Sleep Schedule for Your Baby’s First Year
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 she go to bed? How many hours of overnight sleep can I realistically expect?
The answers to these questions actually change a few times during the first year, as she develops and grows. And of course, every child is unique, so there is no exact playbook. But here’s what you might reasonably expect.
Total Sleep: 14 to 18 hours a day. During the first months, brand new babies sleep in bits and pieces all throughout the day.
The day starts around 7 am.
Napping: Your little sleepy head will take lots of little naps (for up to 8 hours!)
The daytime cycle is 1-2 hours of awake time then 3-4 hours of napping. During the second month, if your baby’s nap goes over 2 hours, it’s not a bad idea to wake him up! Long naps mean less eating during the day, making him hungrier at night.
Nighttime sleep starts around 10 p.m.
Your baby will drift on and off through the night, waking to feed. The longest stretch of Zzz’s lasts 3-5 hours.
Total Sleep: 13-14 hours of snooze.
The day starts a little earlier now. Most babies this age wake around 6 am.
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 9 pm.
She’ll also sleep longer, still waking with a feeding or two. Maximum unbroken sleep should be around 5-6 hours. You want to make sure she gets enough milk.
Total Sleep: 12-14 hours a day.
When your baby passes the 4-month mark, she’s finished what I call the 4th trimester. Sleeping is strangely a competitive sport among new parents. So, if your little one is a great sleeper, don’t brag too much about it to the other young moms!
The day starts between 6-8 am, depending on your baby, of course!
Napping: 2-3 naps, totaling 3-5 hours a day.
Nighttime sleep starts around 9.
Your baby may have an unbroken piece of sleep of 6-8 hours, which most anyone would call “sleeping through the night!”
Total Sleep: 12-14 hours a day by the time she hits 8 months.
The day starts around 6-7 am.
Napping: Still 2-3 a day.
Nighttime sleep starts around 8-9pm now.
Your baby’s longest stretch is likely a glorious 7-9 hours at night!
12 Months (Happy Birthday!!!)
Total Sleep: 12-14 hours in a full day’s cycle.
The day starts at 6-7 am.
Napping: 2 naps, totaling 2-4 hours daily.
Nighttime sleep usually starts earlier, with your baby hitting the hay between 7-9 pm.
Early enough for mom and dad to get some alone time! The longest sleeping stretch usually averages 7-9 hours at night.