How Long Should My Baby Sleep?

How Long Should My Baby Sleep?

Let’s be honest about something right off the bat. Very few babies (if any) are born able to consistently sleep when and where you want them to, let alone for any long stretch of time, or even at nighttime more than during the day. Babies need to be taught how to sleep.

Also, there are very few babies or toddlers who, once taught how to sleep, will ever sleep consistently each and every day the exact same way. So, you first have to teach your baby to sleep in a way that works for both of you (parents have needs too), and then you have to be flexible when some days your baby doesn’t sleep as well as the day before. This is the first step towards having a realistic attitude about your baby’s sleep habits.

Finally, it is important to be realistic with your expectations of how long your baby should be able to sleep at nap-time or nighttime.

Newborns (up to 3 months old) typically have sleep patterns that last no longer than 4-5 hours, with many newborns needing to wake up more frequently because they get hungry.

Somewhere between 3 months and 6 months, many babies begin sleeping longer at night and less during the day, and many babies begin to be able to sleep 6-8 hours at a stretch during the night. Repeating a white noise track like those we sell on our Pediasleep website may really help your baby sleep through the night earlier and more consistently than if they sleep in complete silence where they are likely to be startled awake.

Between 6 months and 12 months, many babies are able to sleep through the night, but separation anxiety may get in the way as your baby wakes slightly to find their caretaker missing, gets scared, and cries which only wakes them up further.

Toddlers are physically able to sleep through the night without getting hungry, but often jdon’t want to go to sleep because they just want to be with their caretaker, so establishing a consistent bedtime routine is especially important during this stage.

Whether your baby is a newborn or a toddler, it is important to know what they can and cannot do in terms of sleeping. Having a realistic attitude about baby sleep habits will go a long way to maintaining your sanity as a parent, and establishing long-term, healthy sleep habits for your baby.

Andrew Dolbin-MacNab
Pediasleep LLC


About the Author:

Andrew Dolbin-MacNab is a father, web developer, and one of the founding members of Pediasleep, a leader in the production of white noise and other soothing sounds to aid the healthy sleep of infants, cosleepers, and parents. Having successfully survived his daughter and son’s early sleep problems with the help of white noise, he is also an expert on infant sleep problems and their solutions.

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