No two babies sleep patterns are identical – some sleep for long periods, others in short bursts. Here we look at the average amount of sleep a baby has. Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t fit into the pattern we describe – it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with your baby or that you are doing something wrong. Our tips will help you to encourage good sleeping habits.
Newborns sleep a lot. This can be anything up to 18 hours a day for the first few weeks, reducing to around 15 hours by the third month. Unfortunately, this is not all at once but usually in bouts of three or four hours. Your newborn probably won’t be able to stay awake for longer than a couple of hours at a time.
By six to eight weeks, you may notice that your baby is beginning to sleep for shorter spells during the day and for longer during the night. If you are lucky, they might be sleeping through by as young as eight weeks but it’s more likely that they won’t reach this milestone until five or six months.
By three or four months, most babies are sleeping more at night than during the day. During the day, your baby will probably be having three naps, dropping to two at around six months. At the beginning of this stage, they are likely to need a feed at least once in the night. This will gradually drop off as they become physically capable of sleeping through the whole night.
By this age, your baby may go for as long as seven hours at a time. They will probably have settled into having one nap in the morning and one in the afternoon, these may be as long as two hours.
By this time, your baby is probably sleeping from between 10 and 12 hours during the night and having a nap twice a day.
Every new parent is worried about cot death – but thankfully it happens very rarely. Make sure you reduce the risk by following these baby sleeping safety safety tips.