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Is My Baby Getting Enough Sleep? How Long Should my Baby Nap?

By Darlene Oakley HERWriter
 
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babies need to get enough sleep with naps
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Is my baby getting enough sleep? How long should my baby nap?

These are really common questions that every parent wonders about. There are plenty of other questions as well.

My newborn seems to sleep all the time, is that normal? When should my baby stop having naps?

How long should my newborn sleep?

Babies need to sleep up to 16 hours (on average 11 to 18 hours within a 24-hour period). These hours are usually achieved through naps that last anywhere between 15 minutes and four to six hours at a time.

Babies younger than 8 weeks old can only stay awake 45 - 75 minutes. Your baby shouldn’t be awake any longer than this at a time. (5)

Just let your baby sleep when she needs to. “When your baby’s 6 to 8 weeks old … she’ll sleep less often and for longer stretches at a time. She’ll probably need two to four naps a day, and perhaps even more.” (4)

How much sleep do 4- to 7-month-olds need?

At 4 to 7 months old, babies will sleep an average of 14 hours a day (usually between 9 and 18 hours a day) divided between 7 to 8 hours at night and at least two daytime naps.

Length of daytime naps can vary between 20 minutes and 3 to 4 hours. (2) By now, your baby will start to fall into a more predictable sleep pattern, and it’s okay to start implementing a nap schedule. (4)

Many parents think that skipping naptime will make their baby sleep better or longer at night. But overtired babies are actually more difficult to settle and may actually get worse quality sleep. (2, 5)

Four- to 7-month-olds will stay awake about two hours between naps. (5)

How much sleep do 8- to 12-month-olds need?

Your 8- to 12-month-old should sleep 13 to 14 hours a day, including one morning and one afternoon nap. Naptime may vary between 20 minutes and 1 to 2 hours. (3)

Again, it’s important for Baby not to miss naps. Naptime is crucial to giving your baby energy to do all the things she wants to do, and to preventing her from becoming overtired, which can actually complicate bedtime.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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