At 2 months old, your baby is going through plenty of changes that are going to set the foundations for healthy sleep habits well into adulthood. But right now, they might be driving you a little crazy with their wakeups and erratic patterns!
Here, we'll go over why your baby might be finding sleeping difficult at the 2 month mark, and what you can do to help ease this period - for the sake of both your baby and your own sleep!
Sleep at 2 months old: What's happening?
A 2 month old baby is still a newborn, so they’ll still be sleeping the majority of the time. However, towards the end of month 2, you might start to see more distinct sleep patterns taking form, which could include longer stretches of sleep at night.
Until then, a 2 month old baby sleeps up to 18 hours a day, staying awake for no more than 2 hours in between sleep times, so your sleep schedule should be planned accordingly around this awake time.
Is 2 months old the time for a sleep schedule?
However, keep in mind that at this age, it’s better to implement a sleep routine as opposed to a sleep schedule.
A 2 month old sleep “schedule” might be too rigid for the age, while a 2 month old sleep routine will allow more flexibility, but will still introduce good sleep habits that can carry over into baby and toddler sleep routines.
Focus more on the routine’s activities than the timing – that will slowly come into play towards 3 months and older, when you can introduce proper sleep training techniques.
If you'd like to see a sample schedule for a 2 month old, as well as suggested bedtimes, solutions to common challenges, and more, read Baby Sleep Simplified: Newborn Sleep Schedules and Patterns.
2 month old sleep routine
Here's a quick example of a gentle sleep schedule you could use with your 2 month old:
- 6:30am - Wake up
- 7:30am - Naptime
- 9:00am - Wake up
- 10:00am - Naptime
- 11:30am - Wake up
- 1:00pm - Naptime
- 2:00pm - Wake up
- 3:30pm - Naptime
- 5:00pm - Wake up
- 6:30pm - Naptime
- 7:30pm - Wake up
- 8:30pm - Get ready for bedtime
- 9:00pm - Go to sleep!
Of course, it's rare that these types of schedules ever run so precisely, but as long as your baby is having around 30-120 minute naps followed by 60-90 minutes of awake time, you should be good!
Nighttime sleep: Establishing healthy sleep habits
Starting to incorporate this bedtime routine will also help your baby figure out the difference between day time and night time.
When they were only a few weeks old and sleeping the majority of time, there really was no distinguishing the day and night.
But now you’ll want your baby to know the difference between taking naps, which grow shorter as your baby gets older, and nighttime sleep, which should get longer as your baby gets older.
Their set bedtime routine will become a cue or signal (also known as a sleep association) and help them realize that it’s time to say goodnight and fall asleep, not just take a mid-day snooze!
They’ll still need to be fed frequently, so don’t expect to be sleeping through the night quite yet. Short sleep intervals are still very common in a 2 month old baby's sleep pattern, but usually become longer around 3 months.
Just take it from this Nested Bean Mom & mommy Blogger, Janene (Hello Ivory Rose):
REAL MOM STORY
“Looking back, the first month was all about snuggling, waking a sleeping baby to feed, figuring out nursing, and surviving the 24-hour shifts. They eye bags were real and deep. It was hard.
It was tough needing to be present for my older 3 kids that are still so dependent on me for everything. By 2 months old, things felt a little more consistent with the schedule but I was still so tired."- Hello Ivory Rose
2 months old - The 'sleep learning' stage
This is why we call the 2 to 3 month old age the "sleep learning" stage. Your baby is slowly growing into more set sleeping patterns, but still not sleeping for those long stretches - they're still learning!
The gentle pressure of the Zen Swaddle offers a reassuring and comforting touch that helps to calm babies and, with consistent use, will help them learn to self soothe when baby wakes and fall asleep on their own.
The Zen Swaddle also combats Moro (Startle) Reflex, which is a common cause of wake-ups in babies up to 4 months old.
Real Mom Review
“I bought this for my son when he was 2 months old, after trying out many different swaddles and wearable blankets. He loves sleeping in my arms, but mama's got to get her sleep too! This swaddle keeps him comforted and snuggly, and he can't kick his legs around too much and wake himself up. It works perfectly...I only wish I had found this sooner!"-Stephanie, 6/23/2016
2 months old is a transition time. Your baby is becoming increasingly alert and active, which is very exciting! But it’s also very common to start struggling with routine and short sleeping periods at this age.
On the flip side, some parents start to see their baby's sleep go for longer stretches through the night – it’s going to completely depend on your baby.
Most babies also experience a growth spurt right around 2 months old, which can lead to an extra sleepy and hungry baby.
Here’s our tips to keep in mind- and help keep your sanity- during this 2 month old transition time:
Remember that every baby is different
Perhaps your friend’s baby is already sleeping close to 7 or 8 hours through the night, and you’re still stuck waking up every few hours with your little one. Don’t worry, there’s nothing “wrong” with your baby.
Since 2 months old is a transition period, every baby is going to make that transition at their own pace. Remember that these challenges (short sleeping periods, sleep regression, short naps, fussiness or colic during the “witching hour”, etc.) are all very common for many babies.
Keep attending your regular check-ups with baby and of course consult your pediatrician if you think something is really wrong, but know you are not alone in these challenges – even if it might feel like it!
Don’t get hung up on the perfect 2 month old schedule
Although 2 months old is the ideal time to start implementing a more consistent bedtime routine, don’t obsess over following a rigid schedule.
Focus on implementing the same calming activities before bed to get a routine in place when baby falls asleep, and if you’re really craving some form of a sleep schedule, start with focusing on wake-up time and the first nap of the day.
While most of your day’s schedule will be a little erratic, you can usually start planning a set time for you and baby to wake up in the morning, and at what time they can take their first daytime sleep of the day.
Even gentle sleep schedule ideas like these can help your life feel a little more structured during a chaotic period!
Enjoy this period with your baby!
There’s a lot to look forward to as your baby cruises through the 2 month mark. They’ll start to be more alert and their little personality traits will be coming out. You’re going to be hearing more giggles and grunts, and notice your baby discovering their hands and toes.
You can learn more about your baby’s sleep during 1 month, 2 months, 3 months and on in Baby Sleep Simplified.
Commonly asked questions about baby's sleep at 2 months
Can sleep regression happen at 2 months?
Generally, scattered and inconsistent baby sleep schedules at the 2 month mark aren't considered a true regression as much as those at 4 and 8 months, as that would mean you've had a period of consistent nighttime sleep beforehand!
As we've discussed in this article, your baby is still getting used to the world at 2 months, and is only really beginning to have any kind of schedule at all.
However, this doesn't mean that getting a 2 month old to go to sleep is easy! That's why we recommend tools like the Zen Swaddle to help soothe your baby through this tumultuous phase.
How long does 8 week sleep regression last?
The 8 week sleep regression is less of a regression in the true sense and more of a wobbly period where your baby is starting to wake up to the world around them after life in the womb.
They'll likely seem more alert, and because they're in a transition period - like with all regressions - they're probably struggling to follow the sleep schedule you'd like them to.
Like other sleep regressions, the 8 week (or 2 month old) regression can last anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks
But luckily, it can be managed in the meantime with consistent sleep habits and swaddles like the Zen Swaddle, which helps babies self soothe by mimicking your calming touch.
Why is my 2 month old waking up every hour?
Newborn babies aren't born with the circadian rhythms adults have that help them to regulate their sleep into consistent 24 sleep patterns (you can learn more about circadian rhythms here on the National Sleep Foundation site).
This is just another part of them getting used to the big new world around them!
These rhythms become more fully developed later on, allowing for more sleep training. But things like making sure your baby is exposed to sunlight and keeping their room dark for nighttime sleep can help improve sleep patterns and lay the foundation for a healthy baby sleep schedule.
Why my 2 month old won't nap?
There are a few reasons why your 2 month old might be fighting sleep - for instance, they might be overtired and cranky, or they might need another feeding.
Additionally, the startle (or Moro) reflex could be to blame - this is the automatic reflex that causes your baby to stretch out their arms, usually waking them in the process!
This is an issue that can be prevented by using the Zen One, a convertible swaddle which keeps baby tightly held and provides comfort through the gently weighted cuddle pad that mimics your touch to helps baby sleep.
Other Sleep Resources