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Baby and Child Sleep Needs and Sleep Schedules

Below is an outline of recommendations for babies' and children's sleep needs.  We also put together sample sleep schedules so you can see what your baby or child's daytime sleep schedule can look like.  These are sample schedules so there could be individual variation meaning your baby's sleep schedule may not look exactly like what is outlined.  Our belief is that if it's working don't change it.  

0-3 months-

  • 4-5 naps a day
  • 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours of wakefulness at a time

 

3-6 months old-

  • 3 naps a day
  • 1 ½ -2 ½ hours of wakefulness at a time

Sample Schedule-

7:00am - Wake, eat, play

9:00am-Begin first nap

12:30pm-Begin second nap of day

3:45pm-Begin third nap of the day

5:30pm- Wake up, feed, play

7:30pm-Bedtime

 

6-14 months old-

  • 2 naps a day
  • 3-4 hours of wakefulness at a time

Sample Schedule-

7:00am-Wake up, eat, playtime

9:30am-Begin first nap of the day

2:30pm-Begin second nap of the day

4:00pm-Wake up, eat, playtime

7:00-7:30pm-Bedtime

 

15 months-3 years old

  • 1 nap a day
  • 4-6 hours of wakefulness at a time

Sample schedule-

6:30am-Wake up

12:00-1:00pm-Begin nap

7:00-8:00pm-Bedtime

Daytime Sleep Needs

1 month old-

  • 8 hours (very inconsistent at this age)

3 months old-

  • 5 hours (3 naps)

6 months old-

  • 3 ¼ hours (2 naps)

9 months old-

  • 3 hours (2 naps)

12 months old-

  • 2 ½ hours (2 naps)

18 months old-

  • 2 ¼ hours (1 nap)

2 years old-

  • 2 hours (1 nap)

3 years old-

  • 1 ½ hours (1 nap)

Night Time Sleep Needs

1 month old

  • 8 hours (very inconsistent)

3 months old

  • 10 hours

6 months old

  • 11 hours

9 months old

  • 11 hours

12 months old

  • 11 ¼ hours

18 months old

  • 11 ¼ hours

2 years old

  • 11 hours

3 years old

  • 10 ½ hours

4-12 years old

  • 10-12 hours

12-17 years old

  • 5-9.5 hours

Adults (your sleep matters too)

  • 7-9 hours

 

Every child is different and these are all averages, your child may need more or less sleep.  You will know your child needs more sleep if:

  • He/she falls asleep in the car easily during non-nap time hours.
  • He/she is cranky, fussy or irritable during the day.
  • He/she is will sometimes crash much earlier than normal bedtime.
  • You have to wake her up in the morning.

 

About the author

Shannon Glenn

Shannon Glenn is the owner and founder of Sleep Well Children Consulting and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist. She is dedicated to helping parents assist their children and babies in developing healthy sleep habits. With a B.A. in Psychology, Shannon has worked extensively with children and their families for over 15 years in a variety of settings.  She has been offering sleep solutions for over six years.  

Why didn’t we try this sooner?! As we speak he is sound asleep in his crib – and has been since 7:15 pm.

Karianne Wanggaard

Sleep Well Sleep Specialists

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Working with Shannon, I went from 2-3 wake ups every night to 1 or 0. She aligned the plan with my preferred sleep cycle. She was always coaching, never judging. Shannon was great, I have referred MANY people to her! That's the best testament to her work that I can give.

Laura

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