A guide to how long your baby should sleep: 1 week - 6 years

New parents understandably have a lot of questions. One I hear most often is "how long should my baby sleep?" While there are very few one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to children, fortunately, this is one science can help with.

Any healthy baby needs a set amount of hours' sleep in a 24-hour period. Those hours include both day and night sleeps. The hours can be broken up however you like but of course, it's preferable to have the majority through the night to help your baby eventually manage to sleep right through.

This graph shows the ideal quantity of day and night hours your baby should be sleeping depending on their age. As they grow older you need to transition between the various stages. The best way to transition your baby's schedule is in 15-minute increments each week until she's at the next stage.

If your baby isn't getting enough sleep here's how you'll know:

  • It's hard to wake her up
  • She gets cranky for seemingly mysterious reasons
  • Eye rubbing throughout the day

If your baby is getting too much sleep you'll notice:

  • Unscheduled waking throughout the night
  • It's hard to get her to go to sleep
  • Resisting naps
  • Bedtime is difficult
  • She wakes too early in the morning

How long should your baby be sleeping?

    • At 1 week - 8 hours at night and 8 hours through the day
    • At 1 month - 9 hours at night and 6 hours through the day
    • At 3 months - 10 hours at night and 3.5 hours through the day
    • At 6 months - 10.5 hours at night and 2.5 hours through the day
    • At 9 months - 11 hours at night and 2 hours through the day
    • At 12 months - 11 hours at night and 1.5 hours through the day
    • At 18 months - 11.5 hours through the night and 1 hour through the day
    • At 2 years - 11 hours at night and 1 hour through the day
    • At 3 years - 10.5 hours at night and 30 minutes through the day
    • At 4 years - 10.5 hours at night 
    • At 5 years - 10 hours at night
    • At 6 years - 9.5 hours at night

My book explains in greater detail how to manage your baby's sleep schedule and how to troubleshoot any reoccurring problems you have. "How Babies Sleep" by Sofia Axelrod PhD. is available now for preorder click through for the link.