1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

How Much Sleep Do Babies Need?


Updated March 21, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

How Much Sleep Do Babies Need?
Getty Images
Question: How Much Sleep Do Babies Need?
Luckily, babies will sleep as much as they need to, but as a parent, it may help you to understand average sleep needs to guide your expectations.

Newborn infants sleep in a fragmented fashion in periods lasting 2 to 5 hours, occurring throughout the day and night. These newborns will typically awaken for 1 to 3 hours when they desire to feed. By 8 to 12 weeks of age, these rather short sleep periods become consolidated and more sleep occurs at night.

Thankfully for sleep-deprived parents, babies begin to sleep for 8-hour periods at night by the age of 4 to 6 months. This nighttime sleep may be disrupted by awakenings that might occur 5 or 6 times. (Often, it is necessary to allow children to fall back asleep on their own when this occurs, rather than provoking sleep-onset behavioral insomnia by always comforting them back to sleep.) They will continue to nap during the day for 2 to 4 hours.

By 12 months, your child will sleep for eight hours at night and nap one or two times per day. These naps may shorten, only lasting 1 to 2 hours.

As your baby continues to grow and develop, his or her sleep needs will continue to change as well.


Durmer, JS et al. "Pediatric Sleep Medicine". Continuum. Neurol 2007; 13(3):153-200.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Sleep
  4. Have a Sleep Disorder?
  5. How Much Sleep Do Babies Need

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.