Baby Sleep Patterns Explained

Wondering if your baby is getting the sleep they need? A baby’s sleep pattern is a minefield for most parents, as every baby is different. So it certainly helps to get an understanding of what you can expect as baby develops. There are lots of reasons why your baby may not be getting enough sleep, so it’s important to know what to expect as your baby grows. That’s why we’ve put together our overview of baby sleeping patterns by age.

Of course, all little ones are different so use this as a rough guide. But always make sure you get advice from your GP too, especially if you have any concerns about the amount your baby is (or is not!) sleeping.

 

Baby sleeping patterns by age

 

Newborn to 3 months


Newborn sleeping patterns will vary from baby to baby. In these first few days and weeks, you’ll both be learning more about how to navigate life together. At this age, your baby will typically sleep for between 15 and 18 hours a day, while feeding at regular intervals means that your younger baby sleeps in short spells of between 1 and 3 hours typically.

Up to three months, most babies can’t yet tell the difference between day and night, this makes it more difficult for them to establish a routine. As babies at this age are easily disturbed, it’s important to make sure that they have a suitable sleeping environment. Putting them in a baby sleeping bag will help create a smooth transition from feed to sleep, providing that extra security and comfort as they sleep away from your arms.
 

3-6 Months


From three months onwards, you’ll find that you’re already recognising your baby’s sleeping patterns and may be finding it easier to establish a sleep routine. As they have more awareness of their surroundings, they’ll stay awake more during the day and sleep for longer at night. Your baby may still be waking for feeds overnight but not as frequently, leaving them with approximately 14-16 hours’ sleep daily. Learn more about how to get your baby into a routine.
 

6-12 Months


At 6-12 months, most babies’ sleep patterns will alter, now slowing or stopping night feeds, giving them a less interrupted night’s sleep – an average of 13-14 hours daily. Lots of little ones begin teething around this age however, which may bring fresh disruption to a baby’s sleeping pattern. At this stage in their development, babies become more active and require a suitable baby mattress to accommodate their inner wriggler.
 

12-24 Months


During this time, your baby will need to nap less often, with most of their sleep happening at night. Babies typically have 13-13.5 hours sleep nightly, with teething, growing pains and increased mobility all impacting on this.
 

2-3 Years


By the time your child is two, they should be sleeping for 12-13 hours and nap just once or twice during the day. To make sure that your child is snuggly all night long, you’ll need to adjust their bed as they grow. Upgrading their nursery mattress will keep them dreaming all night long.
 

3+ Years


At three years, most children will no longer need to nap during the day and will sleep for 12 hours overnight. To make sure your child is getting the most from their sleep, make sure they are sleeping in cosy, breathable nightwear.

It’s important to remember that every baby is different and will eventually settle into a sleeping pattern that suits you both. Be as patient as you can and enjoy the journey of working through your new life together.

For more advice on baby sleep patterns, read our eBook: Ssssssh…The Secret To Better Sleep For Your Baby.

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