How much sleep does your baby need (Birth to 12 months)

I often get asked ‘how much sleep does my baby need?’ There’s really no easy answer as each baby is different but there are some guidelines you can follow to help your child get the sleep they need. I’ll break it down by age from newborn to 1 yr of age and add how much awake time they can handle, the number of naps they should be having, how long their naps should be and how long they can go at night without needing mom or dad.

0-4 Weeks

Awake time: 45 minute-1 hr

Number of naps: 6

Nap Duration: 30-45 minutes

Night Stretch: 2.5-4hrs


5-8 Weeks

Awake time: 1-2 hrs

Number of naps: 3-5

Nap Duration: 45 minutes-1 hr

Night Stretch: 4-6 hrs


9-15 Weeks

Awake time: 1-2 hrs

Number of naps: 3-4

Nap Duration: 45 minutes to 1.5 hrs

Night Stretch: 4-8 hrs


4-8 Months

Awake time: 2 hrs

Number of naps: 2 and a cat nap

Nap Duration: 1-1.5 hrs

Night Stretch: 6-12 hrs


8-12 Months

Awake time: 3 hrs

Number of naps: 2

Nap Duration: 1-2 hrs

Night Stretch: 10-12 hrs

As mentioned, these are just guidelines. What is listed here may not be the reality for your baby, and that’s ok. One easy way to make sure you are catching the sleep wave is to watch for baby’s sleep cues. This is especially true if baby is under 4 months of age. Watch for signs of being tired such as yawning, rubbing eyes, pulling ears, etc. When you see those signs, it’s a great idea get baby down as soon as you can. This will avoid baby becoming overtired which can happen very quickly.

Once baby is over 4 months of age, sleep cues become less reliable and you’re better off putting baby on a predictable sleep schedule. Babies love schedules and predictability. It can be awesome for parents as well since you will know when baby naps and can plan and schedule around them. As always, offer an early bedtime if you can, especially if baby had a particularly bad nap day. You can always move bedtime earlier but it’s usually not a good ideas to push bedtime later.


By | 2018-05-23T16:33:56+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Baby Sleep, Baby Sleep|Comments Off on How much sleep does your baby need (Birth to 12 months)

About the Author:

Kim is a certified Family Sleep Institute Sleep Consultant with Good Night Sleep Site. Mother to a sweet 5 year old boy, Kim realized early the importance of sleep and set out to help other families overcome their sleep challenges and get the sleep they deserve. When she's not working, Kim enjoys spending time with her family (including 2 cats and a dog!).