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?
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 depend 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. Print off a copy for yourself and use it as an easy reference tool – and consider printing off a few for your friends or family members who have struggling nappers at home!
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 best you can for this stage.|
|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.|
Need Nap Help For Your Baby or Toddler? The Baby Sleep Site® Is Here For You!
If you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty of support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
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Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
If you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
Need help knowing where to start? Visit our Help Me Choose page for help choosing the Baby Sleep Site® resources that are right for you.