How Much Sleep Do Infants Need?

How Much Sleep Do Infants Need?

It is helpful to pay attention to how much total sleep your baby is getting since babies need plenty of rest to grow healthy and strong. Although newborns need about 18 hours of sleep every 24 hours, babies will need only about 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours by their first birthday.

Recognizing your baby's tired Signal—crying, fussing, or turning away from lights, your breast, or the bottle—can prompt you to settle your baby down to sleep when they need it.

Up to 2 Months

Normally, newborns sleep about eight to nine hours at night and about eight hours during the day, but they may not sleep more than one to two hours at a time. Not only are they waking up to feed, but they also may not appear to sleep soundly.

2 to 4 Months

By the time infants reach this age, some are already beginning to have more consolidated blocks of sleep at night, with three or four naps during the day. By 3 or 4 months of age, your baby should be sleeping about 14 to 16 hours in a 24-hour period.
As your baby's sleep patterns start to become more predictable, it is important to make sure you are having quality time during the day and cuddling when you can. Not only does cuddling and comforting help your baby feel more secure, but babies who feel secure are better able to handle separations, especially at night.
Typically, you can start giving your baby tummy time when they are about 2 months old and able to lift their head.
"It is important for infants to have tummy time," Dr. Turchi says. "[Aim for] twice a day when they are most wakeful and they can get a little bit of a workout."

4 to 6 Months

At around 4 to 6 months, your baby may start to sleep longer stretches at night before waking up to eat. They also start to settle into a more predictable nap schedule of about two naps per day—one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
You also can start establishing good sleep hygiene around this age. Look for opportunities to begin creating a bedtime routine that is soothing and conducive to sleep. Not only are you helping build a foundation for good sleep habits, but you are helping support your child's development.
Sleep is very important to the growth and brain development of infants. A good starter bedtime routine might involve giving your baby a bath and reading a story before bed. These predictable aspects of a sleep routine signal to your baby that now is the time to fall asleep.
"At this age, it is also important to follow a routine of wake, eat, play, sleep," says Smith. "

6 to 12 Months

By the time your baby is 6 months old, they are probably taking two naps a day and may even be sleeping through the night. In fact, about two-thirds of babies can sleep through the night on a regular basis by age 6 months.
What's more, your baby is likely to be more active and engaged while awake. Not only are they sitting up, but they also are starting solid foods and soon will be moving around quite a bit—first creeping, then crawling, and eventually walking.
You also can solidify bedtime routines by putting your baby to sleep at night at predictable times. By establishing a regular bedtime routine, you can work toward creating more predictable wake-up and nap times.
As long as you pay attention to your baby's cues and begin working to establish a routine, your baby will have a more predictable sleep pattern in no time.


  1. Paavonen EJ, Saarenpää-Heikkilä O, Morales-Munoz I, et al. Normal sleep development in infants: Findings from two large birth cohorts.

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Getting your baby to sleep.

  3. Tham EK, Schneider N, Broekman BF. Infant sleep and its relation with cognition and growth: a narrative review.

  4. Daftary AS, Jalou HE, Shively L, Slaven JE, Davis SD. Polysomnography reference values in healthy newborns.

  5. Tham EK, Schneider N, Broekman BF. Infant sleep and its relation with cognition and growth: a narrative review

  6. American Academy of Pediatrics. How Often and How Much Should Your Baby Eat?

  7. American Academy of Pediatrics. How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe: AAP Policy Explained.

  8. Stanford Children's Health. Infant sleep.

Reading next

How to Balance Your Life as a Working Mom
Caring for mothers' postpartum emotions

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.