How much sleep does baby need
How much sleep does baby need

How Long Should My Baby Sleep?

It is every mom’s question: how long should my baby sleep for?

Your baby’s needs are constantly changing as he grows, find below a guideline for how much sleep your baby needs at his age.

How Long Should My Baby Sleep

How Long Should My Baby Sleep?

0 – 3 months old baby:

A baby of 0 – 3 months old should get a total of 14 – 17 hours sleep over a 24 hour period. At this young age it is unlikely that your baby will be in a set routine, instead your baby should be sleeping in 2 – 4 hours at a time. When your baby wakes up you can feed, burp, change and soothe your baby.

Your baby should sleep for 8 – 12 hours at night with the rest of the sleep occurring during the day – usually over 2 – 5 naps.

4 – 6 months old baby:

A baby of 4 – 6 months old should get a total of 12 – 16 hours sleep over a 24 hour period. Your baby should be settling more into a set routine at this age. Your baby may sleep through the night by this time and should be sleeping for 5 to 6 hours at a time at night, with about 3 naps during the day. This means your baby will be sleeping more at night than during the day at this age.

7 – 12 months old baby:

A baby of 7 – 12 months should also need a total of 12 – 16 hours of sleep. The different is that your baby will be sleeping for longer stretches at night, sometimes for as long as 10 to 12 hours, and have less sleep during the day. Babies of this age usually have 2 day naps.

Find out how to get your baby into a routine in 5 easy steps and check how long your baby should be awake in between naps.

Are you struggling with getting your baby to sleep? I know the feeling! My daughter only slept through the night for the first time at 3 years old. Until then she woke up every 2 – 3 hours every single night. Her day naps were short and it took me longer to get her to sleep than she slept for.

It was nothing short of exhausting!

All these posts on sleep are researched because of my struggles with my daughter.

I hope you don’t struggle with your child like we did!

What has your experience been with your baby’s sleep? Leave a comment to join in the discussion.

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  1. Lauren Ferreira

    My almost 6 month old naps about 11 hours at night 7pm-6am and has about 4 40min naps a day, I would really like to get him into a routine of 2 2hr naps per day. Any tips?

  2. Hi Lauren. Have you heard about the “sleep window”? I can’t remember exactly all the details but the basics is that there is a perfect sleep “window” to put your child to sleep. If you time it correctly and watch your baby for their signs of tiredness you can put your baby down at the “perfect time”. I researched this with my first baby and it worked wonders. The theory is that if you put them down even 5 mins too early or too late you miss that perfect time for them to go to sleep, if you time it right they will fall asleep easily and have a good long sleep. Maybe I should research this again and write another blog 🙂

  3. I’m sure this will come in handy! My boy is only 3 weeks old so sleeps most of the time now.

    When is a good time to start him on a routine?

  4. So glad that Marli sleeps 9 hours at night but her day naps are very short.
    But ill rather take that then awake at night and sleep day time.

    • Oh I can promise you that you are very lucky Marisca. My daughter that is now 5 only slept through for the first time 4 months after her 3rd birthday!

      Until then she woke literally woke up every 2 hours crying and needing to be settled. She suffered from night terrors and it was awful.

      I can promise you that 3 plus years of hardly any sleep is not pleasant at all.

  5. Sjoh Lynne i can just imagine how that must feel.
    Its like my sister in law…
    Their baby boy is awake 5-6 times a night.
    They had him at the best doctors in Pretoria but no one can find anything wrong.
    I know breastmilk are the best but I really thing he’s got stomach pain or maybe it can also be night terrors.
    But what can you do about that?

    • Here is an article I wrote about what you can do about Night Terrors. I had them very badly as a child and my mom said it was awful. My daughter had them too, thankfully I outgrew them and my daughter has mostly now at 5 years old outgrown them.

      There is the odd night still we have a problem with Night Terrors, but it is not the nightly occurrence it used to be, which is a huge relief.

      I think the best is just to remember that even though you may be absolutely exhausted, this too will pass and at some stage your child’s sleeping should get better. My daughter now sleeps through most nights.

  6. Awesome.
    So happy for you.

    Tx. Will read that one

  7. Her son is 8months old. When did your girl start with night terrors?

    • I can’t remember exactly when but it was also very young. I would be woken up by her crying but when I went to her she wasn’t aware of her surroundings and it was like she wasn’t even awake. Her eyes would be open most of the time and I couldn’t calm her down for quite a long time. I would lie down with her and eventually she would calm down and then about an hour or two later the same thing, over and over all night. This went on for 3 years.

      I can promise you it is no joke at all. The problem is also that the more overtired you are are the more prone you are to having night terrors, but if you haven’t been sleeping properly for like forever you are overtired, so it is like a cycle that you struggle to break.

      My mom’s doctor eventually medicated me it got so bad when I was about 2 years old, just so I could properly catch on sleep. However I was put on Atarax and my mom wonders now whether that played a part in me being a drug addict. Oh dear this parenting thing can be quite complicated sometimes right?

  8. Very complicated

  9. @lynne since birth my boy have been sleeping say from 5-5 night till morning with waking up twice around 11 and 1 the morning. i never woke him for feeds. He slept trough 2 nights o was so happy but went back to normal sleep routine now his nearly 8 months he sleep in the morning say at 9 for 1 hour estimate afternoon 12:30 for 1 hour but last week or 2 his up every 2 hours during the night its hectic somedays.

    • @lisaanderson I found that my daughter had worse sleep as she started reaching new milestones. When she started crawling and pulling herself up it was awful She just wanted to be up practicing her stuff all night LOL. It is very common for babies to go through worse sleep around milestones and new developments. It could also be teething that is the problem, maybe some teeth are pushing and making him uncomfortable… or it could even be the colder weather, maybe you need to add another blanket at night or put him in warmer pj’s 🙂 I know my babies would always kick the blankets off in winter and they would get cold.

      Hopefully one of those suggestions will be helpful for you.

  10. Thank you @lynne im dressing him warm in his vests and have 2 warm blankets if he kick himself open i close him…i see his top teeth right infront is like so white under the gums i wonder if its not them trying to come out as its its so clear trough the gums his not yet crawling buy experiance on lifting so thats also soon to came.

  11. Reatlegile Leeuw

    Thank you @lynne for this advice, it came in handy for me

  12. I was ignorent about timing,but since you advise us thank you i will use this tips to see how long his sleeping.

  13. First I was confused but now I understand thanks for the advise

  14. My daughter is 18 months now,she refuses to sleep during the day ,you have to force her and she won’t even nap for more than 30 minutes,but she sleeps through the night

    • My daughter also stopped sleeping during the day from 18 months old Nthabiseng! I asked baby sleep expert Meg Faure about this and she said that some children stop day sleeps earlier than others. Her advice is instead of trying to get your child to sleep rather make sure she has a period of quiet time in the afternoon where she goes to her room and does a quiet activity like reading a book or colouring in.

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