All babies are different, even when it comes to sleep. My first baby slept through the night at three months old, and didn’t nap much. My second was still waking up at night to nurse at one year old, but she slept a lot during the day. My third, well she does her own thing, too.
Sleep is important for everyone, especially babies and children who need sleep in order to develop properly. You're likely not getting much sleep, but if you're asking, "Is my baby sleeping enough?" reference this guide.
- Newborn - three months old: Need to sleep 10-11 hours at night and 4-5 hours a day in short naps. She will likely wake up every three hours whether the sun is up or it’s the middle of the night. Newborns see no difference between night and day, but over time, she’ll adjust to the schedules we live by.
- Four - five months old: Need to sleep 10-12 hours at night, with at least two one-hour naps during the day, and up to four naps is normal. Waking up during the night is to be expected at this age, and using the cry it out method with babies this age could affect their ability to trust.
- Six - eight months old: Should sleep 11-12 hours at night with two or more one-hour naps during the day. Some babies are sleeping about eight hours straight at this age, while others sleep longer or even wake more often.
- Nine to 17 months old: Should also sleep 11-12 hours at night, with one or more one-hour naps during the day. At this age, your baby is probably sleeping through the night, but might be waking and seeking comfort from you.
These are averages and you should remember that some babies will sleep more than this and some will sleep less. Studies show that breastfed babies wake up more often than bottle fed babies. And waking up at night is normal.
If you are concerned your child isn’t getting enough sleep, there are signs you can look for. She may be irritable and cranky. She may not be alert or happy when awake, and she may not settle down easily when it is time to sleep. If your baby seems tired, but is having trouble falling asleep, it could be a sign that she is overtired and should be put to bed earlier or taking more naps.
If you have questions or are struggling to get your baby to sleep, talk to your pediatrician to make sure everything is okay. My first baby struggled to sleep at night and would scream inconsolably. It turned out she had reflux, but once she was taking medication for it, she slept amazingly well. So if you have any concerns, follow your mommy or daddy instincts and ask the professionals.
More on Sleep:
Please join @ParentingSquad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest. Have a funny, touching or interesting story to share about kids and parenting? Email us at Editor (at) ParentingSquad.com.