Baby Sleep Guide from Newborn to 6 Months


Even though newborns sleep more than they are awake, many of us have nevertheless wondered “how much should a newborn sleep?”  While of course each baby is different, there are some general baby sleep guidelines for baby sleep that have helped me gauge the whole thing.  Check out these guidelines for newborns to 6-month-olds, what you can expect and what I’ve experienced with my five babies.

Baby Sleep Guide from Newborn to 6 Months

General Baby Sleep Guide

  • Newborn Sleep Schedule: Sleeps at least 16 hours/day
  • 3 Month Old Sleep Schedule: Sleeps approximately 15 hours/day including 3 or 4 naps
  • 6 Month Old Sleep Schedule: Sleeps approximately 14 hours/day including 2 or 3 naps

How’s it been going with your baby and sleep?  Did you notice any sort of sleep pattern with your newborn or did that come later for you?  Please comment below and tell me your impressions, ideas and tips!  Nothing sweeter – and easier on a new mom — than a sleeping baby!

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Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check back for more! xo


  • Katie

    My baby slept really well until about 4-months-old, when we had to stop swaddling her because she began rolling over. At that point we had a rough period with sleep but did settle into a better pattern by the time she was 6-months-old.

  • Mark

    Our baby was definitely very sleepy those first few weeks!

  • Dave

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for your awesome website. Just wondering, with a 1 month old, should we actively be trying to keep baby awake after feeding for 1-5 to 2 hours before putting them down for a nap? Our baby just wants to sleep straight after eating!

    Thanks

    • Hi Dave, thanks for your comment. Your baby might not be ready to be awake for that long quite yet — every baby is different. With my babies, though, I did try to not nurse them directly to sleep because that’s what worked for us. Over time their “wake times” increase and they can be awake longer between naps. How frequently is your baby eating? I do think you want to try to move in the direction of baby being awake more during the day and asleep more at night, and this will happen naturally over time. Good luck and keep me posted! Here’s my newborn schedule for reference: http://www.cloudmom.com/baby-feeding-and-sleeping-schedule-breastfeeding-newborn/

  • Dave

    Thank you Melissa that is awesome. We’ve been applying your schedule religiously today (in Australia) and although he has needed some quite serious stimulation for the 1.5 hours after feeding, it’s been fantastic!! When that time is up he actually drops straight off to sleep until the next feeding. So far (day 1) it’s been great and I think we can see some light at the end of the tunnel. Up until we tried your schedule he would sleep, wake, drink an ounce, sleep for half an hour, drink a 1/2 ounce, sleep a bit more etc etc….arrghh it has been an exhausting month! Thanks so much. We’ve been watching all your movies since we found the site…so useful thank you 🙂

    • OMG — thank you for watching, please spread the word, I love Aussies!!! xoxo Melissa

  • nyamkii

    my son doesn’t even eat in the am. do i have to pump if ge doesnt eat? also can i assume that he isnt hungry

    • He should be eating in the morning or yes, you should pump, can you give me a quick sense of his schedule? Thanks. M

  • KD

    Our 6 3/4 month old stays up really late for hours before going to sleep. She stays up later than my 2 yr old! What can we do? She sleeps in a bassinet, but will be getting a crib in a couple of days. I’m exhausted and so is my husband from staying up with her. Is it too late to teach her or maybe us how to get her sleeping regularly?

    • HI there KD. Does she nap late in the day? I think she shouldn’t be sleeping too much late in the day, just a quick cat nap if she’s tired. LMK what her schedule is more or less and I will try to help! xo Melissa

  • EbiEbi

    My baby is 4 mths old and he is a formula feeding baby. He was able to sleep overnight around 2.5mths old. These few weeks (4wks) he awake 2-3 times a night and sometime he is not able to fall back to sleep and need a pacifier and sometime he can fall back to sleep by himself. Do you know what I could do to help him sleep better at night and not waking up in the middle of the night?! He has about 12-15 hrs of sleep per day. He is now having 5 feedings a day (7oz during the day and 8oz at night at 10pm) He is now weight 19lbs.

  • Can can

    My little boy is 5 mons old he sleeps ok I guess. This is kind of his schedule. He is my 2nd so his schedule is kind of all over the place depending on older sisters schedule.

    He goes to bed at 8pm we breastfeed then sleep in crib. He usually wakes 1 time around 3 am for another feed.

    In the morning he wakes at around 7am. I will feed him and usually with in 1 hour he will want to nap. We nap for sometimes 3 hrs to around 10. We wake up and I feed him at 11:30 or so. Then around noon he naps again for 1.5 hrs (sometimes).

    At 3 he will feed again 5 pm he usually needs another nap. But would never go down for a catnap. So he sometimes stay up until 8pm bedtime.

    • monica

      My 6 month old daughter has the same sleep routine as your son… Only when it comes to her nap time normally around 10 am she only sleeps for no longer than 30 minutes an any little noise will wake her up. Its so hard to get things done around the house sometimes because I am constantly watching her. Within the last few weeks her sleep routine has gotten worse. Waking me up at least 3 times a night to nurse. Havent been getting much sleep, dont know what to do 🙁

      • HI Monica, what time does your baby do his first feed of the day? Can you put him down in a pack n play in your bedroom or bathroom so that you can try and get stuff done around house? Is he feeding every 3 or every 4 hours?

  • Can can

    My little boy is 5 mons old he sleeps ok I guess. This is kind of his schedule. He is my 2nd so his schedule is kind of all over the place depending on older sisters schedule.

    He goes to bed at 8pm we breastfeed then sleep in crib. He usually wakes 1 time around 3 am for another feed.

    In the morning he wakes at around 7am. I will feed him and usually with in 1 hour he will want to nap. We nap for sometimes 3 hrs to around 10. We wake up and I feed him at 11:30 or so. Then around noon he naps again for 1.5 hrs (sometimes).

    At 3 he will feed again 5 pm he usually needs another nap. But would never go down for a catnap. So he sometimes stay up until 8pm bedtime.

    It’s also really hard to put him down to nap. Some times I rock him some times I have to nurse him. Is there something I can do better? Can u give me some tips??

    • HI Cancan — I can try! First, when he wakes at 10am I would feed him again. Then, I would put him down earlier for that second nap and see if he sleeps longer. Then, I would make sure with the 5pm nap that he does not nap too too long. In general, my rule of thumb is that if they aren’t sleeping through the night, you keep feeding every 3, maybe 3.5, maybe 4 hours but super super regularly until you start to get the longer stints at night. Try for every 3hrs. Also make sure he is completely full and awake at the end of a feed. Good luck!!

  • purplebeach

    I would like to find out how to get a baby to nap in the crib on their back? I have a 3 month old and he doesn’t like to nap in his crib, co-sleeper bassinet, or pack n play during the day. Swaddled or unswaddled. He prefers the swing or in my arms. We have tried but he bursts out of his swaddle all the time if he wakes. We use the Halo swaddle sleep sack at night, but when he wakes he gets his arms out. We have tried putting him down without the swaddle but he still has the startle reflex which wakes him. He is 15.15 lbs and almost 27 inches long. Breastfed as well. He still wakes once or twice at night but starts in arms, then swing, then moved to co-sleeper bassinet and goes for about 5 to 6 hours sometimes. The issue is the day. WE have elevated his head with crib wedge, put plush sheets for comfort, tried to continue the swaddle but he seems to only go for about 15 minutes. I am worried that I will not be able to get him to nap for longer than 45 minutes and never in his crib. He is getting very big for his swing, so I am concerned.

    Thanks,
    Tina

    • My recommendation and double check with your doctor is to do an arms out swaddle and wait for him to find his thumb or fingers. Then, I think he will start sleeping on his own… just a hunch… I agree with you that the swing or being held long term is not the way to go. The sooner you break this habit the better. If he is full, burped, and changed, try an arms out tight swaddle, leave him for a few minutes — and see what happens. You have to be comfortable doing this b/c he will fuss but sooner or later in my experience this way they fall asleep on their own — good luck and stay in touch!

  • Sleeping

    My daughter is 12 weeks. Can you give advice about putting baby down for nap and nighttime? My daughter falls asleep nursing at night and then I put her in the crib. I would like to break that habit. During the day she takes cat naps and it isn’t consistent because if my older daughter’s schedule. When I try to put her in crib during day she usually falls asleep nursing and will only sleep a short amount of time and wakes up crying. Do you have any advice?

    • I would say swaddle, dark room, try to get her used to sleeping in the crib during the day — what is your older daughter’s schedule like?

  • Vanessa Bonilla

    Hi, my baby is 12 weeks old and having a very rough time sleeping at night and during the day. We have a 3 hr routine, eat, followed by activity and then sleep. He was waking up every 45 minutes at night, but we are improving cosiderably at night, but during the day he won’t go pass that 45 min intruder. He sleeps swaddled, and with withe noise, he likes it very very loud. Once he is finally in deep sleep I will lower the volume. But at the 45 min mark he will open his eyes and won’t fall asleep again. He was prescribed reflux medications since he was 2 weeks old, and his crib is elevated. The doctor changed his medication since he suspected the medication for his reflux was not working anymore, since he is in the new medication he improved a lot during his night, but we are still strugguling with his naps during the day. Now my huge concern is that I will have to start working again, and he needs to go to the daycare. He is used to sleep in his tummy, but there he needs to sleep in his back, he is used to white noise, but there is so open and loud sometimes that he won’t be able to hear…. Please help me, give me some advise, tears run down my face, seeming my LO having so much trouble to fall asleep, and there is nothing I can do about it. Should I tackle first his 45 min intruder the way he is used to sleep, or should I just cut it cold turkey and starting to put him in his back? I don’t know what to do. Thank you.

  • Iisamariep

    Hi Melissa,
    Your videos have been a huge help for me! My 10 week old formula fed baby girl is doing your 4 hour schedule and sleeping anywhere on average 11-7 give or take a hour. Thank you for the advice! She is also up for about 2 hours a after feedings at which point i put her in her crib for naps. The swaddle has been a huge help in this. We tried to unswaddle her for a night and if was a nightmare. She was up flailing for hours. Im worried she is going to get too dependent on it; any suggestions on how to transition from swaddle to unswaddle? Does she move so much bc shes not ready yet? Or shes too young and stil has the startle reflex? Thanks for any advice!

    • Yes! I moved to an arms out swaddle, at which point my babies found their thumb or fingers and self-soothed, and then from that, i stopped swaddling. I have videos on all of these transitions. xo

  • Rachel

    My 4 month old will go down for naps but wakes up 30min in. If you hold him he will sleep for hrs so I know when he wakes after only 30min that he is still tired. What do I do to get him to nap longer????

  • ahsiemsen

    wow, my 5 week old only sleeps about 12-14 hours a day. when she gets super fussy we swaddle her and are pretty successful at lulling her to sleep within about a half hour, and she will sleep 3-4, sometimes 5 hours straight 1-2 times a day and usually these are at night. can we be doing anything differently? she is only breastfed and gaining good weight. she seems generally pleased, but does have maybe one mini meltdown a day (broken up over a 1-2 hr period), which is often after a feed (I have a forceful letdown on one side and not fast enough on the other) i imagine her fuss is a combination of this and being overtired probably. any suggestions?

  • hersheys

    My 25weeker baby (premmie) was sleeping 12 hours once she came home n nap during day.but once she reached adjusted age 5 months her sleep patterns have changed drastically. .she sleeps only 8 -9 hours durin night &only naps during the day if in my lap or else just wakes up when put down..In afternoon she sometimes sleeps for hour or 2 after her massage &bath..what can be done

  • harsha p

    My 25weeker baby (premmie) was sleeping 12 hours once she came home n nap during day.but once she reached adjusted age 5 months her sleep patterns have changed drastically. .she sleeps only 8 -9 hours durin night &only naps during the day if in my lap or else just wakes up when put down..In afternoon she sometimes sleeps for hour or 2 after her massage &bath..what can be done

  • Carly

    I am a newborn mum to my gorgeous boy Jack who is now 5 months. I have been around babies before so had a bit of an idea but you really don’t know what to do until I was home with my little boy. I was very lucky he was such a good newborn who slept so well. However when 4 months came the sleeping was gone. I spent many sleepless nights with Jack screaming at me for hours and no matter what I did it didn’t seem to work. After spending hours (in my sleep debrived madness) searching the web for answers I came across your website and found your plans so I decided to give them a go.
    And I just wanted to thank you for your tips and plans. After a few weeks Jack took to them so well he now waits for his feeds to the times we have came up with based on your videos and now knows when its nap time, he is so good and put himself to sleep and the tears except for a few are gone.
    Thank you so much for your website!
    Carly