A Guide to the Amount of Sleep a Baby needs

Sometimes babies seem to sleep a lot while at other times it seems as though they are never asleep. Many parents are unsure about what is considered to be a normal number of hours sleep for a baby and what is a normal sleeping pattern in terms of how many hours of sleep they should have at a time and at what times of the day. Here is an overview of how often a baby should sleep although it is important to remember that each baby is an individual.

Newborn

In the early stages, it can often feel like your baby sleeps very little because they are waking you a lot for feeds throughout the night. However, it is at this stage when they are actually enjoying the most sleep. The problem is that their sleeping and waking patterns are not yet established and can be sporadic. A typical baby, newborn up to three months, will usually sleep for eight hours in the day and eight hours in the night. This totals 16 hours sleep per day, although this is split into shorter spells of sleep.

Three months

Your baby now needs a little less sleep and is becoming more alert. If you are lucky they will also be beginning to establish a regular pattern of being asleep and being awake. Their daytime sleeps will reduce to approximately five hours a day and their night time sleeps will increase to around ten hours. This is a total of 15 hours sleep over a 24 hour period.

Six months

At this point the average baby will sleep for just over 14 hours in a 24 hour period. This is split between 3 ¼ hours during the day and eleven hours at night. By this stage your baby is likely to be in a routine and you can look forward to a better nights’ sleep.

Nine months

Your baby’s daytime sleep needs will gradually decrease and they will need about 3 hours in the day now. At night they will still have around eleven hours. This is a total of 14 hours which is not much less than they needed at 6 months old.

One year old

The majority of babies will be in a well established routine by the time they are one. They will need just under 14 hours sleep a day with 3 ¾ hours in the daytime and ten hours at night.

Fluctuations in sleep

There are times when your baby will need more or less sleep than is stated in the previous information. These situations include a baby needing more sleep during an illness, following a busy day or when they are experiencing a growth spurt. Their sleeping routine may be disrupted or reduce when they are poorly or teething. Another factor is the hours of daylight. Some babies begin to wake earlier when the sun rises earlier as they associate daylight with the time to get up.

Conclusion

Babies are individuals and some need more sleep than others. However, the previous information shows the amount of sleep a typical baby will need and how this is split between daytime sleep and evening sleep. Several factors, such as illness and growth, may have an impact on the amount of sleep your baby needs and the times of day that they sleep.