Baby Sleep Patterns

Sleep is important for babies and toddlers to be alert and learn new things and to function at their optimum level.

If you are reading this post you have probably found out that sleep is important for adults too!

Parents can provide an appropriate environment and opportunity for children to learn how to sleep. When adults, children and babies have less than adequate amounts of sleep for their age and activity requirements they are often found to be:

  • more whingy
  • unsettled
  • irritable
  • impatient
  • jumpy
  • more tantrums with greater intensity
  • clumsy
  • over-active in their movements
  • regular lack of sleep will also decrease immunity levels creating a greater risk of illness.
  • concentration and tolerance levels drop

Below is a guide for your baby sleep patterns. Use it as a guide only as sleep is individual and dependent on physical activity, general health and wellbeing.

Other products relating to SLEEP on this site:

Settling Your Newborn to Sleep eBook

Putting Them To Sleep eBook

Sleep or Behaviour Package

'Mum, Baby & Toddler - together we learn'

'taste it - easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice' eBook

HOW MUCH / HOW OFTEN

All babies are individual in their needs and you will understand these needs, as you get to know your baby. Be guided by your babies TIRED SIGNS which may include:

  • grizzling
  • yawning
  • jerky limb movements
  • rubbing eyes
  • frowning
  • pulling at ears
  • clenched fists
Ages Routine Sleep patterns Up time between feeds Down-time Type of play
1-4 wks Feed Play sleep 16.5 hrs 1hr 15mins 1-1.5 hrs Likes faces,singing and movement
4 -12 wks Feed Play sleep 15 hrs 1-1.5 hrs 1.5 - 2 hrs Mobiles, soft toys, colours, floor play, tummy time
3 -4 mths Feed Play Sleep 6 - 10 hrs / night (night feeds) 3-4 day sleeps 1.5 hrs 1.5 - 2 hrs Deliberately swings out at objects, holds small rattles, books, mirror & music
4 - 6 mths Feed Play Sleep Play 8 - 10 hrs / night (wakes and chatters)feeds not nutritionally required. 2 - 3 day sleeps 1.5 - 2 hrs 2 hrs Holds & touches toys, transfers from one hand to another, mouths toys
6 - 8 mths Feed Play Sleep Play 11 -12 hrs / night ( no night feeds required) 2 day sleeps 2 hrs 1.5 - 2 hrs Bath toys, vocalizing, toys with moving parts, rolling and dancing
8 - 10 mths Feed Play Sleep Play 12 hrs a night 2 day sleeps 2.5 - 3 hrs 1 - 2 hrs Peek-a-boo, cloth books, moving toys, dolls, floor play & discovering
10 - 12 mths Feed Play Sleep Play 12 hrs a night 2 day sleeps 3 - 4 hrs 1 - 1.5 hrs Music, stacking blocks, play group, kitchen objects, cruizing around furnature
12 mths + Toddler Routine 11 - 12 hrs a night, 1 day sleep 4 hrs + 2 - 2.5 hrs total Puzzles, dancing, sandpit, pushbutton or pull along toys, cardboard boxes
Most babies under 8 weeks have one unsettled period a day, commonly in the evening and one unsettled day per week
Ages Appropriate Sleep Requirement / 24 hours A daytime nap needs to be finish before 2.30pm or they may be difficult to settle at night.
12 - 18mths 13 - 14 hours May have 2 short naps or 1 longer nap of 2½ hrs The length of nap will depend on how long your child has slept at night and how stimulating or strenuous their day activities have been
18 mths - 3 yrs 12 - 13 hours A large percentage of young children still require daytime naps but again this will vary (1-2½ hrs) depending on their nights sleep and day activities
3 - 5 years 11 - 12 hours Often grown out of needing a regular daytime nap but a quiet time with books after lunch is appropriate and useful.

Toddlers require a day sleep until 2 years old but some will continue until 4 years. 

The Putting them to Sleep eBook will answer a lot of the questions you have concerning baby sleep.

Food and nutrition has a significant impact on baby sleep patterns. If your baby is approaching or over 5-months old you will find 'taste it' very helpful and easy to understand.  

Jan Murray has been committed to studying and working as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan has a bachelor of Behavioural Science, is a mother and nanna, who co-founded and directs Settle Petal. Jan provides information and support for parents to develop their knowledge base and confidence.

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