How Long Should My Baby Be Sleeping?

Your baby’s sleep patters definitely don’t match up with yours. Because of this, many new parents wonder exactly how much sleep their baby should be getting.

In the early weeks after birth, your baby will seem to sleep any time that you’re not sleeping, waking up just as you drift off to sleep. Fortunately, that doesn’t last forever. As your baby grows and changes, she needs less and less sleep. For many children, by the time they are 6 or 7 weeks old, they will be sleeping through the night. For other babies, they may not sleep through the night until they are 3 or 4 months old. Here is how their sleep needs generally progress:

– birth to 6 or 7 weeks. Newborns sleep between 16 and 20 hours a day.

– 1 month to 3 months. Babies at this stage will need to sleep around 8 hours at night, and another 8 hours during the day, for a total of around 16 hours.

– 3 months to 6 months. During this stage, nighttime sleep increases and daytime sleep decreases. Your baby will probably sleep for about 10 hours at night, and need between 3 and 5 hours during the day.

– 6 months to 9 months. Babies at this age will sleep even more at night. Nighttime sleep will be around 11 hours. Daytime sleep will drop down to between 2 and 3 1/2 hours.

– 9 months to 1 year. Nighttime sleep stays steady at 11 hours. Daytime sleep may drop off slightly, from 2 to 3 hours.

– 1 year to 18 months. Here, they may add a little time sleeping at night, around 11 1/2 hours total. Daytime sleep drops to between 1 and 2 hours, where it will stay until after they are around 4 years old (or whenever they stop taking naps).

– 18 months to 3 years. Nighttime sleep will drop around half an hour every six months, so that at 3 years your baby will be sleeping around 10 1/2 hours a night. Daytime sleep will stay around the same.

If your baby seems to be getting too much sleep (more than an hour or more beyond the guide above) it could be indicative of another problem. If your baby refuses to sleep, this too can be indicative of a problem. If you have any concerns, you should speak with your pediatric health care provider.