How Long Should Your Baby Sleep? Posted on 07 Aug 10:37 , 1 comment

 how long should babies sleep

How long should babies sleep? The answer to that question varies based on your baby’s age. As a newborn, babies should sleep up to 18 hours in a 24 hour period. That means they’re spending 75% of the time asleep!

As they get older, the number of hours per day will slowly decrease, as you can see in our baby sleep chart below.

It might seem crazy that newborns sleep more than they are awake, and it also makes many parents wonder, “is there such thing as too much sleep for my baby?”

Most likely, no. Newborns are still in a period of rapid growth and development, they sleep so much because they need to! Newborns aren’t born with an internal biological clock – it’s developed over their first few months. You won’t see a regular sleep-wake cycle develop in your baby until 3 to 6 months old. Did you know that, according to the National Sleep Foundation, by the age of two, most children will have spent MORE time asleep than awake over the course of their life? Clearly, sleep plays a large role in your baby’s life – even beyond the first year!

The only time you need to intervene in your newborn’s sleep is to make sure they are adequately fed, every 2 to 3 hours. Many babies will wake on their own because they’re hungry, but if not, then you’ll need to wake them up yourself. Unless your baby is literally never waking up, not even to be fed, then you may want to consult your pediatrician. But it’s completely normal for your newborn to be asleep up to 18 hours every day.

Always keep in mind that every baby is different. Some might not stay awake longer than 30 minutes in between sleeps for the first couple months, while others might be up for close to an hour or more between napping. Also keep in mind that there may be no set pattern to their sleeping habits. Before 3-4 months old, their sleep can be pretty erratic – the only thing you can count on is that there will be a lot of it! Savor this time, because it won’t last forever! Your baby’s sleep can change in an instant, and as they grow older, they’ll need a little bit less every day.

While the amount of daytime sleep your baby needs will decrease as they get older, the nighttime sleep duration will get longer – which is good news for you! By 10-12 months, your baby should be sleeping through a full night and only taking 1 or 2 naps during the day. If you have a baby who seems to sleep a lot during the day, but is wide awake come bedtime, it could be a sign that they’re getting their days and nights confused. Remember to keep night times dark and calm with little activity, and ideally with a set bedtime routine that lets them know it’s night and time for bed. You can have a similar routine before naps, but make it a shortened version.

In some cases, it can be hard to make sure your baby is getting enough sleep – especially after they’re past the sleepy newborn stage. After 3 months, your baby still needs a good 13-15 hours of sleep per day. Colic, sleep regressions, acid reflux/gas, and Moro reflex are just a few of the things that could be interfering with your baby’s sleep. The Zen Swaddle or Zen Sack can help with many issues, but some fixes might require a change in routine. You can check out our 7 Highly Effective Sleep Tips to help, or read up on 2 month old sleep and 3 month old sleep. If you find your baby is not getting anywhere near the amount of sleep on our chart, it might be a good idea to talk with your pediatrician to make sure everything is okay.   

Now that you know how long babies should sleep, you can learn more about baby sleep from birth to 3 months, including why they sleep so much, how to know if they're getting enough sleep, and when you can expect them to sleep through the night here!

 Age
Total Hours of Sleep (24-hr period)
Daytime Sleep Duration
Nighttime Sleep Duration
Awake Time Between Sleeps
0-6 Weeks
15-18 hours 15 minutes-3 hours (3-5 naps) 2-4 hours 30 minutes - 1.5 hours
6-15 Weeks
14-16 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours (3-4 naps) 3-6 hours 1-2 hours
4-6 Months
12-15 hours 1-3 hours (3 naps) 6-8 hours 1.5-2.5 hours
6-8 Months
12-15 hours 1-3 hours (2-3 naps) 9-12 hours 2-3 hours
8-10 Months
11-15 hours 1-2 hours (1-2 naps) 10-12 hours 2-3 hours
10-12 Months
11-14 hours 1-2 hours (1-2 naps) 10-12 hours 2.5-3.5+ hours

Comments

Kimberly Nielsen on

How can I get my 8 month old to sleep through the night? She goes to bed by 7:30 and wakes up at 11/12 and around 3:30 am every night. She’s difficult to get back down and just wants to be held. How do I break this?

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