How Much Do Babies Sleep? A Sleep Schedule for Your Baby’s 1st Year
Baby Sleep Schedule
All parents want their infants to sleep well. But many don't know—but want to know—the nitty gritty details:
- How long will my baby nap?
- What time should they go to bed?
- How many hours of overnight sleep can I realistically expect?
- How does a baby's sleep schedule change over time?
Everyone knows that their new baby won't sleep a lot during the first weeks. But, the biggest new-parent misconception is that once the baby passes the first weeks, sleep gradually but consistently improves. Many expect sleep to just get better and better until the baby is sleeping an 8-hour stretch at 4 months. Not so fast! The reality for many—if not most—babies is a bit of a roller coaster with happy victories alternating with frustrating regressions!
That said, below is a listing of what you might reasonably expect for your baby's sleep…along with descriptions of some of the common zigs and zags many babies experience during the first year. (Please remember, each baby is unique and sleep schedules can vary widely.)
Birth to 2 Month Baby Sleep Schedule
Total Sleep: 14 to 18 hours a day. During the first months, babies sleep in bits and pieces, waking throughout the day to feed. In the early weeks, you can expect your little one to fuss from hunger 10 to 12 times a day.
The day starts... around 7 a.m.
Napping: Your little sleepyhead will take lots of little naps (for up to 8 hours a day). The daytime cycle is 1 to 2 hours of awake time then 1 to 2 hours of napping. During the second month, if your baby's nap goes over 1.5 to 2 hours, it's not a bad idea to wake him for a feeding. Long naps mean less eating during the day, making babies hungrier at night.
Nighttime sleep...starts around 10pm. Your baby will drift on and off through the night, punctuated by occasional feedings. The longest stretch of ZZZ's usually goes up to 4 hours in the first month and 4 to 8 hours by 2 months of age.
Heads up: White noise, swaddling, and motion work wonders starting from the first day of life to help babies sleep better and naturally. And SNOO—the smart bassinet developed here at Happiest Baby—can optimize sleep by helping babies fall asleep faster and sleep longer by providing responsive white noise and motion—and swaddling all in one bed. Don't worry, SNOO doesn't keep babies asleep who need to eat…they will always wake if hungry.
2 to 4 Month Baby Sleep Schedule
Total sleep: 13-14 hours of snooze.
The day starts... a little earlier now. Most babies this age wake around 6am.
Napping: Your baby will settle into 2-3 daily naps, totaling 4-8 hours of sleep.
Nighttime sleep...shifts a bit earlier, with your baby going down around 9pm. They’ll also sleep longer, still waking for a feeding or two. Longest unbroken sleep is usually around 5-8 hours (some may sleep an even longer stretch, especially using a sleep aid, like SNOO).
Also, at 2 to 3 months of age when swaddling is stopped, your baby may start to startle more, roll more, and wake many times a night. (FYI, SNOO provides another unique benefit—safe swaddling for up to 6 months. Our patented swaddle secures to the bed to prevent rolling, so you can safely swaddle without worry.)
4 - 8 Month Baby Sleep Schedule
Total sleep: 12-14 hours a day. When your baby passes the 4-month mark, they’ve finished what I call the fourth trimester. Many of your new-parent friends may still be desperate from exhaustion. So, if your little one is a great sleeper, don't brag too much about it to the other parents!
The day starts... between 6-8am, depending on your baby, of course!
Napping: 2-3 naps, totaling 3-5 hours a day.
Nighttime sleep... starts around 7-9pm. Your baby may have unbroken sleep of 6-10 hours, which most anyone would call "sleeping through the night!"
Heads up: Teething commonly starts between 4-6 months, but like everything, your baby may be earlier or later to the game. Gum pain can make your baby fussier and disrupt sleep. Loud, rumbly white noise can be very helpful to help your baby tune out distractions, both internal, like teething, and external, such as sudden noises.
8 - 12 Month Baby Sleep Schedule
Total sleep: 12 to 14 hours a day by the time they hit 8 months.
The day starts... around 6 to 7am.
Napping: Still 2 to 3 times a day.
Nighttime sleep...starts around 7 to 9pm now. Your baby's longest stretch is likely a glorious 7-10 hours at night!
Heads Up: This is when some infants love to crawl…and even walk. They often wake up wanting to get out and motor around the room. (You can read more about the 8-month sleep regression here!) Until your baby is 12 months old, the only safe "lovey" is a pacifier or white noise.
12 Month Baby Sleep Schedule (Happy Birthday!!!)
Total sleep: 12 to 14 hours in a full day’s cycle.
The day starts... at 6 to 7am
Napping: 2 naps, totaling 2 to 4 hours daily.
Nighttime sleep: usually starts earlier, with your baby hitting the hay between 7-9pm. Early enough for the grownups to get some alone time! The longest sleeping stretch usually averages 7 to 10 hours at night.
Heads up: You child is officially a toddler (some even start at 8 to 9 months). Communicating with kids this age requires a whole new set of tools and expectations. You'll find fun and fast acting tips to boost emotional strength, increase patience and reduce tantrums in The Happiest Toddler (book/video). Also, you can now introduce a handkerchief-sized silky blanket or a cuddly stuffed animal, like our white noise SNOObear into the crib!
Final Thoughts on Baby Sleep Schedules
Every baby is different, so your little one’s schedule might vary slightly from the ones outlined above. However, if you’re armed with the right information and resources, you should be snoozing sweetly in no time! Check out more great advice related to baby and toddler sleep:
Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Connect with us at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.