to drop her to maybe an hour total of collective napping just to get her to sleep alone. No amount of soothing can get her back down after the dreaded short naps.

    She does this same thing at night for the first two hours of sleep (up after 5-10 minutes), but can usually be rocked back to sleep after a few minutes of crying. Will this get better with age? If so, when should I start trying?

    We do have a naptime and bedtime routine (diaper, song/book, snuggles, swaddle, then rocking to sleep) but she starts screaming as soon as she realizes I’m winding her down. The swaddle seems to cause her the most distress, but is the only way she stays asleep for any amount of time outside of a wrap.

  9. My granddaughter is 2 yo and her mom does not want her to nap, She lets her sleep to 10:00am. And has no set bedtime. B this child needs sleep and is exhausted and rubbing her eye. What should I do here! I have told her many times this baby needs her sleep……she won’t respond to my pleas to let her sleep and encourage this! I am at wits end. I told my son but she rules the roost

  10. I am working on establishing fixed points for my 8 week old breastfed baby in preparation for my return to work in 4 weeks. Currently, bedtime is 930pm and she is waking around 130pm and again around 5am to eat. She readily goes back to sleep after each feeding but is still sleeping soundly and quite tired when I wake her at 630am. Should I make her bedtime earlier?

    • @ Dana – Honestly, at this age, bedtime is kind of a non-issue. We don’t usually start focusing on bedtime until a baby is about 4 months old, because that’s the point when a more defined schedule starts to emerge. I’d say that what you are doing sounds awesome! Your rhythm sounds really healthy and good, and it sounds like your daughter is sleeping great at night. I’d be reluctant to change anything, as this sounds like it’s working well. And even if you did manage to get it to the point where your daughter was waking naturally at 6:30 a.m., that would likely change as she grows; she’s still so young and has a lot of development coming in the next few months.

      Hope this helps, Dana! If you need help when the inevitable 4 month regression hits, don’t hesitate to contact us again 🙂 Best of luck as you return to work in the next few weeks!

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