How much sleep do babies need?
Just like grown-ups, babies all sleep for different amounts of time. But your baby’s mood and wellbeing is often a good guide to whether he’s getting enough sleep.
If your baby is:
- wakeful and grizzly, she probably needs more sleep
- wakeful and contented, she’s probably getting enough sleep!
Remember that your baby is unique. He might be doing fine with more or less sleep than other babies the same age.
As children get older, their night-time sleeps get longer and they need fewer naps during the day. Babies and younger children tend to have shorter sleeps at night and more naps during the day. They often wake during the night to feed and might need help to settle themselves to sleep again.
Babies under 12 months: sleep needs
Most newborns don’t have definite day and night sleep patterns. They’re still learning to tell the difference between day and night.
Newborns generally sleep for 16-20 hours in a 24-hour period, but they wake every 2-4 hours to be fed. They need lots of feeds because they have tiny tummies.
Over the first 12 weeks most newborns start to develop day and night sleep patterns. By three months, babies are averaging 14-15 hours of sleep in each 24-hour period.
At this age, most babies sleep 10-18 hours in a 24-hour period. On average, they sleep around 14 hours.
Although they’re growing quickly, babies still need to wake for feeding at this age.
Sleeping patterns vary a lot, but babies generally nap three times during the day. Most babies need help to settle to sleep.
During these months most babies still sleep for around 14 hours in a 24-hour period.
Here’s what to expect during the day:
- Most babies nap during the day.
- Naps usually last 1-2 hours. Some babies sleep longer. Up to a quarter of all babies of this age nap for less than an hour.
And here’s what to expect at night:
- Most babies are ready for bed between 6 pm and 10 pm.
- Most babies take less than 30 minutes to get to sleep.
- Many babies wake during the night and need an adult to settle them back to sleep. About 1 in 10 babies will do this 3-4 times a night.
More than a third of parents say they have problems with their baby’s sleep at this age.