Sleep - how much should a baby have? - Better Lives Healthy Futures

Sleep – how much should a baby have?

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All babies are different, some sleep for long periods of time, others sleep for short bursts. Whichever your baby does is normal for your baby.
Safe sleeping baby

Your baby is an individual with their own pattern of waking and sleeping – this is probably different to your own. Some babies sleep through the night at a young age while others wake for regular night feeds. This can be demanding and tiring for parents and carers.

If you’re breastfeeding

In the early weeks your baby is likely to doze off for short periods during a feed. Carry on feeding until you think your baby has finished or until they’re fully asleep. This is a good opportunity to try to get a bit of rest yourself.

Why babies wake

As well as wanting to feed, teething, feeling unwell or a change of environment are some of the reasons your baby or toddler may wake during the night.

Average amounts of sleep from birth to age four

Here’s how much you can expect your baby to sleep on average from birth to four years old:

1 week old – 16.5 hours
4 weeks old – 16 hours
3 months old – daytime, 4 to 5 hours; night-time, 10 to 11 hours
6 to 12 months old – daytime, naps; night-time, up to 12 hours as night feeds may have stopped.
12 months to 2 years – daytime, naps; night-time 12 to 15 hours
2 to 3 years – daytime, short naps; night-time 11 to 12 hours
3 years – daytime, a short nap: night-time 11.5 to 12 hours
4 years – night-time 11.5 to 12 hours

Use the hot topics below to find out more about sleep.

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0-4

Safe sleep

Safe sleep is very important. You, and anyone helping you, needs to understand how to keep your baby safe whilst they sleep.
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0-4

Caring for your crying baby

All babies cry, and some more than others. Crying is your baby’s way of telling you they need comfort and care.
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Breastfeeding

There are many benefits to breastfeeding for both you and your baby and in the first few days you and your baby will still be getting to know each other.
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