How much sleep does my baby really need? This is probably the most asked question among new parents.  We seem to always be asking other parents advice, asking them how they get their child to sleep and comparing our children’s sleep times.

Well the answer is…..Every child is different.  Not the answer you wanted?  Keep reading.

There are needs for every age group and “average” sleep and wake times. Some children can handle less sleep and others need a little bit more.  Sleep is food for the brain so we want to help their brains develop by having the right amount of sleep.

Below is a guideline for parents to help them better understand their child’s need for sleep.

~ Total amount of sleep per 24 hour period

Newborn to 2 months: 16 – 18 hours

2 months to 4 months: 14 – 16 hours

4 months to 6 months: 15 – 16 hours

6 months to 9 months: 14 hours

9 months to 12 months:  14 hours

1 year to 3 years: 11- 14 hours

3 years to 5 years: 10 – 12 hours

Now that we have the amount of sleep covered the next question is….

How long should my baby be staying awake between naps?

AGE                                             WAKETIME LENGTH

Birth – 6 weeks                          45-60 minutes

2 months                                     1 hour

3 months                                     1-1.5 hours

4 months                                     1.25-1.75 hours

5 months                                     1.5-2.25 hours

6 months                                     2-2.5 hours

7 months                                     2.25-2.75 hours

8 months                                     2.25-3 hours

9 months                                     2.5-3 hours

10 months                                  3-3.5 hours

11 months                                  3-4 hours

12 months                                  3-4 hours

12-18 months (2 naps)               3-4 hours

12- 18 months (1 nap)                4.5-6 hours

18-24 months (1 nap)                 5-6 hours

2-3 years (1 nap)                        5.5-7 hours (before nap)

*** Keep in mind that these are “average” wake times.  Keep an eye on your child’s sleep cues to adjust their wake time appropriately.  

Sometimes by simply adjusting the amount of wake time can help with falling asleep and staying asleep.  

Happy sleeping!!!