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Sleep Pattern Changes During The First Year

Newborn babies sleep on average for 16-18 hours/day with irregular nap patterns.  During this time, babies can’t tell day from night.  Most babies will wake every 2-3 hours over night to feed.  Swaddling often aids in sleep.  Between 1-2 months sleep will transition to include daytime naps with longer stretches of sleep at night.  By 3 months of age your baby should have developed a routine that includes 3 daytime naps and the majority of babies sleep through the night.  Sleep should be in his/her own space (bassinet, cradle, etc.) in the same room as parents.

4-12 months
Babies at this stage sleep 12-16 hours/day (including naps).  Most babies will transition to 2 naps/day after 5-6 months and maintain this schedule through 15 months.  This time will also include more active awake time (rolling, starting to crawl, etc.) and a deeper sleep at night.  Sleep should be in his/her own space in the same room as parents.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping baby in the same room as parents through the first year although some pediatricians still recommend their own room.  As your baby grows he/she will transition out of a cradle and into a crib.  Nighttime feedings should lessen and eventually stop during this phase of life most by 6 months of age.  Nine month olds resume night time waking to check if you are there, and do not need to be fed.

Erin Flynn, A.P.R.N.