How much sleep do babies need?

It may seem as if your baby isn't sleeping much at all - especially in the middle of the night! - but babies' growing brains and bodies actually need quite a lot of snooze time.

Sleep is a very important part of your baby's day, as it lets their body and brain rest and allows physical growth to occur. Dreaming allows your little one to store away the day's stimulating adventures so that they’re ready for all the exciting things that tomorrow may bring.

A sleeping guide

Every baby has their own sleep pattern and this may vary from day to day, and from night to night, and will naturally change as they get older. The following is designed to show the approximate amount of sleep your baby needs per day at different stages:

  • 0 - 3 months
    12 to 18 hours sleep per day
  • 3 - 6 months
    8 to 12 hours sleep per night (this may be disturbed sleep though)
    Plus, 2 naps during the day of about 2-3 hours each
  • 6 - 12 months
    10 to 12 hours sleep per night
    Plus, 2 naps during the day of about 1-2 hours each
  • 1 year
    10 to 11 hours sleep per night
    Plus, 1 or 2 naps during the day of about 1-2 hours each
  • 2 years
    11 to 12 hours per night
    Plus, 1 nap during the day of about 1-2 hours
  • 3 years
    About 12 hours per night
    Plus, possibly 1 nap

Reference: Birth to five - Department of Health 2006

Remember this is only a guide and your baby may require more or less sleep than this, depending upon their own individual sleep pattern. If you are at all worried or concerned, chat to a health professional.

Disrupted sleep

If your little one is experiencing some trouble settling, waking throughout the night or they are an early riser – don’t worry – you’re definitely not alone! Did you know:

  • Some babies manage 5-6 hour stretches of sleep at night by 3-4 months, but many do not
  • After 6 months, night-waking happens in 50% of children who had previously slept all the way through
  • By about 6 - 8 months, most babies won’t need a feed at night
  • At 9 months old, 22% of babies have difficulty settling at night and 42% wake frequently


Download our sleep chart

You can use our handy sleep chart to record your baby's pattern over the course of two weeks, to identify any problems and potential solutions. Download chart here.