This Version Posted: November 13, 2019

Sleep is important for your baby’s growth and development, especially for their rapidly developing brain. Each baby’s sleep pattern will be different, depending on their personality and temperament.

In general, you can expect to see some of the following changes during the first year of life:

Babies less than three months of age:

  • normally sleep between 14 to 17 hours during a 24-hour period,
  • usually wake every two to three hours to feed,
  • have irregular sleep patterns and may sleep at any time of the day or night, and
  • spend a lot of time in active sleep and may move, grunt and twitch during sleep. This may cause a baby to wake up not long after they fall asleep, just before moving into quiet sleep.

Babies three to six months:

  • normally sleep 12 to 16 hours during a 24-hour period, including naps,
  • continue to wake frequently to feed,
  • may have a more regular sleep pattern, with more time spent in quiet sleep, and
  • may begin to stay awake longer during the day and sleep for longer stretches at night.

Babies six to 12 months:

  • normally sleep 12 to 16 hours during a 24-hour period, including naps,
  • may still wake during the night to feed,
  • may develop a more regular sleep routine, and
  • may transition from many short naps to fewer, longer naps.

Infants have shorter sleep cycles than adults (about 60 minutes), and they may wake up as they move from one sleep cycle to the next.

Still have questions about your baby’s sleep? Call one of our Healthy Families nurses at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5003.