Baby Sleeping Patterns by Age!

Our Guide to Baby Sleep Patterns by Age



As you welcome your baby into the world, one thing which is on many a new parent’s mind is sleep. How much will your baby sleep, how can you help them to develop good sleep habits, and how much sleep will you be able to get too?!


It is always worth remembering that every baby is different. While some may seem to sleep through the night from day dot, others won’t - and that’s ok!


While there is no simple answer or one size fits all solution, here is a general guide to baby sleep patterns which can help you to understand your baby’s sleeping needs, and may help you to get through those first few months while your little one adjusts to life in the big wide world.



Newborn Sleep Patterns (0 - 3mo)


At a glance:

How much time will my baby spend asleep? 8 - 18 hours (this may be more or less, depending on the baby)

Night time: 8 - 9 hours

Day time naps: 6 - 8 hours

Where should my baby sleep? In the same room as you, in their own sleeping space like a Moses Basket or cot.



The newborn stage is a time of adjustment - both for you and your new arrival. At this age, your baby is still adapting to life outside the womb. Their circadian rhythm hasn’t yet been set, and they will need a little extra help understanding the difference between night and day. 


Newborns tend to sleep on and off for anywhere from around 8 hours a day right up to 18 hours, and some can even sleep for longer. However, while newborns may sleep a lot, that’s not to say they sleep in solid stretches! They will likely wake during the night due to hunger or discomfort (they may, for example, be too hot or too cold).


Tip: a Moses basket is a great option to help your baby feel safe and secure while they sleep.


At around 8 - 12 weeks, your baby’s natural circadian rhythm will begin to kick in - this is a good opportunity to gradually begin introducing a bedtime routine. How this routine looks is up to you, however some good ideas include: a bath, a bedtime story, a lullaby and a goodnight cuddle.


As the newborn stage continues, sleeping patterns may begin to become slightly more routine - however, they will likely remain erratic as your baby adjusts to life in the big wide world.




3 - 6 mo Sleep Patterns


At a glance:


How much time will my baby spend asleep? 12 - 14 hours (may be more or less, depending on the baby)

Night time: 10 - 11 hours

Day time naps: 4 - 5 hours

Where should my baby sleep? In the same room as you, in their own sleeping space like a Moses Basket or cot.



As you move beyond the newborn stage, a full night’s sleep may start to seem like a real possibility. However if it isn’t, that’s nothing to worry about! Remember that every baby is different, and moves at their own individual pace.


At this age, your baby may start to need fewer night feeds as their stomach grows; and may also begin to sleep for longer at night. If you haven’t already, it’s time to introduce a consistent and soothing bedtime routine which can include steps such as a bath and a bedtime story.


As the six month mark approaches, it may be time to think about letting go of unsustainable sleeping habits. For example, if you rock your baby to sleep then now may be the time to think about easing off as you look towards giving your baby their own room, and a little more independence alongside this. 




6 - 12mo Sleep Patterns


At a glance:

How much time will my baby spend asleep? 10 - 14 hours (may be more or less, depending on the baby)

Night time: up to 12 hours

Day time naps: 2 - 3 hours

Where should my baby sleep? In a secure sleeping space like a crib, in your or their own room.


As your baby turns six months old, they will likely begin to get their longest period of sleep at night - so if you haven’t yet enjoyed a full night’s sleep, it’s increasingly within reach! In fact, your baby may even be sleeping up to 12 hours at night - but don’t be disheartened or concerned if it isn’t quite this long. 


One big change is that they will be able to sleep in their very own room. If you do choose to give them their own bedroom or baby nursery, there will likely be a period of transition which comes alongside this! Having been used to having you in the same room for all of their life so far, your baby may begin to show signs of separation anxiety. This is normal, and there are plenty of things you can do to address it, such as leaving a comforting item with your baby; and sticking to a bedtime routine.


At this age, your baby’s stomach continues to grow, and they may be able to sleep even longer at night without waking for food. However, they may also begin teething - which could wake them at night instead.




12mo+ Sleep Patterns


At a glance:


How much time will my baby spend asleep? 12 - 15 hours (may be more or less, depending on the baby)

Night time: up to 12 hours

Day time naps: 2 - 3 hours

Where should my baby sleep? In a secure sleeping space like a crib, in your or their own room.


Your baby has grown into a toddler (we know - they really do grow up so fast!), and they’re getting more independent by the minute. After their first birthday, they will probably be sleeping for around 12 - 15 hours a day. They’ll get most of this sleep at night time, with a couple of day-time naps too.


At this age, a consistent bedtime routine which takes place at the same time each day is key to helping your little one understand when it’s time to wind down and catch some Zs. A short, calming routine including a few steps which remain the same each night will do the trick: for example, a bedtime story, lullaby and a cuddle before you put them to bed.


Equally important is a routine when it comes to their day time naps: make sure that they don’t sleep for too long during the day, or take their naps too close to bedtime, to help them sleep through the night. As time goes on, they may even be ready to shift from two to one nap a day.



Remember: sleep success isn’t a consistent upwards trajectory. Rather, there will be ups and downs as your baby develops and adapts to the world. The first year of your baby's life is filled with new experiences as they develop and learn new skills like crawling, all of which can affect their sleep patterns. Never be disheartened if your baby appears to be learning to sleep at a different rate to others, but if you are ever concerned, your doctor will be more than happy to help.