Typical Nap & Night Sleep Needs from Birth to 14 months

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Disclaimer: all babies are different and have different sleep needs. The information I will share with you is an AVERAGE amount of sleep/naps that a baby needs at any given age.



Under 2 months: babies will have 4 naps or more and there will be no rhyme or reason; some will be 30 minutes, some will be 3 hours. You can help with day/night confusion by making sure to wake baby up every 3 hours for a feed but don't feel that you need to keep baby awake during the day if she appears sleepy. Babies this age sleep 16-20 hours/day.


3 months: babies will often now be on a solid 4 nap schedule with a nap occurring every 1.5 hours or less. We would like to see most naps be over 1 hour, and you may want to consider conducting 'nap extensions' for any nap under 60 minutes.  At this age, 15.5-18 hours of sleep/day is average.


4 months: babies may start to transition from 3 naps to 4 at this age and bedtime will therefore need to be earlier to make up for the loss of the 4th nap. Naps will occur every 1.5-1.75 hours and many people find that baby will go through a 'cat napping phase' around 4-6 months so keeping them well-rested with an early bedtime will be very important. About 4-4.5 hours in naps is average at this age, and 15.5 hrs total in a 24 hour period.


5 months: most babies will be on a 3 nap schedule with the first 2 naps being around 1-1.5 hours in length and the 3rd nap is usually a cat nap of around 30-45 minutes. We want to ensure that naps are ending by about 4:00pm to preserve an early bedtime. Late naps interfere with nightsleep. About 3.5-4 hours in naps is average at this age, and 15 hours of sleep/day.


6 months: some babies will start to show signs of the 3-2 nap transition at this age by refusing the 3rd nap or the 3rd nap begins too late in the day. We can help hold off the transition by capping the first two naps at around 1.5 hours a piece to ensure the 3rd nap can occur. About 3-3.5 hours in naps is average at this age, and 14.5 hrs/24 hour period.


7 months: at this age we see some babies start to drop their 3rd nap and move toward a 2 nap schedule. During this transition, you will want to use an early bedtime (sometimes as early as 5pm) to make up for the loss of that 3rd nap. The goal with babies still on a 3 nap schedule is to protect nightsleep at all costs. An early bedtime is far more restorative than a late crappy 3rd nap. 2.75-3.25 hrs in naps is normal at this age, and 14-14.5 hours of total sleep/day.


8 months: most babies at this age are solidly on 2 naps and are also moving towards a full, consolidated night of sleep (11-12 hours with no feeds). Nap amounts and total sleep needs are the same as at 7 months, but we will see that total dispersed between two longer naps (around 1-1.5 hours a piece).


9 months: all babies should now be on a 2 nap schedule until around 13-18 months (the most common age to drop to 1 nap is 15 months). 2.5-3 hours of naps and 14 hours of total sleep is average and a baby who is well-established on solids can now comfortably go a full night with no feeding (as per doctor's recommendations).  


10-14 months: at this age, we may have to start playing with our nap times/lengths to ensure that both naps are able to be taken without bedtime being pushed too late. Baby may also start to fight the 2nd nap and start to show signs of being ready to transition to 1. We want to avoid moving to 1 nap too early as the jump in awake time needed from a 2 nap schedule to a 1 nap schedule is quite significant. The longer we can hold off the transition, the smoother it will be.  Most children will be napping 2-3 hours/day at this point, and require 13.5-14 hours of total sleep per day.