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How much should babies sleep at different ages?

In Guide

How much sleep do babies need? This is a common question asked by all new parents.

If your baby is generally happy, it means that she is probably getting enough sleep. But you find her cranky quite often, it may mean that she needs more sleep. All babies are different, so the following guidelines are only meant to be a guide. Don't worry if your baby has different patterns than the ones mentioned here!

How much sleep does your baby need?

The total sleep hours and the number of naps vary according to their age, with newborns sleeping most of the time in short periods. But as your baby grows, the total hours of sleep also decrease, and the length of night-time sleep slowly increases.

This is also linked to your baby’s growing stomach. During the first few months, the baby’s stomach is small and can only hold enough food for short periods. They need to wake up often to feed.

The following are the usual nighttime and daytime sleep needs for newborns through to 2 years old:


Total sleep hours

Total hours of nighttime sleep

Total hours of daytime sleep


16 hours

8 to 9


1 month

15.5 hours

8 to 9


3 months

15 hours

9 to 10

4 to 5

6 months

14 hours



9 months

14 hours



1 year

14 hours



1.5 years

13.5 hours



2 years

13 hours



Source: Stanford Children’s Health1

Sleep hours of babies under 12 months

0-3 months

Most newborns do not have a set day and night sleep pattern as they still don’t know the difference between day and night. Newborns sleep for 16-20 hours in 24-hours, but still wake every 1-3 hours as they need many feeds a day due as they have tiny tummies.

They start to develop day and night sleep patterns over the first 12 weeks of their life, and by 3 months, they average 14-15 hours of sleep a 24-hour period.

3-6 months

By this age, babies sleep 10-18 hours in 24-hours and as they are rapidly growing, they wake up many times to feed.

Babies generally nap 3-4 times a day and need help to go to sleep.

6-12 months

At this age, most babies sleep for around 14 hours out of 24 hours a day. This includes around 2 naps during the day of around 1-3 hours each.

Most babies will be ready to sleep between 6 pm and 10 pm and will take less than 30 minutes to get to sleep.

Babies of this age will also wake-up once or twice during the night and will need to be settled back to sleep. One in ten babies do this 3-4 times a night and more than a third parents say their babies have problems sleeping at this age.

The reason why babies wake up suddenly, is because they are worried of being separated from you. A loving touch or cuddle can help reassure your baby of your presence even if she cannot see you. As babies grow, they come out of this habit and sleep better.

Babies over 12 months: sleep needs

At this age, your baby will nap for 13-15 hours in 24-hours and will sleep twice a day till it is 18 months of age.

Most babies will go from two naps to one long daytime nap. They may also resist sleeping at night, wanting to stay awake with the family. This peaks at 18 months and goes away after that.

It is a good time to establish a good sleeping pattern for your baby.

What are the signs of babies sleeping problems?

You are happy that your baby has started sleeping peacefully through the night, but when she suddenly wakes up crying in the middle of the night, it can be quite distressing.  This happens when your baby is 6 months of age and is called separation anxiety.

Some signs that your baby may be experiencing this are:

  • Waking up suddenly and crying more than once after sleeping well during the night
  • Baby cries when you want to leave the room
  • Not sleeping without you or your spouse physically being there
  • Holding on to you when you want to leave

Tips to help your baby fall asleep

Your baby waking up at night can be a difficult experience for you especially after your baby has gone to sleep peacefully. You need to make your baby feel secure during the day, to help her better handle separation. Spend time cuddling and comforting her during the day to help her feel secure at night.

Here are some tips to help your baby sleep better:

0-2 Months

Babies of this age sleep in 2- to 4-hour intervals, waking up to be fed. They tend to be restless during sleep, because of reflexes (such as the moro reflex) and its common for babies to randomly swirl their arms and legs around, smile and make noises. They need your tender care and touch to help them soothe and go back to bed. Swaddling is known to help soothe the baby. You could also try using a pacifier, breastfeeding, and cradling to help her doze off.

2-4 Months

Your baby would generally sleep for six-hour stretches at night and be settling into a set nap schedule now. Make sure to keep her in the sunlight during the day and keep her less out in the night – this should help establish a circadian rhythm. Start getting her into a bedtime sleep routine, with bath, feeding, story time which can help her sleep through the night.

4-6 Months

At this time, your baby will reduce night-time feeding, and will sleep through the night, from a six- to 12-hour stretch. Most babies wake up sometimes during the night, but this is the time when they would have learned to sleep off on their own.

6-12 Months

If your baby stops sleeping through the night because of separation anxiety as she can’t see you around her, which may make her get upset when she wakes up. It is fine to go and check on our crying baby but keep it short and don’t pick her up or feed her.

General sleep tips for babies of ages 0-12 months

  • No disturbance or activity before sleep time
  • Create a routine for sleep time
  • Play soft music to help baby feel sleepy
  • Comfort and reassure your baby when she is scared
  • Try not to take her out of her bed while comforting her



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