We get nap questions really frequently from our clients – particularly these three questions:
- How many naps does my baby need?
- How long should my baby’s naps be?
- How much sleep should my baby get during the day, so they sleep at night?
Well, we’re answering all of them in today’s article. How many naps your baby takes will depend on their age and unique development. All babies develop at their own unique rates.
How long your baby’s naps are also depends on age, but once your baby is past 4 months old, we want at least one nap that’s an hour or longer. Once past 6 months old, we want at least two naps that are an hour or longer. And, once your baby transitions to one nap, we want a nice, long 2 to 3-hour nap.
We hope you’ll use this chart as an ongoing reference tool since it covers nap totals and lengths from the newborn stage all the way through age 3+.
Baby Nap Chart: Naps By Age
|Age||# of Naps||Total Amount of Daytime Sleep||Length of Each Nap||Awake Time Between Naps||Notes|
|0 – 11 Weeks||6-8 Naps||4-5 hours||10 or 15 minutes – 4 hours||30 mins – 1 hour||Naps are all over the map at this age, so don’t fret about short and erratic naps in this newborn stage. Instead, focus on daily feeding and sleep routines and use those to shape your day.|
|3-4 Months||4-5 Naps||3-4 hours||30 minutes-2 hours||about 1-2 hours||Watch for the 4 month sleep regression right around this time; it will throw off even the best napper!|
|5-6 Months||3-4 Naps||2.5-3.5 hours||30/45 minutes-2 hours||about 2 hours||Short naps are normal in the first 5-6 months of your baby’s life, but starting around 6 months, your baby’s nap sleep should start to consolidate into more predictable, regular naps.|
|7-8 Months||2-3 Naps||2-3 hours||1-2 hours||2-3 hours||Another sleep regression strikes at around 8 or 9 months, and a nap transition sometimes happens around this same time – from 3 naps to 2.|
|9-12 Months||2 Naps||2-3 hours||1-2 hours||about 3-4 hours||By this point, your baby should be napping pretty predictably. See our sample nap and feeding schedules for help building a more consistent nap schedule, if you’re still struggling with erratic naps.|
|13-17 Months||1-2 Naps||2-3 hours||1-3 hours||3-5hours||Resist the impulse to transition to 1 nap when your baby turns 12 months old. Most babies don’t make the transition to 1 nap until closer to 15-18 months, so hang on to that second nap as long as you can.|
|18 Months-3 Years||1 Nap||1-3 hours||1.5-2.5 hours||5-6 hours||Watch your toddler’s awake time between the end of the afternoon nap and bedtime – as your toddler grows, he’ll need longer and longer afternoon wake time, which means you’ll need to time the nap carefully to be sure it doesn’t push bedtime too late. Additionally, some children will drop the afternoon nap entirely before age 3.|
How Did We Make This Nap Chart?
The above chart is derived from over 15 years of experience as a sleep consultant, with thousands of families, in conjunction with the following two books:
While you can obviously read multiple 200+ page books, we strive to bring you practical and helpful naptime information at your fingertips that you can put to use right away.