Knowing how much sleep your baby needs can be confusing when your neighbor’s newborn baby sleeps 17 hours a day and your friend’s a toddler sleeps 13 hours a day. Setting your expectations is an important first step.
Baby and Toddler Sleep Needs Chart
|Age||Total Amount of Nighttime Sleep||Total Amount of Naptime Sleep||# of Naps||Notes|
|Newborns to 3 month olds||10-11 hours at night||4-5 hours per day||4-5 naps||Short naps are common|
|4 to 5 month olds||10-12 hours at night||2-4 hours per day||3-4 naps||At least two 1+ hour naps|
|6 to 8 month olds||11-12 hours at night||2-3 hours per day||2-3 naps||Two 1+ hour naps and 1 short one|
|9 to 17 month olds||11-12 hours at night||2-3 hours per day||1-2 naps||1+ hour long each nap|
|18 month olds to 3 years||10-12 hours at night||1-3 hours per day||1 nap|
|3 to 5 years old||10-11 hours||0-3 hours||Sometimes 1 nap, but most lose between 3 & 4 years old)||If napping, the nap is usually ~1-3 hours long|
|5 years+||9-10 hours||0 hours||No nap|
Keep in mind that these are just average baby sleep needs, so some babies will naturally fall below these sleep amounts, and some above. If your baby is sleeping a lot more and you are concerned, you should talk to your doctor. Some babies may just need a lot of sleep, but since that is less time to learn and play, you’ll want to make doublecheck with your pediatrician if your baby’s sleep needs are excessively high.
How much sleep your baby gets and whether your baby gets enough sleep will depend on quite a few factors, including your diligence in keeping your baby’s routine, providing the opportunity for enough sleep, and your baby’s personality / willingness to sleep. We can’t *make* our babies sleep; we can only provide the opportunity.
Here are a few tips to make sure your baby gets the sleep she needs:
- Keep in mind the average amount of sleep appropriate for your baby’s age.
- Know your specific baby’s average by logging your baby’s sleep for a week or two.
- Don’t fall into the trap that later bedtime or keeping babies up longer will promote longer naps or better night sleep or waking later in the morning. Over-tiredness is the #1 reason babies take short naps, have more night-wakings, and wake earlier in the morning. Strange, but true. Consider reviewing our sample baby sleep and feeding schedules.
- Don’t fall into the trap thinking your baby doesn’t need more sleep because she’s happy all the time. Some babies get cranky without enough sleep and others don’t. Even if your baby is happy, she may still need more sleep than you are offering.
- If your baby is sleeping less than the averages and is happy, then don’t stress too much that you are forcing more sleep than she can sleep. If you know HER average and she’s getting close to that AND she’s happy, breathe a sigh of relief.
- Adjust how much sleep your baby needs as she gets older. Most of the time, babies will not need two hours less sleep overnight. However, your baby will slowly need less over time. This should only decrease at a slow rate, though.
Knowing how much sleep your baby needs is the first step to better sleep. Figuring out how to get that much sleep is a whole other matter. 😀 Hopefully these tips help get you on the right path.
31 thoughts on “How Much Sleep Your Baby Needs and How to Get Enough”
My 2 and a half month old seems to be sleeping a lot too much. Should I be concerned?
She sleeps 12 hours at night (waking up a couple of times for feeds) and she also sleeps most of the day.
I would say, that she is only awake for approx. 3 hours out of 24.
Should I be concerned?
Hi @Silver, thanks for writing to us. I remember my son was so sleepy at that age and it freaked me out too, so I understand your concern. I brought it up to my pediatrician and they said since he was waking to feed enough and was gaining weight there was no cause for concern and he’d become more alert eventually, which was the case for us. I would recommend mentioning it to your doctor to see what they say. Here’s an article that outlines what development your baby is going through right now which may help: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-guide/2-3-month-old-baby-sleep-guide/
If you need anything else, please let us know!
My son, too, at age 2 1/2 months, was sleeping most of the time and acting sleepy during wake time. I was very concerned because it seemed to be a change that came upon him. My pediatrician was not concerned because he was gaining weight. I was told to wait it out.
Eventually, I discovered (the details of how I came to this conclusion is too long to write here) that the powder formula I was using was getting damp from the scoop that I had been leaving in the box between feedings.
My baby was getting formula at that point twice to three times a day. I used a powder formula that came in a box with a scoop that was to be combined with water. After making a bottle, I used to return the scoop to the box. The amount of wetness on the scoop was almost nothing…barely a tiny droplet…but yet enough to dampen the powder over time, I discovered.
Thus It turns out that I was feeding my baby slightly-spoiled formula.
Once I got to the bottom of the problem, my baby perked up.
I had another incident later on where I replaced the formula box with a new one when my baby was acting sleepy. Once again, my baby began acting better the next day.
If you don’t use formula, or this otherwise doesn’t apply to you, you may want to look at other environmental factors with the eye of a detective. At the time that I was exploring this problem with my baby, I heard other stories from moms- one mom told me that there had been some mold in a hard-to- see place between the nipple of the baby bottle and the cap. When she bought new bottles, baby became more alert.
A word of caution- don’t become OCD about these things. If the above- mentioned scenerios don’t apply to you, then most likely you could wait it out (with the guidance of the pediatrician).
Just mentioning my experience.
Best of luck! I wish to and the baby good health!
My Name is Dev Sharma and I am from India.
I m in great need of ur help n suggestions…
My baby is 25 days old… She has not slept since 3 days. I am concerned n worried.
@Dev – Thank you for reading and for sharing. Newborn sleep patterns can be very erratic and exhausting, for sure. We feel your pain! To start, if ever you feel worried or concerned about anything your little girl is doing, we’d urge you to reach out to her healthcare provider just to be sure there’s no medical reason that could be to blame. I’m not sure if you mean she has not slept at all for over 3 weeks or if she has only slept very little over the past few weeks, which I’m thinking may be the case. During the first several weeks of your daughter’s life, she may not sleep “a lot” and only in short chunks of time. You can work now to watch for her “sleepy” signs in order to be able to put her down to sleep before she becomes overtired. Once a newborn becomes overtired, she can become very fussy leading to you having to put forth quite some effort to soothe her in order for her to be able to go sleep only not to sleep very well. Here are a few tips for helping your newborn sleep better: https://www.babysleepsite.com/newborns/newborn-sleep-baby-tips-10/
If you find you need or would like more support during this time, consider connecting with one of our sleep consultants – you can read more about our ladies here:https://www.babysleepsite.com/about Hang in there, Dev!
My baby just doesn’t seem to want to sleep much despite many opportunities given to sleep.
I have a 6 month old daughter (on 22nd of this month) she was 6 weeks premature she has never had a great routine and has always been a late to sleep baby.
She goes to sleep between around 930pm most days and will generally sleep through the night with 1 or 2 wake-ups to eat (and then right back to sleep.) Due to our work schedules she is up at 530 during the week but takes a nap 730am-9am/10am. On the weekends she wakes around 5am to eat but sleeps until 8am or 9am.
She takes cat naps mostly although occasionally she will take a 1-2 hour nap but there is no pattern it’s random.
sleep anytime btw 830-10pm
wakes midnight or 1 am to eat (BF)
wakes at 330-430am to eat (BF)
wake at 530 to go to nana’s – awake Play
eats 7-730am (4oz bottle)
Eats at 10 or 11 am (4oz bottle)
awake – play
2pm -cat nap
230pm eat (4oz bottle)
awake – play
4pm eat (BF)
6 pm eat
7 pm Bedtime routine (Bath, massage, feed)
naps/wakes until 930-10
@Shanda I’m sorry you are concerned your baby isn’t sleeping enough. It sounds like you have several challenges with the low sleep at night and short naps. Have you downloaded our free e-Book, 7 Common Napping Mistakes? It may point you in the right direction as to where to start and then you will also get more tips delivered to your inbox. Here’s the link: https://www.babysleepsite.com/7-common-napping-mistakes If you need any other help, please contact us any time. Hang in there!
My 9 month old only Sleep up to about 2 hours a day and it has been going on for about 3 months now. What should i do?
Hi @Tiffany, thanks for your comment! At 9 months old, 2 hours of sleep a day between 2 naps (at least 1 hour each) and 11-12 hours at night is a sufficient amount of sleep, so if your baby is sleeping well at night I don’t think you need to be concerned. 🙂 Here is a link to a sample 9 month old schedule for your reference as well: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/9-month-old-baby-schedule/#schedule
Thank you for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource!
Hi My bay boy is 11 months old.
We have always had trouble in regards for his sleeping pattern.
He will normally sleep at 8 pm and then will get up in 4 hours feed on formula 120 ml and sleep again for 1 hr sometimes 2 hr again get up and drink app 120 ml and sleep and then will get up in every 1 hr normally crying with his eyes closed and fall asleep again till 5 am and then no sleep until 8 am after eating at 7 am and will sleep for 1 hr again and then will be up till 1 pm will have lunch and sleep for 3 to 4 hr and then will eat something and will be up until 8pm and will sleep again after having dinner.
We are little worried as something is wrong with him.
We have had a chat with our doctor but according to them he is active and look completely healthy and the growth is proper.
can you provide any advice is we are feeding hi less or we are doing something wrong.
7 am Cerelac small bowl full
10 am bowl full of otes
1 pm bowl full of rice and lentils with vegetables.
5 pm fruit juice or banana half
7 pm dinner bowl full of rice and lentils with vegetables.
then probable 3-4 time 60 to 120 ml of baby formula in the night as he wakes up.
Would appreciate your feed back and help.
@Rohan, thank you for writing to us! I am sorry to hear you are struggling with your son’s frequent wake ups. Here is a link to a sample schedule for an 11 month old where we outline how much food and formula they typically need at this age: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/11-month-old-schedule/
I am glad your pediatrician sees no signs of anything being wrong, I am sure he is a healthy, sweet growing boy. 🙂 It sounds like he may be waking up frequently at night due to a sleep association. At 11 months we would hope your baby is sleeping through the night with no wake ups, however some need 1 feeding in the night. He does still need the nutrition that formula provides, so you may try putting those feedings during the day to make sure he gets everything he needs in the daytime hours so he is not waking up hungry. You may decide to gradually do this or “rip off the bandaid” which may just be a rough night where he is very hungry.
You may find that even when your baby is eating enough during the day he is still waking up. If this is the case, it is likely he has some sleep associations and needs the bottle or your presence in order to fall back asleep. This article provides more information on that: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-association/
And this will take you through various methods to sleep train if you decide to sleep train: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-training-from-no-cry-to-cry-series-part-1/
I hope this helps and you see some longer night time stretches soon! Thank you for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource for sleep!
Hi. My son is 20 months old. He sleeps straight through the night…. plus! He’ll typically sleep from 7 pm to 9 am, 14 hours without waking. He will sometimes nap again at 2 pm till about 3 pm, usually not longer than that. Sometimes he doesn’t nap. I asked the pediatrician about the 14 hour nights and she was very surprised. She said a baby cannot go so long without food. She instructed me to wake him.
Based on your experience, is this true? He is very energetic, happy, and active during the day. It DOES take him a while to snap out of sleep in the morning, possibly because he’s so hungry… but then after a bit he gets very fresh and energetic.
What do you think? Should I wake him every morning at 7 or let him sleep until 9? Thank you so much. I appreciate hearing another opinion.
@Hessie – Thank you for your comment! What a little sleeper you have! At this age, as you saw in the article, we would expect your toddler to get between 10-12 hours a night (probably closer to 12) and then take a nap that’s at least an hour in the afternoon. It is not too surprising that your son is not napping all the time, and that if he does it is short, since he is sleeping all of his expected time in the evening. Since your pediatrician has suggested waking him, I would follow their advise and wake after 12 hours, and hopefully you will see his naps get more consistent and they may even lengthen a bit – some kids do need more sleep than others so you will be able to find out what he needs. While having him sleep until 9 is probably really great, it may not be a bad idea to get him use to waking earlier for whenever he reaches school age (if you plan on sending him to a traditional school versus homeschooling or something more flexible) just for scheduling purposes he will already be use to it. I hope that helps, and let us know if you have any other questions! Thank you for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource for sleep!
My 3 months old baby girl sleeps between 10-12 hours at night (wakes up 3 times to feed then directly falls back asleep) BUT once she fully wakes up she does not sleep during the daytime, she doesnt take naps and im getting worried!! She developed a sleep pattern that goes like this: sleeps at 1am (2am sometimes) and fully wakes up at 12h30pm (1h30pm sometimes), no naps after that and she is always hyper and at night very fussy before she falls asleep. Any advice please. Thank you
Thanks so much for your comment and for using The Baby Sleep Site! I’m glad to hear that your daughter is sleeping well at night, but I agree that the lack of naps is a concern. It sounds like she’s getting a lot less sleep for her age than average, and I’ve never heard of a baby who didn’t nap at all during the day (though of course we work with many babies who have trouble napping, but they do fall asleep eventually). Your description of her as “hyper” and “very fussy” also fits her being overtired from not napping. The first thing we’d recommend is a visit to the pediatrician just to rule out any medical issues. Babies with reflux and certain neurological issues will have a lot of trouble sleeping during the day and may need medical intervention to help. If you can rule out a medical cause, you may want to check her sleep environment – is it dark enough during the day for her to sleep? Do you have a white noise machine? Is her feeding schedule okay so she’s not waking from hunger? Is there a naptime routine in place? We have a sample 3 month-old feeding and sleeping schedule here as an example: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/3-month-old-baby-sleep-and-feeding-schedule/
I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have further questions, and good luck!
So I know this sounds strange but my 3 month old only sleeps a 7 hour stretch at night and 3 ten minute naps during the day. He’s never slept more than ten hours in a 24 hour period since he was born. And yes he is extremely fussy because of the lack of sleep but I’ve tried everything to get him to get more sleep and it’s been effecting his growth and wright gain as well. I’ve brought it up to my doctors before but they said it’ll pass, but it hasn’t. And he also excessively eats 8 ounces every three hours so maybe those two things are connected? I try to bring him down gradually but he just screams his head off :/
@Alesia, I’m sorry that your newborn is having such trouble with sleep. It’s true that newborn sleep can be sporadic and unpredictable. However, there are things you can do to help your newborn sleep better. I recommend reading our free guide specifically geared towards newborns and their sleep challenges. You can read more about and sign up for our free guide here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/announcements/newborn-baby-sleep-guide-free/
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