How Many Hours of Sleep Do Babies Need By Age?

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Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Babies Need By Age?

Good sleep is essential for your baby’s well-being starting from birth. Babies have different sleep patterns as per their age. Babies’ sleeping needs vary according to their age. Newborns don’t have a routine to sleep in both day and night. When they feel hungry, they wake up no matter what time of the day or night it is. As a new parent, you may wonder how much sleep do babies need. This largely varies with age.

Newborns sleep most of the time. But their sleep is divided into segments. They sleep mostly 8-9 hours during the day and 8 hours at night. But they sleep in intervals. They tend to wake up every 2-3 hours until they are three months old. Pediatricians suggest waking the baby and feeding them every couple of hours in the initial months even if the baby is not waking up. As the baby grows their sleep patterns change, the total amount of sleep decreases and the nighttime sleep increases.

In This Article

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Babies Need By Age?

Babies’ sleeping needs depend upon their age. There are also other factors on which babies’ sleeping needs depend.

The sleep range of babies according to age is discussed as under:

Newborn to 3 Months

A healthy baby should sleep 14-17 hours daily. The baby takes short naps during the day waking up only to be fed, burped, changed, or soothed. At night, the baby will sleep 8-12 hours and the rest of two to five naps will take place during the day.

4 to 6 Months

At this age, the sleep patterns of the babies change. They are expected to sleep 12-16 hours a day. At night, they sleep at a stretch for five to six hours in a row. The daytime naps routine also changes with three naps a day by 5 months of age. Gradually, the baby’s sleep patterns follow the family’s routine as they tend to sleep more at night and less during the day.

7 to 12 Months

At this age, the hours of sleep remain the same. Only, the daytime naps reduce from three to two naps. But overnight sleep increases from 10-12 hours.

[Read : When do babies sleep through the night without feeding?]

What Happens if Your Baby Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep?

Baby Doesn't Get Enough Sleep

Though sleep problems are rare in babies, cases can happen, especially when they are going through sleep regression on going through a milestone. If your baby has been sick lately, you can expect sleep disruptions too.

Babies who don’t sleep enough can exhibit the following behaviors.

  • Over exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble falling and staying asleep
  • Not having enough sleep

Lack of sleep can be cyclic in babies, and it is important that you help them get back into a routine. Long-term sleep issues can also interfere with the growth and milestones of babies since they need the rest time so that their brains can relax, unwind, and get ready to learn new skills.

However, in most cases, babies do get back to their sleep routine, especially in cases of sleep regression, illnesses, and during teething. Sleep training your baby from an early age will help them get back to their usual sleep routine quickly.

[Read : Signs And Cues That Your Baby Is Tired]

When to See a Doctor?

mom calling doctor with baby

If your baby is not sleeping the recommended hours of sleep as per age, there is a need to consult your pediatrician. Your pediatrician may recommend you monitor your baby’s sleep cues and follow a routine accordingly.

Sleep is important for your baby. Babies’ sleeping needs vary according to age as it is discussed above. A newborn is expected to sleep more than 16hours in a day. As babies’ mind takes time to understand the difference between day and night, help them to know that by dimming the lights at night and singing a lullaby to your baby. This will help them sleep.

By the time your baby is six months old the sleep pattern changes, and their sleep cycle gets settled. That is good news for you, as you will get time to close your eyes and relax.


1. How Can You Tell if Your Baby is Overtired?

Babies also yawn like us when they are tired. Your baby may cling to you when they are tired and want you to care for them. They may show restlessness, not want to play or do any activity and are grumpy. Surprisingly, an overtired baby can find it difficult to fall asleep too.

2. How to Help an Overtired Baby?

Hold your baby close to you so they can hear your heartbeat. You can use a pacifier to calm down your baby and relax them. Some babies are soothed with soft music or by the sound of singing. It is important to darken your baby’s room and maintain a moderate temperature to make them fall asleep.

3. Do Babies Sleep Longer at 4 Months?

Some babies may sleep longer at 4 months. This can happen due to growth spurts. Babies experience sudden growth during different phases during their first year and the fourth month is one of them. This period is usually marked by increased appetites and sleep times.

Read Also: Establishing a Bedtime Routine For Babies – When to Start, Benefits and Tips

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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