- In This Feature
- Sleepy Time
- How do I know how much sleep my child needs at different ages?
- When should my baby sleep through the night without a feeding?
- When can my baby sleep without a hat or without being swaddled?
- I know babies are supposed to sleep on their backs, but mine keeps turning over on his tummy. What should I do?
- How do I know when to take the bumper pad and mobile off a crib?
- When can my child sleep with a blanket?
- When can my child sleep with a stuffed animal or doll?
- How do I know when my child is ready to go to sleep without a bedtime bottle or nursing?
- Is there a certain age when my child will stop needing a nap?
- When is it safe to turn off the baby monitor?
How do I know how much sleep my child needs at different ages?
Like many human behaviors, sleep needs vary widely among individuals, and babies are no exception," says Dr. Karen Sadler, a pediatrician in the Boston area and Associate Instructor of Pediatrics and Boston University School of Medicine. "A newborn sleeps, on average, 16 hours per day, but this can range from 11 to 23 hours per day. Brand new babies have no day/night distinction, and the length of their sleep is limited by their hunger, requiring them to eat every three to four hours at max."
By age 3 to 4 months, most babies can manage a six- to eight-hour stretch at night, especially if they have reached a weight of 13 pounds; but, as Dr. Sadler explains, this pattern may not be stable. "Weeks after nice eight-hour nights, illness, teething, or the hunger of a growth spurt can disrupt a sleep pattern."
"At 4 to 7 months, babies can sleep a solid eight-hour night, with two daytime naps of one to three hours," says Dr. Sadler, adding that by 8 to 12 months, a ten- to twelve-hour sleep at night with one to two naps is the norm.