Infant Sleep Schedule: From Newborn to One Year Old

10/16/10 by Nativity Lennon

Photo courtesy of Daily Sunny via Flickr

Are you worried that your baby is sleeping too much or too little?  If your baby seems content for the most part and mainly sleeps at night, he’s probably fine.  But if you’re unsure about whether your baby’s sleep patterns are normal, it can be helpful to take a look at a general infant sleep schedule.  The quality and quantity of sleep that your baby gets will affect his well-being, as well as the well-being of everyone in your household!  Just remember that every child is different, so you should be focusing more on your baby’s overall temperament than on the clock.

Birth to 3 Months

The infant sleep schedule for newborns consists of mostly sleep.  Newborns sleep 14 to 18 hours per day in their first week of life, but most of them don’t stay asleep for longer than 2 to 4 hours at a time.  By the time they reach one month of age, babies sleep around 12 to 16 hours a day.

At around 6 to 8 weeks of age, the infant sleep schedule starts to shift.  Babies in this age range start to sleep longer periods at night (5 to 6 hours) and shorter periods during the day.  To encourage your baby to sleep more at night, you can implement a bedtime routine early on. If you want to train your baby to learn to fall asleep on his own, avoid rocking him to sleep every night and put him down anytime he looks sleepy but is still awake.

3 to 6 Months

The infant sleep schedule for three month olds is typically 12 to 15 hours per day.  Many babies don’t need nighttime feedings once they reach this age.  By this time, you’ll probably start to feel more rested in the morning since your baby will be able to sleep for longer stretches of time at night.  While you can’t expect to get 8 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, you will be able to sleep at least 5 to 6 hours at night.  But then again, there are still many babies in this age range that can’t sleep for 5 to 6 hours straight because they wake up for nighttime feedings, so don’t feel alone if this is the case with your child.

6 to 9 Months

By the time they reach 6 months of age, many babies sleep 11.5 to 15 hours per day.  Rather than taking several naps throughout the day, babies in this age range tend to consolidate their naptime, taking one nap in the morning and one in the afternoon.  In order to regulate your child’s infant sleep schedule when he is 6 to 9 months old, stick to a routine by keeping bedtime and naptimes consistent.  By this age, most babies are ready for night weaning, but some wake up at night and cry even when they’re weaned because they don’t know how to put themselves back to sleep.

9 to 12 Months

The infant sleep schedule for 9-12 month olds is around 11 hours per night with two 2-hour naps in the daytime.  By the time they reach this age, many babies are able to put themselves back to sleep when they wake up at night.  Therefore, it’s not uncommon for babies to sleep 9-10 hours at night, which is great news for mom and dad.

If your baby is 9-12 months old and still wakes up frequently at night, you may want to experiment with sleep training methods, such as controlled crying, crying down, and the core night.  If you’re interested in sleep training your child, stay tuned because we’ll be publishing some helpful how-to’s and tips for sleep training your baby!

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One Response to “Infant Sleep Schedule: From Newborn to One Year Old”

  1. […] baby may start sleeping on a schedule by 4 months of age. Most 4 month olds are able to sleep through the night for about a nine hour […]

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