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3 Month Old Sleep Schedule: Regressions and Tips for Smooth Sailing

Meet our expert

Rachel Turner

Certified Sleep Sense™ Consultant, Owner, Hello Sleep 


Nested Bean contributor Rachel Turner has helped many families overcome sleep hurdles with their babies. She is  a Certified Sleep Sense™ Consultant, Owner of Hello Sleep, and author of this article.

You’ve read that at 3 months, your baby’s finally in a regular sleep routine. But many parents I’ve coached feel like they’re backsliding and end up dealing with the 3 month sleep regression.

So, let’s do a deep dive into the 3 month old sleep schedule to get you back on track.

The 3 Month Old Sleep Schedule Explained

Many parents settle into a more predictable sleeping pattern with the 3 month sleep schedule—a big improvement since the 2 month sleep regression. Fewer naps. Fewer night feedings. Longer sleeps (from 10pm to 6am, on average). Add in a few 1½-hour naps, and your baby should now be experiencing about 14 to 16 hours a day of total sleep.

But at 3+ months, new issues can crop up that throw everything off: signs of sleep regression. Restless sleep at this age can be caused by cognitive and physical developmental milestones—like becoming more aware if their surroundings, teething, Or (wait for it)—a combination. And sometimes, it’s all happening just as you’re going back to work after parental leave.

Is this normal, though? For babies, yes. For their parents? Not so much. Knowing what to expect at the 3 month mark is the best way to stay ahead of sleep setbacks.

What to expect in the 3 month old schedule

Unfortunately, you may experience the 3 month sleep regression - or if nothing else, challenges in setting a consistent 3 month old bedtime routine. Don’t worry, though - we’ll help you overcome these obstacles.

But first, you need to know exactly what you’re up against in the sleep schedule for 3 month old. Check out these common parent challenges at the 3 month sleep schedule, then see the solutions at a glance.

Amount of Sleep 

A common question I get from parents is: How much sleep does a 3 month old need? Every child is different, but a general rule of thumb is 15-17 hours in 24 hours for your sleep schedule for 3 month old.

How to be ready: Plan your sleep schedule, during the day and at night, and take advantage of resources like our sample 3 month old sleep schedule below! About 5 hours of total sleep during the day (3-5, 1-3 hour naps per day) and 10-12 hours at night should do the trick.

Negative sleep associations

Learning to sleep independently can be hard for babies; being placed alone in a crib, out of your arms, some babies start to make negative sleep associations with bedtime.

How to be ready: Get your baby on a consistent newborn bedtime routine that she looks forward to. Include a warm bath, a feeding, cuddles, a dark nursery, a white noise machine, and gently weighted sleepwear like our weighted swaddle or weighted sleep sack.

Fitful sleep

A sleep schedule for 3 month old will entail fewer night feedings; four feedings may be too many, by this point, and can make babies restless sleepers.

How to be ready: 

Start reducing the number of late-night feedings by making sure your baby gets enough to eat all day long, and slowly stretching the time between night-time feedings. Zen Sleepwear can help you maximize sleep between feedings.


If your baby is drooling, biting or irritable during the day, it may be because they are teething. Some babies grow their first tooth as early as 2 to 3 months. This can put a damper on the 3 month sleep schedule.

How to be ready: Before picking her up at bedtime, try giving your baby a teething ring or one of our tips on how to help a teething baby sleep. If tender gums persist, talk to your pediatrician.


3 month Sleep regression

Sudden, frequent wakefulness contribubted to the 3 month regression - which is not cause for concern, but it can test your patience. While the 3 month sleep regression is not as common as the 4 month sleep regression, this is actually a sign that your baby’s sleep cycle is maturing faster than average.

How to be ready: Keep to your sleep training newbown routine, and be sure your baby’s getting enough naps! Overtired babies have a hard time settling down at night. Use Zen Sleepwear, weighted to mimic your touch, to give your baby a head start on peaceful sleep.

Getting baby on a schedule 

At 3 months, your baby's sleeping patterns will start becoming more defined—unlike the first couple months of their life. This change in your baby's sleep cycle means they're ready to get on a more defined 3 month old baby sleep routine. 

How to be ready: 

Start getting baby into a sleep-eat-play routine, using our sample schedule below to guide you. A good day-time sleep schedule will set the foundation for better night sleep. 

Your baby’s ideal 3 month old schedule




Between 6-7 AM

Wake, feed, then play (in that order)

Nap #1

1.25 to 1.5 hours after wakeup time

1-3 hours long

Nap #2

1.5 hours after last nap

1-3 hours long

Nap #3

1.5 hours after last nap

1-3 hours long

Nap #4

1.5 hours after last nap

1-3 hours long

Nap #5 (optional)

1.5 hours after last nap

This nap can be shortened to 30 minutes to an hour long - don't let baby sleep past 6:30 PM.

Start Bedtime Routine

Between 7-7:30 PM

Incorporate a full feed and Zen Sleepwear into your bedtime routine


Between 7:30-8 PM

Put baby in the crib drowsy, but awake

Is it normal for your baby to start sleeping through the night at 3 months?

If you’re an especially lucky parent, your baby may actually start sleeping through the night at 3 months old. This is obviously the ideal sleep schedule for 3 month old, but be advised: that may not mean the civilized 8-9 hour stretch you were hoping for

Most 3 month old babies will sleep about 5 hours at a time. But if your little one isn’t yet sleeping through at 3 months, don’t worry—it won’t be long now.

What time should a 3-month-old go to bed?

A baby’s bedtime almost always depends on the amount and duration of daytime naps. But a common bedtime for a 3-month-old sleep schedule is 7p.m. Sticking to a consist bedtime for 3 month old newborns is imperative.

How many naps/daytime sleep should there be in a 3-month-old sleep schedule?

A 3-month-old baby generally sleeps between 12-17 hours per day. About 8-12 hours of their sleep schedule happens overnight, and the rest is made up through daytime naps. And the ideal number of naps for a 3-month-old baby is 3-4 naps per day.  Those naps normally span anywhere from 1-2 hours each.

My 3-month-old is sleeping a lot—especially at naptime. Is this okay?

An average 3 month old should be getting 5 hours of daytime sleep. If you notice your baby sleeping more than normal, start tracking their nap times for a couple days to see how much they are actually getting!

Can I start sleep training at 3 months?

You can start teaching healthy sleep habits as young as newborns. Sleep training could start once your little one is gaining good weight and on a healthy growth curve per your doctor. Be sure to talk to your doctor about their weight gain and if they could make it through the night without a night feed.

Should I wake my 3-month-old baby to feed at night? 

If your little one is having 6 - 7 good feeds per day, during daylight hours then you can usually see three “night feeds”. Make sure to also check in at each wellness doctor visit to make sure your little one is on a good growth curve.

Consider Following the EAT-PLAY-SLEEP pattern

Eat. Play. Sleep. Eat. Play. Sleep.

This is the perfect pattern for a sleep schedule for 3 month old babies. Being consistent with this pattern throughout the day will help establish a routine for your child to know what is coming next. Children thrive off of routines! Not to mention, it also avoids an eat-sleep association that allows your child to learn to fall asleep independently and not rely on always nursing or having a bottle in order to fall asleep!

More Tips on Optimizing Your 3 Month Old Schedule

We’ve talked a lot about what you can expect at the three month mark - from the 3 month sleep regression to average nap/bedtime considerations. 

But, here are some tips on how to sail smoothly through this chapter of your child’s development and maintain a consistent 3 month sleep schedule:

  • Sensory Development Awareness: At 3 months, your baby’s senses are developing rapidly. They're more sensitive to external stimuli like light and sound. Consider using soft, ambient lighting like dimmable lamps in the evenings. This prepares their body for sleep by producing melatonin, the sleep hormone.
  • Avoid Overstimulation: While playtime is essential for development, avoid intense stimulation close to naptime or bedtime. This includes loud noises, bright lights, or vigorous play. Instead, choose calming activities like gentle lullabies or soft story readings.
  • Introduce a Lovey: Some babies find comfort in a soft, safe object like a lovey or a small plush toy. It can provide additional security during sleep. However, always ensure it's safe for bedtime use without any small, detachable parts.
  • Keep a Sleep Log: Documenting your baby's sleep can offer insights into patterns or changes. By keeping track, you can identify what's working and areas that might need tweaking.
  • Stay Informed on Growth Spurts: Sometimes, changes in the sleep schedule are tied to growth spurts, which can lead to increased hunger and slight disruptions in sleep. Being aware can help you adjust feeding schedules if necessary.
  • Seek Support: Engaging in parental support groups, online forums, or consultations with pediatric sleep experts can provide tailored advice and emotional encouragement.

These tips will help you pave the way for a smooth 3 month old schedule - hopefully, avoiding the 3 month sleep regression. That being said, we figure you want to hear from a parent just like you who used our solutions to overcome the 3 month old sleep schedule challenges.

Headed back to work? Get our Back to Work Action Plan to learn what sleep struggles might pop up, and how to overcome them.

One Mom’s experience with the 3 month old schedule

See how Sarah got her baby to sleeping better & longer!


Bringing Our Conversation on the 3 month old schedule to a close

Understanding your 3-month-old's sleep schedule is pivotal for both baby and parent well-being. As we've delved into, sleep patterns, environment, and routines play vital roles during this crucial phase. Remember, every baby's journey is unique, so be patient and adaptable. 

Whether we’re discussing 3 month old sleep regression or a 10 month old sleep schedule, the sleep attire your child uses is of the utmost importance. So, get the best transition swaddle, zipper swaddle, arms up swaddle, bamboo sleep sack, winter sleep sack, or bamboo swaddle at Nested Bean today and make your life easier as a parent!

You can also learn more about how to swaddle with arms up, making the swaddle transition, should I swaddle my newborn at night, why swaddle baby, transitioning from sleep sack to blanket, when to stop using sleep sack, or what to wear under sleep sack in our blog.

We hope this conversation empowers you to conquer the 3 month old schedule with confidence and grace. Our specially crafted products, from weighted swaddles to sleep sacks, are designed with your baby's comfort in mind. 

Dive into the world of Nested Bean today, and witness the seamless fusion of love, care, and science in enhancing your baby's 3 month sleep schedule. 💤