Baby Sleep: What is Normal?

White picket fence, green grass, and blue skies.

You’re so tired you forgot to put on underwear. There seems to be dried curry on your pants but that can’t POSSIBLY be right because you haven’t had Indian food in 2 weeks. Is that curry? Your baby just fell asleep in the car and you’re so desperate for a break that you’re going to just drive by your house and take a short jaunt to Canada. Because the minute you stop the car she’s going to wake up. And frankly if that happens you’re going to cry the ugly cry.

All the parenting books say the first year with a baby is spent in a haze of sleep deprivation caused by night feedings, teething, ear infections, etc. The other Moms in your playgroup look equally exhausted and your neighbor is still night-nursing her 5-year-old. So this is all normal. Right?

Is There Normal Baby Sleep?

In a word, yes.

For the first few weeks after birth, baby sleep may be all over the map. They may sleep so much you find yourself wondering why other new mommies seem so tired. Or they may never sleep for more than 45-minute windows leaving you wondering how you can possibly make it through one more night.

Most newborn babies are extra fussy for a few hours in the evening, often from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM. This is known as the “witching hour.” Everybody is exhausted and you can’t even play “pass the cranky baby” because all the people you want to pass the baby to (grandparents, friends, etc.) are at home lounging on the couch thinking about how glad they are not to have a fussy newborn to deal with.

It’s a rough time for everybody and the fussiness and non-sleeping tends to peak at 6 weeks. That doesn’t mean you end up with an easy baby at the 7 week mark but things start to gradually get easier from that point on.

Somewhere between 2 to 6 months your baby will consolidate their naps. This means that instead of taking 4-5 tiny naps throughout the day they’ll take ~3 chunky (45+ minute) naps. However regardless of the configuration of their naps (many small vs. few longer) the total amount of time they spend napping and the total hours of sleep at night should be close to the targets outline in the chart below.

Baby Sleep: How Much, When, How Long

Age # Naps Duration of Naps Time Between Naps Bedtime Hrs of Sleep @ Night Total Hrs of Sleep per Day
Birth – 6 Weeks 4-8 15 minutes – 4 hours 45 min – 1 hour Variable but often late 9:00 – 11:00 PM 8-14 14-18 hours
6 Weeks – 3 Months 3-4 30 minutes – 2 hours 1 hour – 1 hour 45 minutes Variable but often late 8:00 – 11:00 PM 8-13 11-15 hours
3-6 Months 3 1-2 hours ~2 hours 8:00 – 10:00 PM 9-12 12-14 hours
6-9 Months 3 1-2 hours 2-3 hours 8:00 – 10:00 PM 9-12 12-14 hours
9-12 Months 2 1-2 hours ~3 hours 7:00 – 8:00 PM 10-12 12-14 hours
12-18 Months 1-2 1-2 hours 3 hours 7:00 – 8:00 PM 10-12 12-14 hours
18 Months – 3 Years 1 1-2 hours NA 7:00 – 8:00 PM 10-12 11-14 hours

Sources: Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, R. Ferber, M.D. & Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, M. Weissbluth, M.D.

Keep track of how much your baby is sleeping for a few days. If you’re somewhere close to the numbers in the chart you’re doing OK. If not, maybe it’s time to make a change.

Common Baby Sleep Problems

Baby is Awake Too Long

Use the chart as a guideline. If your baby is awake dramatically longer than what is indicated in the “time between naps” column, she is likely overtired. This is probably the #1 sleep problem that trips up parents with babies under 1. People think babies will simply fall asleep when they need sleep. It would be great if babies worked that way. It would also be great if babies were born knowing how to use the potty. Sadly neither of these is the case.

Baby is Not Getting Enough Sleep

Your baby should not be getting substantially less sleep than is indicated in the “Total Hrs per Day” column. I can’t tell you how often people try to convince me that their baby just doesn’t need that much sleep.


I’m not saying that helping babies get the sleep they need is easy. Nor am I saying that you should beat yourself up if you’re doing everything you possibly can and your baby isn’t quite getting as much sleep as you would like. But I AM saying that the chart gives you a pretty good idea of how much sleep your child needs. If you’re vastly off the mark, that’s OK. But let’s keep working towards these numbers as a goal.

Bedtime is Too Late

This is the #2 sleep problem people run into. Typically it is caused by two things. The first is that younger babies (under 6 months) tend to take naps late in the afternoon or early evening which means their bedtime is fairly late (9:00PM – 10:30PM). Whey they stop sleeping in the late afternoon their bedtime should be moved up closer to 7:00PM (parents forget this step and keep the original late bedtime). The second cause is that babies generally wake up far earlier than you would like to. Parents will do just about anything to try to get their baby to sleep past 6:00 AM and they often think that keeping them up later at night will do the trick. However generally keeping your baby up late just reduces the total amount of sleep they’re getting and leads to a chronically sleep-deprived baby.

No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap. ~Carrie Snow

Baby Doesn’t Nap at All

If your child is under 3 they almost always need to take a nap. I see parents all the time who have a 2 year old who doesn’t nap who will tell me about how “Little Timmy decided to stop napping just after his 2nd birthday.” Why did Little Timmy get a vote in this decision? Naps are your friend. Even if it seems inconvenient (especially if you have a non-napping older sibling) to maintain a consistent nap schedule with your 2-3 year old preschooler, this is something their little body needs (even if they don’t seem to WANT to do it). Two year old kids are challenging boundaries all day long and are likely to challenge naps as well. Don’t confuse this with a signal that they no longer need a nap.

Baby is Getting Too Much Sleep

I used to believe that there was no such thing as a kid who sleeps too much. In fact I always wanted to be the parent of one of these kids. But I’ve come to learn that some kids who sleep more than expected often have some underlying medical issue that leaves them unusually tired. This is REALLY rare, most often your kid is sleeping longer because you got lucky. If you’re worried, the most frequent causes of sleeping TOO much are sleep apnea and things like celiac disease that hinder your child’s ability to absorb nutrients. Both of which are totally manageable conditions. But if your baby is over 3 months old and seems to sleep far more than what is suggested in the chart, it’s probably time to talk to your pediatrician just make sure everything is OK.

This chart is pretty handy (she pats herself on back) so you may want to download and print out a copy to keep on your fridge for future reference.



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  1. Thank you for this article. I love the sleep chart. I’ve posted on other articles before, and I just want to say they have helped us a lot. Khymera is now 2 months old, and she is sleeping usually 6 hours from 11:00p.m. to 5:00a.m. swaddled in her swing with white noise.She takes about 45 minute napes a day, and her witching hour has become more calm :)

    • That is fantastic! I think you’ll find that things start to feel a lot more reasonable at around 3 months. More predictability, less fussiness, more interest in what is going on in their world. Really so glad to have been able to help :)

  2. I have been blessed with two relatively good sleepers. Our second son is the one who gave us the most sleeplessness, but on the whole, both boys sleep the 10 or so hours recommended in your chart. A couple of weeks ago, however, our then 12 month old started waking up in the middle of the night, screaming and crying and unwilling to go back to sleep. We thought we had either stepped back in time or there was something seriously wrong with him. Turns out, he had a mild ear infection AND a molar coming in, so he was just plain uncomfortable. We’ve since taken care of the infection, and his molar seems to have come in without incident, so we are back to enjoying a happy sleeper. Now if my three year old would just stop wetting the bed at 4 a.m……


      You do confirm the ugly truth I’ve been dancing around with our 2-year-old–though put in bed by 8-ish, often earlier, she never sleeps earlier than 9, and I know it’s because I’ve been letting her sleep in (till the late hour of 7:15 or so). She’s got a night owl personality like me and is more prone to stay up late and sleep in, whereas her brother, no matter how early he goes to bed, likes to get up early. It just feels wrong to wake her up, but I think that’s what I’ve got to do. *sigh*

    • Congratulations on your good sleepers! Sorry to hear about the bed wetting (he’s not into pullups?). I hate it when my kids get sick because a) I love them and b) I really love sleeping. We had a tummy thing that ravaged the whole house last winter. For 3 weeks my son (who was totally fine during the day) would wake up in the middle of the night and vomit on and off for 45 minutes. Was super glad to be done with THAT πŸ˜›

  3. BEST part about this… why did Timmy get a vote? I’m known as a bit of a sleep whisperer myself so I love this article! But the other day one of my neighbors questioned my girls eating schedule when I told her they don’t have a bottle before bed. She said don’t they get thirsty? My response… well when they are old enough to tell me they are thirsty then I guess I’ll give them a drink. Until then I’M THE MOM! I MAKE THE DECISIONS!! Don’t understand why that’s so hard for people to get!

  4. Last week my little guy (5 weeks at the time) slept 6.5-7.5 hours in a row for 3 nights straight. I was soooo happy, thinking this was the beginning of something beautiful for us both. Well, now he’s back to his usual 3-4 hour stretch, followed by a couple of 2 hour stretches during the night. Booooohoooo for me! Was that momentary blissful period just a growth spurt?

    • Well it could have been a growth spurt (notoriously common at 6 weeks) although usually those have the OPPOSITE effect (good sleeping baby becomes a no-sleeping baby). Sadly I think this is just the randomness of babydom. Babies are a bit one-step-foward-two-steps-back. My guess (hope?) for you is that you occasionally get a 6-7 hour stretch at night here and there. And that over time they become more and more regular.

      My guess is that it’ll become more of a regular gig for you sometime closer to the 3 month mark. Hope that helps!

      • Now he’s back to long stretches (8.5 hours in a row last night!). I’ll take it when I get it :) It’s amazing how well he fits into this chart. Keeps us both on track. Thanks again!!

  5. Haha, I so know about his, having 3 kids myself had put me through most of the things. I wish I received as good information as yours, When I had my first one! :)

    • Seriously – I wish I had known this when my FIRST was born. It took us months to realize that he wouldn’t simply fall asleep when he got tired. And trying to slog through the sleep books when you’re already tired is a disaster. Hopefully this cheat sheet will help some new parents :)

  6. Ehren is currently is the no-nap phase, meaning I get no quiet time during the day at all. It’s making me cranky and stabby. I can’t even finish my thought in this comment, I’m so tired.

    • How old is he? There are many parenting battles I quietly let go (case in point, my kids had goldfish and grapes for lunch today). But I am absolutely militant about nap time. I don’t care what you do in there but I’m drawing the blinds and will feign obliviousness to you for an hour. The little guy sleeps and the big guy reads and generally makes a mess. But I totally hear you – I need the downtime or I also get stabby, spitty, and unpleasantly sassy. Which leads back to why I’m so militant about it πŸ˜€

  7. WOW! SO informative and helpful. Thank you :0)

  8. The time between naps in the chart is extremely helpful to me. I thought my 2 month old should be awake completely between feedings sometimes (3 hours), but he never seems to be able to make it. I kept thinking I was doing something wrong and not stimulating him enough or something. We have been having trouble mostly with napping. He sleeps great… when you’re holding him. And he only gets about 20 minutes in the pack n play. He’s in there right now with the white noise on (new to us) and I’m hoping he stays for at least an hour… you know, so I can play on the computer and do research about his bad sleeping habits instead of actually get something done like cleaning.


    • You clean when the kiddos nap? I simply conceded defeat on having a clean house and use naptime to diddle around on the computer πŸ˜‰

      At 2 months you may have more success with a swing for naps vs. the pack and play. Loud white noise, swaddle, and paci (if he’ll take it) may also help your naps be longer. Basically being held provides a LOT of soothing where the pack and play is a low-soothe spot to sleep. The swing tries to provide extra soothing while freeing you up, literally, to take care of your OWN needs.

  9. Great article, and confirms my suspicions about my baby and the true reason for her fussy behavior. Curiously, what are your thoughts on letting babies fall asleep in your arms, especially in respect to sleep habits later on? My 10 week old baby girl used to fall asleep and stay asleep for as long as 2 hours in her swing, but now she only wants to fall asleep in my arms while I am rocking her to sleep. She is young, and I know it’s good for her to take a nap in whatever form I can get it, but does this set us up for bad habits later on??

    • So now you have her in your arms the entire time she naps? I think holding a sleeping baby is one of life’s great delights. Until you want to a) eat b) use the bathroom or c) take a nap yourself. In which case, it sort of blows πŸ˜›

      Your instincts are right, it’s time to start getting her used to NOT sleeping in your arms. This doesn’t have to happen immediately but somewhere in the next 2-3 months, it’ll become pretty key for her to not be falling asleep in your arms (see post linked below).

      I wouldn’t stress about it but I WOULD start working on having her fall asleep directly IN the swing. Check the post on Swings for Swing Hating Babies for tips. Then you can use the swing to help her gently fall asleep without you. And also to gradually move her into the crib.

      Good luck!

  10. I’ve been going with the eat, play, sleep cycle from several books I’ve read, and it’s working well, except for one thing: the cycle is too short. He wakes up after 30 minutes at every nap, and can only stay awake for about 45 minutes before he gets cranky and I swaddle him and put him in his swing. This leads to him eating about every hour and 40 minutes. How can I extend this cycle? I’ve tried going in the room and soothing him back to sleep, but he wakes up almost immediately after I leave. I am going crazy going in and out, in and out of the room. So it’s either we play that game for 20 minutes before I give up and feed him, or I just get him up after 30 minutes. I know 30 minutes isn’t a long enough nap because he falls asleep while nursing. My pediatrician told me he would spread out his feeds on his own after a month, but that hasn’t happened. He is now 8.5 weeks old. ARGH!

    • Dominica,
      I like where you say, “He’s now 8.5 weeks old!” like that is OLD. It’s not. He’s a itty bitty BABY and he’s doing what BABIES do. They take short shitty naps.

      Does that help you feel any better about it? Probably not.

      Swing? Check. Swaddle? Check. White Noise? I’ll assume so, check.

      Part of taking longer naps (sleep consolidation) is developmental and you can’t MAKE it happen but I feel your frustration (about both nursing constantly and the short naps). Here’s what I would try…

      – Don’t get him when he wakes up. Give him 5 minutes in the swing. He may surprise you.
      – Feed him right when he wakes up. It could be that he is sensitive to gas or digestion and sleeps better when his tummy has had some time to process lunch. Play around with it a little, see what happens.
      – Try putting him down a little sooner. I know this sounds like crazytalk since 45 minutes is already sort of short, but try it and see what happens. He may be a little overtired (if he is getting cranky he’s been up too long).

      And I hate to open this can of worms because I am not the expert and don’t want to send you into a panic but if you’re nursing, do you have a good supply? YOU PROBABLY DO! Seriously, it is highly unlikely that this is the problem. But in very rare cases some Moms have “just enough” so baby is thriving but feeding often. May be worth talking to a recommended IBCLC locally just to rule out.

      Hope this helps?

      • You’re right, maybe I need to take a different perspective. Some of those books like Baby Wise make me feel like he should be doing this or that by a certain age, which causes me anxiety when he doesn’t meet the steps. I might just have to throw that book away!
        I feed him right when he wakes up, then we play and then swaddle, swing and white noise. I will definitely look into an LC just to see if that is an issue but I hope not!

        Thank you! I hope I’m not being a pest with all these questions. It’s hard being a FTM πŸ˜‰

        • Please throw BabyWise away. Don’t donate it to the Library, don’t give it to a friend, chuck it.

          I hate BabyWise. Yes I have a copy here, mostly so I can someday write a review of what is wrong with BabyWise. Just one of the things is what you mention – it’s anxiety inducing.

          There are lots of noted medical people/AAP who have pooped all over BabyWise (see:

          So the problem isn’t you or your baby. It’s BabyWise.

          • Cani I just tell you how happy I am to see you address the awfulness of Babywise!!! I can’t tell you how many friends have been made crazy by that book and almost starved their poor babies because of the ridiculous advice. It should be burned!!! Looking forward to the day you post on that book!

            • Ugh – I know. It comes up ALL the time. Generally in the context of, “Things aren’t going well and I can’t make this schedule work but Babywise says this and that should be happening and I’m really worried.”

              Stupid Babywise.

          • I know you hate BabyWise, but are you also opposed to the eat/play/sleep cycle? I read BabyWise, couldn’t get it to work for my baby, and haven’t picked the book up again. However, the eat/play/sleep order does work well for her. She is 3 months old and typically goes to bed between 8-8:30. If I don’t wake her for a dreamfeed at 10 p.m. she wakes up at 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. When I do a dreamfeed, she wakes up at 3 a.m. for her pacifer then sleeps till 6 or 6:30.

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been obsessed with your site since I found it during my daughter’s first growth spurt. She’s almost 8 weeks and had become one seriously overtired baby. We bought a swing on Saturday and she had a GREAT night of sleep (3 3 hour stretches with dream feeds).

        Last night wasn’t so great, but hey we’re all learning. I’ve been concerned because her naps in the swing (so far) are now 30-45 minutes–but your comment here makes me feel so much better. I’m not a failure, and I think your site honestly saved our collective sanity and my marriage.

  11. Thanks for posting the chart! So helpful!

    • Thanks so much! I’m glad it is helpful because frankly it took me hours to figure out how to make the freekin chart in WP so it makes me feel good to know that it’s actually helping people πŸ˜‰

  12. My son is 7 weeks old and your swing techniques are working like a charm. Thank you, again! I have one concern–lately he has been taking one long nap during the day, usually 3 to 4 hours, in addition to 2 or 3 shorter naps (usually 45 minutes). Is this still considered normal?

    • I would say that it is a bit unusual to have a huge chunky nap during the day. But my advice is to simply enjoy it. I doubt it’ll last long πŸ˜‰

      Newborn babies sleep a lot. Usually they sleep in little naps throughout the day, but chunky naps are fantastic. As long as he is eating enough, growing, thriving, then great – let him sleep!

      And how great for you to have some free time. Enjoy it in good health!

      • I was wondering the same thing. My baby girl is two months old and usually takes a long nap (3-4 hours) in the middle of the day, especially if we start out in the car. Is this too much? She’s breastfed only and currently 14 lbs!!

  13. When my son was a baby he slept about 8 or so hours a night plus a couple of naps during the day.

    I cringe when I hear about the “horror stories” of babies who will not sleep through the night.

    • Oh they’re not “horror stories” they’re “regular baby stories” – you just got lucky πŸ˜‰ Three cheers to easy babies who are great sleepers!

  14. For the past week I have been using the time guidelines on your chart and my little girl (6 weeks old) seems alot more settled and happier day and night!! I had no idea she was overtired as she’d be looking happy enough lay on her playmat! Now using your chart I place her in her swing before she becomes overtired, she has been having 1 short nap (30-45mins) and 2 long naps (1.5hrs to 2.5hrs) in the daytime. Nightime she will have her feed at around 11pm-12pm then sleeps till 4-5am then up and awake for the day from 8-9am. Im hoping this is the start of something wonderful as I have been alot happier too, although im aware this can also change, but for the time being I’m loving it!! I will be telling all my friends with little ones about this :)

    • That is excellent news – thanks for sharing!

      Life would be so much easier if babies came with gauges. Are they hungry? Tired? Not sure? Just check the gauge! My husband is a mechanical engineer and I keep telling him to invent the baby gauge because we could sell it for BILLIONS.

      However as he hasn’t yet, the next best thing is a good sleep chart :)

  15. I love this chart. It has been excellent to get my newborn on track. I have a very alert 9 week old, who never wanted to sleep. He would be awake all day- except for the occasional 10 min catnaps after/during feeds. Now I learnt that naps are essential even for my bubby who seemed to not need sleep. He now has 4 naps – ranging from 30mins to 2 hours. He goes to bed around 7:30/8 and wakes for one (sometimes 2) feeds during the night. He wakes around 5 or 6 am. I would love to get him sleeping through if u have any suggestions? Also, is there anyway to get him to sleep later in the morning??

    • A 9 week old who sleeps 10-11 hours at night and has 1/2 feedings a night is pretty much fantastic. Congratulations!

      As for sleeping later in the morning, there isn’t a whole lot you can do with a 9 week old. In fact 5-6 am is pretty typical for a 9 week old. 6:00 AM is a pretty typical wake-up time for a baby and many kids continue to wake up at 6:00 AM for years to come. So my advice is to simply accept that babies=early mornings.

      That being said I want to be clear that pushing his bedtime LATER will not necessarily have him sleeping LATER in the morning and is likely to lead to him waking EARLIER.

      Basically things are going REALLY well, and he’s TOTALLY normal, and early mornings are just part of your life now. Cheers! πŸ˜›

  16. So my 6 month old has acid reflux and we just went from being breast fed to formula. We are on our 3rd formula and second reflux med and he is still not sleeping at night. He wakes up every 1-2 hours inconsolable arching his back restless. He takes 2 1-2 hour naps a day and goes to bed around 730 pm. But wakes up by around 10 pm and will continue on this cycle all thru the night!Im about to pull my hair out! Were going on about 1 month of this. My dr thinks its the formula, I think its the reflux. I just need some advice cause Im about to go crazy!

  17. Question about bedtimes in your chart. It seems like some sources (like Weissbluth) push for earlier bedtimes for 3-6 month olds — like 6 or 7 pm, but your sleep chart recommends 8-10pm. Any thoughts on this or other recommendations for good sources on bedtimes?

    • Hi Julie,
      Actually the data in this chart comes straight out of Weissbluth and Feber (it combines data from both). Also I’m not “recommending” a late bedtime but am simply acknowledging that younger babies take a late nap (often 5:00/6:00) and WHEN they take a late nap, they often have a late bedtime. When they DROP that late nap (some do this sooner than others), bedtime moves up closer to 7:00. And generally stays there for many years (my 5 YO goes to bed at 7:00.)

      However if you have a younger baby who is napping at 6:00 and you try to put him down at 7:00, you’ll find yourself helping your baby fall asleep for 2 hours. Why? Because the reality is that he is currently TOO young for an early bedtime and his organic bedtime is closer to 8:30/9:00.

  18. Hi!
    I have posted a question before, and you are ever so helpful so here is another. What do I do with a 4 month old who is increasingly not wanting to nap. He is sleeping about 11-12 hours at night with 1 feed (from 7pm to 7am). He usually takes his first nap around 8:30. This nap usually isnt a problem (will sleep 45mins-2hrs). I like to do a sleep, feed, wake cycle. For his next nap I usually put him down around 11:45 and another around 3:30(depending when he woke up – but usually around 1hr 45 – 2hrs after his nap)Lately he is just playing in his cot rather than sleeping (he can put himself to sleep). Is he getting enough sleep at night that he might only need 2 sleeps during the day? Any advice would be greatly valued!

    • In a word – no.

      I don’t believe that your son doesn’t need to nap because he gets so much sleep at night. I mean he does have a great night (most of the other people here would love to have a 4 month old sleeping 12 hours with one feeding!). But 11-12 hours a night is pretty normal and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to nap.

      If he takes two 2+ hour naps a day I suppose he could be down to 2 but that would be really unusual for 4 months. Also it would leave him awake for a really long stretch at some point (like 1:00 – 7:00 right)?

      A more likely scenario is that he’s hit the 4 month sleep regression (see link below). It’s a really common one. Usually babies get super cranky & eat a ton but it sounds like your happy guy is just not sleeping. Yay?

      In the short term I wouldn’t sweat the 3rd nap terribly. Maybe instead of having him take his 3rd nap in the crib you take him for a long walk in the stroller, or whatever you KNOW will help him get a little nap in (car ride, stroller, babywearing, etc.)? So maybe he would have 2 chunky crib naps and a 3rd nap that happens when you guys go for a walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. Its OK if the 3rd nap is short.

      Anyway that’s my thought. It could be that he’s done with the 3rd nap but I would probably work on helping him not be awake for 7 straight hours in the afternoon. Good luck!

  19. I just started putting my 6 week old (7 weeks tomorrow…time flies!) baby girl in her swing for naps. Success!! She’s been napping for over 2 hours now…that hasn’t happened since the babymoon period when we first got home! Silly question (so silly that I’m not even sure how to ask it), but I figure we’re all here to learn and help everybody sleep, so why not ask… I always have this niggling concern that being in the swing will lull her to sleep TOO long and I’m feeling the urge to wake her up. She just never goes longer than two hours during the day at this point without eating, and I’m surprised that she hasn’t woken up for her bottle. See…told you I couldn’t figure out how to ask it!

    Thanks for this site…it’s been a huge help and I only just found you two days ago.

    • Unless you have a medical reason for concern (your pediatrician has told you to not let her go more than X hours between feedings, baby was extremely premature, failure to thrive, jaundice, signs of dehydration, etc.) you can generally count on babies to wake up when they are hungry and demand food. Sometimes when babies are just born, the dr. will recommend making sure the feed every 1-2 hours. But unless there is cause for concern (there isn’t, is there?) you can count on her to make sure she’s getting enough food.

      Also bottle fed babies tend to sleep longer because formula is more calorie rich than breastmilk. I don’t mean to sound anti-breastfeeding (I’m very pro breastfeeding!) but the truth is that babies do get more calories from formula.

      So unless there is a medical problem you can probably trust her to let you know when she’s hungry πŸ˜‰

  20. Hi, I wanted to get your opinion on napping and my 5 1/2 month old baby. I work and have a nanny, so during the week I am not as “in control” of my baby’s nap schedule. On the weekends, I usually follow my baby’s signals [rubbing eyes, fussiness, yawning] and immediately put her in the swing or pack-n-play for naps [with her favorite blanket and paci]. During the week, my nanny will hold the baby for naps claiming that she “sleeps longer”. I have requested for her to stop this, and to put the baby in the swing before she has fallen asleep, because I want the baby to independently fall asleep. Additionally, the nanny will take the baby out for playdates most days for sometimes 4 hours in the middle of the day [noon-ish to 4pm-ish]. Do you recommend that she have the baby at home for naps, and to work around the nap schedule [i.e. we live in Hoboken, and the baby will fall asleep in the stroller, but might not take as good of a nap as she would at home, and I don’t think the baby is taking a nap during the playdate, only on the stroller ride to and from]. On the weekends, the baby will wake up at 6am, take a nap around 8am, take another nap around 11am, and then another in the afternoon [though, sometimes, she cat naps and will take 30-45m naps every 2 hours or so]. Sorry for the novel! I would love any input on the above!

    Thanks so much!

    • I’m no expert on nanny management having never been lucky enough to have one. But I believe that the arrangement is that you pay her to care for your child based on what YOU think is best, right? So here’s the deal.

      1) 5 1/2 months is a perfect time to start being consistent about how/where she sleeps. Why? Check out the series on sleeping through the night…

      ps. The paci might soon need to go too. Just a heads up ;))

      Holding babies for naps is a lovely thing to do now and then but (again read post above) will eventually start to work against you. So you’re correct – overall, it’s better to have her generally sleeping at home, in the same way she does on weekends, without huge gaps of time between naps.

      2) Playdates happen. SOMETIMES. Look any SAHM will tell you that being home with a baby is exhausting and lonely work. Your nanny needs some time to get out and have adult interaction too. If she wants to blow the nap schedule now and then OK. But how often is it happening? Once a week is probably OK. Daily is not. What are the boundaries you guys can agree on for this? You say this is happening “most days” – that strikes me as too often. I would vote for 1X a week. 2X if you were really desperate.

      If she really needs the companionship than can she host a playdate at YOUR house? That way your baby can sleep when/where she needs to but the nanny can still get a break.

      3) Stroller naps are OK once in a while (just like blowing a nap for a playdate). Another compromise would be to suggest that if baby sleeps in the stroller that the nanny now has an obligation to wander around with the stroller long enough to make sure it’s a decent nap. Frankly if my kids fell asleep in the stroller it’s what I did.

      I don’t want to cause you nanny issues. But yes I do believe you get to make the call about how and when naps happen. And from what you are telling me I think you’re right on the money. Good luck!

  21. Hi there,

    This article is very helpful – but I have a couple of questions. My son is about 10 weeks old.

    1st Question: I put him down whenever he seems tired during the day. Our method is to soothe him all the way to sleep and then put him down, which you said in another article is fine until he reaches three months. So he probably sleeps about 10-20 minutes in my arms before he’s in a deep enough sleep to be put down. Then I put him down and he sleeps about 20-30 minutes. Like clockwork, every nap. Is that okay? He sleeps basically every two hours still (during the day) – so he’s taking about five naps and sleeping between 2 to 3 hours total during the day. Then he fusses and won’t go to sleep (see question #2) from about 7-10p and then goes to sleep for about 2-3 hours, then 3-4 hours, then 2-3 hours. So he sleeps a total of 9-13 hours, which is a bit lower than what you recommend. But I don’t really know how to make him nap for longer, other than to hold him – and we want him to be comfortable falling asleep in his crib (but weren’t planning to start to put him down awake until 3-4 months).

    #2 You mentioned the witching hour in another article, and clearly our baby has a witching hour of 7-10p. Are you saying that we should let him stay awake that whole time? We try to put him to sleep, but he cries most of the time or wakes up as soon as we put him down. Is this just something we should be prepared for temporarily – should we still try to go by the “no more than 1.25 hours awake rule” even if he isn’t sleeping no matter what we try?

    • Most of what you describe is pretty typical. I’m not sure what you mean by “want him to be comfortable falling asleep in his crib” though. At 2.5 months holding him to sleep is totally OK but I would definitely start thinking of other ways to help him fall asleep because that “sneak him into the crib when he’s dead asleep” thing might start backing up on you soonish?

      The witching hour is definitely a time of day when it is almost impossible to get kids to fall asleep. Although at almost 3 months old, hopefully you are soon to be done with this.

      Aren’t you telling me that he IS awake from 7-10 at night? Regardless of what you try? So if you try everything and he still doesn’t fall asleep then there really isn’t much you can do.

      However I would suggest you check out the sleep guide (both 0-3 and 3-6) for some soothing suggestions. You don’t mention how he sleeps but most newborns don’t sleep so great in the crib. Things might go easier for you if you start slathering on the soothing (swaddle, white noise, swing). This also might help you break out of the dreaded 7-10 stretch.

      Good luck!

  22. Wow! Your blog is amazing. I’m glad i stumbled upon this article.
    I have a 5 week old baby who i feel is probably fatigued due to lack of sleep. During the day, she sleeps in very short intervals of approximately 30 to 45 minutes and probably one of one and a half hours. At night, she sleeps in intervals of one to two hours max. Yesterday, she stayed awake from 9pm to 3am in the morning despite all my attempts to help her sleep. She is getting really cranky and is always stretching and crying and i am losing my mind also. What can i do? Where do i start?

    • Well I would start here:

      Don’t take some of the advice there – take ALL of it. Swaddling, white noise, swing, etc. See if that makes things at least a little better.

      Short naps at 5 weeks = totally normal. Awake from 9PM – 3AM not so much. Newborns ARE often awake at night (takes them a while to get the day night thing sorted out). But awake for 6 hours is rough for ALL of you. Think about parenting in shifts – you sleep from 8:00 PM till 2:00 AM, partner sleeps 2:00 AM – 7:00 AM. Next night – switch shifts.

      Also you may need to do WHATEVER it takes. Warm baths, baby wearing, taking baby for a drive, etc. To help her fall asleep. If she falls asleep in the car bring the car seat into your room and let her sleep there.

      6 weeks is the worst – literally. Everything will gradually get better from here. Try out the my 0-3 month recommendations and let me know what happens. OK?

  23. Alexis I need help! 6 month old Ember is totally defiant to take naps longer than 30 minutes. I’ve tried Wake to Sleep, Cry it Out. She wakes at 7:15am. Takes first bottle at 7:30. She has a hard time taking much bottle in the mornings. She usually takes 6oz at a time but it’s a miracle If I can get her to take 4oz each morning. She plays after her 4oz and we start winding down around 8:30. By 9am she is in her crib for nap. I’ve started putting her in crib drowsy as I didn’t know that was such a big milestone for them to put themselves to sleep. I used to rock her for 5 minutes then put her in crib asleep. She wakes up 30 minutes on the dot every nap and starts crying and looking toward the door (it’s closed, but she looks over her crib towards it). I wait about 5 minutes. Then go in and put her paci in, and pat her behind until she gets tired again (most of the time this does not work at all! She usually quits crying the instant the door opens and she squeals, laughs, and throw hands up). I’ve NEVER accomplished getting her go to back to sleep after this 30 minutes unless I rock her and put her back down. And even then she might only sleep an additional 10 minutes. I’m at my wits end. I feel that at 6 months she should start putting herself to sleep. It should be said that she’s a great night time sleeper. She gets her last bottle (dream feed) at 10pm. In crib by 10:30 and wakes at 7:30. I’d appreciate any tips! Also- she has GERD and milk/soy allergies. She’s currently on Nutramagin and has to sleep in a Nap Nanny each night. She acts like she can no breath if placed flat on back. Thank you Alexis!

    • Emily,
      Wow – there’s a lot to take in there. OK…
      1) You have GERD and food allergies. This is going to make everything longer for you and Ember (BTW – AWESOME name, really). So you can’t measure yourself by “what is normal” standards because you’ve got a lot of tummy things working against you.

      Also I don’t know how your managing the GERD but even well-treated/medicated GERD babies struggle to sleep well.

      2) I’ve never had much luck getting wide-awake post-nap babies to fall back asleep. So I would probably give up on the post-nap desperation patting, etc. and just accept that when she’s up, she’s up.

      3) Is she going to bed AT 10:00/10:30? It’s not clear but I will say that if that’s the case, it’s too late and her bedtime should be much closer to 7:00. (Is she awake for hours and hours before bedtime?)

      4) Glad the nap nanny is working for you – she may need to sleep upright for a long time. My youngest refluxer was upright for 13 months.

      5) Because she has GERD she may not take longer naps for a while. But definitely putting her down asleep is working against you. I doubt the food (4 oz vs. 6 oz) has anything to do with it. My guess is that she needs to go down MORE awake than she currently is. (Ie she is TOO drowsy).

      6) GERD blows.

      Hope that helps?

      • Alexis that you so much for your response!

        1)Thank you for the name compliment! We loved the name Ember. Never heard it, but loved the meaning “Low burning flame, or small spark”.

        2) First success was yesterday using a little CIO method. She slept her normal 30 minutes then woke. I let her cry 20 minutes (not heavy crying there were no tears, just fussing). I went it, put her paci in and walked back out. She cried for another 20 minutes then put herself back to sleep for 50 additional minutes. Today (day 3 of CIO) she went to sleep again on her own and when she woke- still at 30 minutes, instead of crying, she laid quietly in her bed. If it wasn’t for our pediatricians appointment this morning she probably would have gone back to sleep.

        3)She goes to sleep at around 8pm and we give her her dream feed at 10pm. She goes to bed until morning after the 10pm bottle. Our Ped suggested we try to drop that 10pm bottle and let her make up for lost ounces during the bottles in the remaining parts of the day with last bottle being at 7:30pm.

        4)Love her Nap Nanny! I wish there were a way to secure the harness around a sleep sack though.

        5) Putting her down asleep has definately helped her self soothe!!

        6) You are correct, God bless Reflux and GERD parents! No one ever prepared me for this, nor did I ever know a child who had these issues.

        Thank you for your input!! You are a blessing to many and give hope to all who read your page.

        At her ped appointment (6 month checkup) she weighed in at 18lb 11oz, 25.5 inches long. Her Ped told us to stop her Zantac after this bottle is up. Said she’s growing out of it. Still has the GI issues, but the Reflux portion is nearly gone! Praise the Lord!

        • I hope you are done with Zantac but how do you KNOW the reflux is done? I say this only because reflux /= spitup. I have unsuccessfully weaned my kids off reflux meds a total of 6 times (only to have to put them back on). So just in CASE she’s not entirely done I’ll share my own experience…
          It takes weeks for the symptoms (fussiness, poor sleeping) to come back. I suspect it’s because it takes a while for the irritation of reflux to cause enough problems to be evident. But because weeks have passed you don’t assume it’s reflux (you chalk it up to developmental milestones, teething, what have you). Also it’s really gradual so it sort of sneaks up on you. So keep an eye out for early April because THATS when you’ll really know if you’re done.

          PS. I hope you ARE done:)

  24. Hi Alexis, I just can’t seem to pointdown the exact bedtime for my seven weeks old boy. I am aiming for a 8pm bedtime. Sometimes I can drop him off in bed at 7pm / 8pm without a fight and he will sleep till the next dreamfeed at 10pm / 11pm. But most of the times we really struggle to put him to bed. For instance, he was sleepy at 7pm plus and when I picked him up to give him a feed at 8pm, he became energetic after the feed and refused to sleep. He is still active in his bed next door! I am hoping he will sleep after his 10pm feed! Should I have put him to bed at the 7pm plus (but he is notorious for catnapping!)

    • Angela,
      At 7 weeks MOST babies don’t have a firm bedtime. They were just born like 5 minutes ago and it takes a while for these things to become predictable. I’m sure it’s frustrating for YOU because you are probably eager to have a little predictability in your life again. But newborns generally have bedtimes that bounce around a while before settling in.

      As for skipping the late nap, as he get’s older he’ll be able to stay awake longer in which case yes, you WOULD want to skip the 5:00 PM nap in order to “protect” bedtime. But you can’t always get the afternoon nap long enough for a newborn to then stay awake till 8:00ish. So for now I would probably relax about the 5:00 PM nap and stick with the later bedtime. Because I wouldn’t want your newborn baby to be awake TOO long and thus become overtired. Does that make sense? (see post below for more about what I’m talking about)

      • Hi Alexis you are right. After weeks of struggling to put him to bed early and keep him awake from the evening catnaps, I decided to relax and let him “go”.. Then somehow I noticed that the little guy is building up his own routine. He will wake up at 8am for his bath time and 9am feed, then he takes a 2 hr nap till 11am for another feed and dozes off for a quick nap. When the evening comes, he will take a quick nap at 6pm or so and you know what? he can actually still goes off to bed at 8pm although he will make noise such as wanting us to cradle him or he will sit in his rocking chair and sleep off probably around 9pm (we will put him to his cot later). I am thankful for this as I have sometime for dinner with my hubby and look after my toddler when he comes home from his childcare.

        However, he is not such a good napper in the afternoon – he always cat nap here & there for 45 minutes or so. Do you have any tips to encourage a longer nap time in the afternoon?


  25. Hi in addition, he does take a cat nap about 5pm (40 minutes). Is it recommended to stretch his afternoon nap to 5pm and skip the catnap to aim for a 8pm sleep time? Thanks!

    • Hey Angela,

      As he get’s older (maybe even now?) yes I would start skipping the 5:00 pm nap. But you’ll have to play around with it depending on how his afternoon goes. If he’s exhausted and miserable without the 5:00 nap then maybe he still needs it. But as he get’s older you won’t want him necessarily napping quite so late.

      check the article I link to below. Basically with newborns you:
      a) slather them with soothing
      b) try not to let them stay awake too long

      Then you’ve done all you can do. Sometimes you get long naps sometimes you don’t. This is life with a newborn πŸ˜›

  26. Your articles are wonderful! I stumbled across your blog when I was at wits end about my 3.5 month old’s resistance to nap on his own in the afternoons. He’s blessed me with 10-12 hour nights and fairly good morning naps, but he gets so insecure as the day progresses, he absolutely refuses to go down the crib by himself. I’ve been wearing him to sleep for 2 hours at a time every afternoon so that he doesn’t turn into a terrorist in the evenings. Reading your articles, I realized that I was doing everything wrong when putting him to sleep at night. Even though he’s awake and sleepy when put down, I would spend 30 minutes up to 2 hours shushing him, singing to him, whispering, patting him, even picking him up REPEATEDLY to comfort nurse him until he settles down. You must be appalled! But I now understand that basically my little guy just doesn’t know how to fall asleep alone, so while my “tricks” have worked for nighttime, probably because he’s too exhausted to fight longer than the 30 min to 2 hours, they simply do not work when he has more energy during the day.

    Last night I left him alone to talk to himself and his mobile friend for 5 minutes and he fell asleep. I am really hoping that once he masters falling asleep on his own at night, I can start easing him into napping on his own in the afternoons.

    • Why would I be appalled by this? For starters your baby is still YOUNG so it’s totally normal that you would be really involved with helping him fall asleep! Now he is 4.5 months old so yes this is a great time to start dialing back on the patting, whispering, nursing, etc. But when babies are newborns they NEED all that extra hand-holding so there was/is nothing wrong with that at all :)

      Afternoon naps are rougher than morning naps for everybody. Having him work towards sleeping without your intervention might help but it might not. If he loves being carried I would work with a swing. Even if he’s only in the swing for the afternoon nap, it provides a lot of the soothing that you currently are giving him and might improve the afternoon for you a bit?

      Anyhoo it’s something to play with. Maybe keep it in your back pocket for extra rough days. Good luck!

      • Thank you so much for your replies (I posted somewhere else too). From the day I posted the above I started weaning the soothing and within a week I managed to teach my son to sleep on his own! Yay! I basically just cut back slowly and watched his wake times like an obsessed stalker (based on your sleep chart), and the latter REALLY REALLY helped!

        My issue now is that he’s a short napper in the afternoons (again the AM naps seem to be OK 90% of the time). Again, it’s like his internal clock clicks by the time it hits noon and suddenly he cannot sleep past the 1st sleep cycle. It is always 45 minutes on the dot, regardless of how long I leave him in the crib in hopes that he’d fall back asleep. I read your article on short naps so am really hoping that it’s just a matter of time, because I can tell he is either still tired after the short nap, or, he would get tired again fairly quickly. He needs more sleep and I desperately want to give it to him.

        Since all this “sleep training” started (ie., I stopped wearing him to sleep at home and put myself on a self-imposed house arrest so he couldn’t sleep in the car seat), he started waking 2x a night (random times) to feed. I wonder if it’s caused by the now shortened naps, since he used to sleep much longer on me or in the car seat, in which case, again I hope it’ll work itself out once the short napping syndrome disappears. Or, maybe it’s because he’s right smack in the middle of his 19th Wonder Week. Or, it could be that he’s too busy learning about the world during the day he’s simply not getting enough to eat (and if I try to encourage a full feeding by repeatedly giving him the boob knowing he’s not that full yet, he gets mad at me!).

        I guess with parenting comes trial and error. I’ll keep trying and hopefully his naps will work themselves out now that he’s learned how to sleep on his own. Hopefully, too, his night sleep will get back to normal soon because after being blessed with full night sleeps these few weeks of interrupted sleep has been tiring.

        Anyway, I cannot thank you enough for all your articles. I have read and re-read most of them, and passed them onto my mommy friends who are dealing with similar issues. I always eagerly await new posts from you!

        With thanks,

        • Tina,

          Are you telling me that 2 weeks ago your 3.5 month old slept 11-12 hours a night without eating AT ALL? Wow.

          Well I can imagine you aren’t delighted to go back to feeding after full nights of sleep. I don’t have any obvious answer for you except to say that it’s pretty typical to have 2X feedings a night at 3 months. Of course most babies don’t sleep food-free for 12 hours at 3 months and then revert to feeding.

          It could be due to sleep deprivation? Are you keeping his window of being awake short? If he takes a short nap the you would wait ~2 hours (maybe less) then put him down again. So he may take 4 naps a day vs. 3 until the naps get longer. The caveat being that you don’t want him napping so late that it messes up bedtime. It could be the 4 month sleep regression (generally a doozie). I’m not generally concerned although if I were you I would probably feel that this is a step in the wrong direction – I get it.

          Although longer-term you’re in a much better position to sleep through the night by having him self-soothe than you were when you were babycarrying 100%. So I guess I would stick with it – if it’s a sleep regression it’ll improve on its own. If it doesn’t get better organically within a few weeks I would work with your partner to gradually night wean since you KNOW he can do it.

          ps. Thanks for all the kind words. It’s not easy for me to carve out time to post but compliments always get me going :)

          • Hi Alexis,

            I think you are right in that my baby is sleep deprived.

            To answer your question, yes, the day he turned 3 months he slept 9 hours, and then he slept 10-12 hours straight with no night feeds for 3 weeks~ish. Aaaaah, how I miss those golden weeks :) My skin was glowing and I was in bliss.

            But then, we had a Easter weekend from hell with too much stimulation from relatives, then we hit a wonder week, then he’s teething on and off, then he rolled onto his tummy and can’t roll back, etc. etc. etc. Long story short, apart from 2 short days when he was recovering from his 4-month vaccines, he never slept through the night again. Plus he’s been a crappy napper ever since. In fact, his sleep has regressed so badly, by last week he stopped falling asleep on his own (which I had taught him before with zero crying), which, I’m sure was compounded by the increases in our presence to help him sleep through all these developmental/environmental changes.

            So, even though I started out being one of those parents dead set against CIO, I felt I had no choice but to do it now at 4.5 months. The reason is that my baby is a weird one – he doesn’t like to be held when he’s sleeping, he doesn’t like bedsharing, he wakes up as soon as I burp let alone putting him in crib, and although he can make through a sleep transition easier in a carrier I can tell his sleep just isn’t as restful (not to mention the damage to my health, which then diminishes my ability to care for my son).

            Your CIO article was posted at such a brilliant time. We did our own version of CIO (ie., we checked in depending on his state; sometimes he was just stuck on his tummy etc.). First night he cried 30 minutes, second night 20 minutes. Then miraculously, last night just 5 minutes!! And even then, 3 minutes of that was just whining not crying. I’m DESPERATELY hoping that’s the end of it. This has been the ABSOLUTE WORST 3 nights of my life. However, given his own sleeping preferences, and his state of sleep deprivation, I am confident this is better for him in the long run.

            I still have to deal with his naps (ie., getting him used to the crib again during the day, and helping him extend his naps). I will tackle in the next day or so once his nights are down pat. Once he starts sleeping and napping like a champ again, I will worry about night weaning. For now, I can see that he really is hungry at night (he is too busy playing and rolling during the day to eat!!). He usually gets up only once during “my” night to feed, and then again at around 6/7am, which I don’t mind because that’s when I need to get up anyway. One step at a time.

            Who knew babies are so tough!? I commend all the moms out there who are brave enough to have more kids after the first!!!

            (PS good luck with your race! That’s a great photo!)

            • I survived the Tough Mudder! Although I look like a human dalmatian (literally covered with bruises). But was an AWESOME time and bruises heal. Although my oldest was asking me why my skin was green (healing bruises) – *sigh*

              I know 30 minutes feels like a horrible experience but that is FANTASTIC. And frankly, nothing πŸ˜‰ Seriously good for you and him! Yes you should be done now and really 30 minutes of crying is so minor, especially when considered against the bigger picture of chronic sleep deprivation for everybody. Kudos for figuring out what you needed to do for your family!

  27. So I have yet to read what to do if your baby refuses to nap. She sleeps great at night from 10pm to 6am or later, and sometimes she goes back down after her first feeding. I’m breastfeeding and she takes about an hour to eat because of a breathing condition so this is my first wrench in any schedule I try to stick to. She is 5 months now and the only way to get her to nap most days is to hold her and bounce and keep bouncing even if she seems asleep if you stop too soon she will wake up and cry. At night we put her down awake and she puts her self to sleep just fine if I leave her in her room awake during the day she just gets mad and does not sleep. I work from home so I really need her to have real naps in her room so I can make phone calls. I’m going crazy and I feel like all I do all day is try to get her to sleep I want to enjoy my time with her then do my work not stress out all day then do my work late at night because she would not nap. I can’t find any help on how to troubleshoot getting them to sleep…I do everything I’m told not to do and even that does not work? (feed to sleep put her down asleep) I just wish I could find info on this someplace!!!

    • I have tried a swing as well she has only slept in it once….she no longer will sleep in the car either. We play a continuous rain sound and she does need to sleep in a bouncy seat so she can breath.

    • Heather,
      I don’t know about your breathing condition so you’ll definitely want to work closely with your pediatrician on whatever plan you want to work on. But you have a couple of things working against you. One – you have a child with a medical condition. This complicates everything.

      Two – you are trying to work from home with a newborn. I appreciate the desire (am writing while mine nap too) but in practice this is a rough option. Because now when you are trying to put baby down there is added anxiety about it because you REALLY need her to sleep. I’m sure you’re pretty stressed when she wakes up too because this cuts into your ability to generate revenue. So it leads to a cycle of stress for everybody. When really – she’s doing what babies do. Struggling to sleep, taking short unpredictable naps, and waking up unhappy.

      The help on troubleshooting baby sleep is here:
      I know she is older but I would start here and then move on to the 3-6 month guide.

      If it’s OK with your doctor I would REALLY work the swing. You’re telling me in your comment that if you keep bouncing she sleeps but if you stop she wakes up. Thus YOU are telling ME that she is a motion junkie. Does OK at night in her crib which is great. But not during the day. So if you need to be free to work (ie not bouncing) then the swing is your answer. Check the post below and try to commit to this technique for a few days.

      None of this is easy. And from what I gather your baby is probably a bit sleep deprived which just makes everything harder. But get the OK from your MD, commit for a few days, give LOTS of soothing, and see if maybe things don’t ease up with the swing, OK?

  28. Hiya,thank you so much this article is brilliant!
    My baby is just about to turn 15 weeks and absolutely hates napping. he’ll nap in my arms for ages but it takes so long to get him to sleep in his cot,and when he finally is asleep he wakes up every 20 minutes or so and needs to be settled again is this normal??? Also he doesnt seem to be able to stay awake for more than an hour..he hates napping so he never goes to sleep on his own but after about an hour of him being up,he gets really grizzy and tired and i have to get him to nap otherwise he gets overtired :/ is this normal??

    • He needs more soothing. Basically if you hold him and give him all this great soothing he’ll sleep for hours. But if you put him in the cot (soothing-free safe sleep space) he’ll wake up 20 minutes tired and cranky. Yes?

      Staying awake for 1 hour = normal.
      Needing lots of soothing to fall/stay asleep = normal.

      Too many people think they should just be able to plunk their kid in the cot say goodnight and baby will sleep. Life is not this simple πŸ˜‰ I would work to give him more soothing because frankly he needs it! Try everything here (literally all at once) and see if it isn’t easier to get him to fall asleep and STAY asleep.


  29. Addicted to reading your tips and advice! I have a 12 week old and a 2 yr old (he’ll be 3 in August 2012). My 2 yr old was taking 3 hr naps for about a year up until about 3 months ago. I had my second baby in late January and right before then the naps started to go to 2 hours, which was still fine. Now, within the past 2 weeks he is refusing to nap all together or sleeping for 45 mon and waking up. If he falls asleep he wakes up screaming and wont go back to sleep unless I sit in his room. We had to put a lock on his door (controversial I am sure) b/c from dec to march he was getting up every 2 hours all night long. Once we put the lock on he stopped waking at night but now naps are an issue. One day I tried to let him CIO (b/c this worked for him as an infant) and he stood at the door and screamed for 2 hours. It was bad. He also broke his leg in early April and has one more week with a cast. So that is an added issue I am sure. He is exhausted and generally a pain to be with. Anyway, just wondering what advice you may have for a very strong willed 2 1/2 yr old that all the sudden is fighting a nap which he clearly needs. Thanks!

    • Phew – that’s a lot of stuff going on there.

      But not uncommon. Basically a new baby on the scene has ROCKED HIS WORLD. This is a major life change for him! And the last thing he wants to do is go into his room by himself because he’s probably having all these toddler feelings about being supplanted by the new baby already. There are lots of good ideas for handling this here:

      I would definitely use your words to clearly communicate what your expectations are. Be warm kind and firm. Let him know that he helps the whole family by staying in his room at naptime because that is what his body needs him to do. I would offer a positive and a negative consequence. Something like….

      “Sweetie, it is time for you to lay down and have quiet time. If you stay in your bed and are quiet until Mommy comes to get you we can have snuggle time and watch a little of when naptime is over! How great would that be! But if you can’t stay in your room or if you scream Mommy will have to close the door.”

      Depending on how mature he is you can also offer longer term incentives – he gets a sticker for every night he stays in his room ALL night. Make a big celebration in the morning while he get’s his sticker. When he gets SEVEN stickers he can trade them in for a cool new toy.

      Play around with what works but make sure you are clear in your expectations and establish loving but firm boundaries. From his perspective this has been a rough time too and his behavior is all about his reaction to all the change (broken leg, baby, etc.).

      Also remember that…
      a) you can’t make him sleep. Sure he needs it but you can’t demand sleep. You CAN demand that he stay in his room and stay quiet.

      b) make sure you are giving him some special time of his own. He probably feels a bit displaced – totally normal! When can he have 1:1 time with you EVERY day? It’s hard I know. Carve it out and see if that doesn’t help a lot.

      c) Don’t sit in his room anymore. This is just rewarding the screaming. He WANTS more of you than he is getting. Find positive ways to give him that time (special time with you alone when he’s NOT sleeping). But sitting in there at naptime is doing you no favors.

      I hope that helps – you are NOT alone. This is really common challenging stuff when new baby shows up!

  30. My baby girl is 11 weeks old, we followed the Babywise book – eat, play, sleep routine. She isn’t on a strict schedule, I can’t quite figure out why yet. I returned to work when she was 7 weeks old, my husband stayed home with her till she was 10 weeks. She’s in daycare 3 days and with my MIL 2 days. She usually eats between 6-7 pm, takes a nap and as of right now, I’m waking her up for a 10:30 p.m. feeding, then laying her right back down. She wakes between 2:30 and 3 a.m. to eat, goes right back to sleep, then wakes at 5:30 or 6. I’m wondering when I can stop waking her at 10:30 for a last feeding and when I can expect a more stable routine to establish. Thoughts?

    • My thought is that you need to ditch Babywise. Hate this book. Seriously.

      I would stop waking her up fullstop. I generally don’t wake babies up ever (there are a full exceptions but none of them are happening with you). If she’s sleeping it’s because she needs sleep. Her body will wake her up when she’s hungry so you don’t need to. Also she’s a NEWBORN so it’s not realistic to expect her to have a fixed schedule at this age.

      At 12 weeks it sounds like she is eating 2X a night which is great (2-3 is normal). What happens if you just let her wake up when she’s hungry and feed her then?

      What sort of routine are you looking for? I would say that somewhere in the next 3 months things will become more consistent. But feeding 2X a night is it’s own routine and it sounds like for you, that is already pretty consistent. So all seems pretty normal/OK to me!

      • Thanks so much! I’m a first time mom, so I’m still a little unsure of myself. I’ll try not waking her in the evening tonight and see what happens. As far as a routine, I just thought she’d be eating/sleeping around the same time at some point…sounds like it will happen on it’s own. I don’t follow Babywise too strictly, a lot of it doesn’t make sense. I’ve been happy with the eat, awake, lay down drowsy plan though rather than nursing her to sleep. She puts herself to sleep within 5 minutes. Thanks for your help. Love the website!

        • I guess the only reason to wake her at 10:30 is if that is when YOU are going to bed and you want to feed her then vs. going to bed yourself and then having her organically waking you up 1 hour later. Generally this is known as a dreamfeed. So while I stand by my “ditch Babywise” suggestion upon further rumination I guess you could see what happens if you don’t wake her up. If she’s simply waking up 1 hour later AND 10:30 coincides with your bedtime then you could stick with the 10:30 feed. However if you’re going to bed prior to 10:30 and thus waking yourself up also then I would be curious to see what she does on her own.

          Also peeked at your sneak peek maternity pictures – they’re ADORABLE! πŸ˜‰

  31. Yesterday I told my husband to get rid of all of the sleep books and block all the sleep related websites on our computer because they were confusing me, driving me crazy, and making me feel like a terrible parent. I’m glad he didn’t because today I found your site and realized that our 2 month old who takes 30 minute naps all day and gets crabby in the evening isn’t all that abnormal. I have also realized that we are not horrible parents for rocking her to sleep, and that eventually we will be able to teach her to fall asleep on her own. Thank you for restoring my sanity.

    • Kat I had exactly the same experience! So glad I stumbled across this site especially after weeks of promising myself each day that I wouldn’t google ‘baby sleep’ and making it to 10am before caving :) Unfortunately all the other info I found made me feel like crap – this doesn’t.

    • So glad to help bring you back from the edge of new Mom insanity. I also once sat around my living room surrounded by piles of dog-eared baby books, holding my crying baby and feeling like an utter failure.I was lucky enough to have a great postpartum doula who cleared up the “this is normal” stuff for me because I also had created this expectation that babies would take great chunky naps and never cry if I could just figure out the magic formula πŸ˜›

  32. I’m a bit confused after reading some of the comments & answers related to soothing.

    A couple of weeks ago I was soothing my baby (now 4mths / 18 weeks) to the point of very drowsy and then putting him in the crib where he would usually fall asleep quite well for naps and night (with the exceptions a lot of the time for the middle of day and afternoon naps where there would be more resistance to the soothing but it would eventually work). However, I thought that this meant he was not learning to fall asleep alone so I have worked on this and now I can just put him in the crib with his bunnies and he will fall asleep after 3-7 mins. I never thought I’d get there but it was surprisingly easy (with the exception of the afternoon nap again).

    In the past week he has started sleeping though the night (!!!!!), but his day naps are really short and getting shorter. At around 3 months (when soothed) he’d sleep for around an hour, occasionly 1.5 hrs and when less soothed it would last more like 45 mins. Now we’re down to 30 mins. Today he went back to sleep after 20 mins awake in his crib for the morning nap, but wouldn’t do it for the middle of day nap.

    My question is – am I doing the wrong thing now? I had assumed that getting better night sleep was the first step and that soon his naps would get longer but now I’m worried that I should be soothing him more to help get longer naps out of him.

    Sorry that’s long winded! I would love to know what you think.

    • I can’t say for sure but I believe you are assuming a causality that isn’t there. It sounds like you think that the lack of soothing is resulting in shorter naps. You could be right but I doubt it. I am guessing that the lack of soothing to sleep is probably helping your wonderful sleeping through the night (life is a little brighter when you’re not up all night, yes?). And I’m guessing that the shorter naps are simply because he is more awake, alert, and thus is not falling back asleep after one short sleep cycle.

      I’m also guessing that this would happen even if you went back to soothing him fully to sleep (feel free to try this out just to check). How do you get past the 30 minute nap? Well you make his room really dark, use soothing white noise, and think positive thoughts. Check the post below for more info.

      Hope that helps!

      • Ok that’s reassuring, thanks. Some of his naps are getting longer (1hr20) and he’s often able to completely self-soothe and sometimes needs the pacifier to get him quickly to sleep.

        Tonight is the first in weeks that I’m up in the middle of the night – seems to be waking every 2-3 hours. I don’t think he’s sick and he’s not crying much so maybe not teething (haven’t experienced that yet though). At midnight I gave the dummy and now 3am I’m feeding him, worried we’ll fall into bad habits.

        Is a wakeful night here and there normal? Or should I be wary of something else. I was hoping that the sleeping through was a sign that we’d had the 4 mth regression already.

        He’s almost 5 months now (already by due date).

        Thanks again for a wonderful resource!

        • Babies are mysterious so yes the occasional “bad night” will definitely happen. Could be teething but usually there are other signs (drooling, hands in mouth, red mounds visible on his gums). Could be a mild cold, sleep regression, developmental milestone. Or maybe it’s just his own mysterious bad night.

          Sadly my magic skills don’t extend to baby mysteries. But hopefully this is temporary!

  33. Hello, I just have read your posts and I love them, I’m a bit poor at using English but I hope you will understand me.

    I wanted to ask you about my 3 years old daughter which I have a problem with her sleep times since her birth.

    Since her birth till she completed 6 months she approximately sleeps for 7 hours for the whole day (it is the total time for her naps AND her night sleep) and her naps was usually from 20-40 minutes. Even for the night sleep it was more like having naps not a continuos sleep. Then until her 1st birthday, it’s extended from 2 to 3 hours but still the total was the same – 7 hours only.

    Gradually till now (she is 3 years old now) she reached 10 hours of sleep during the night, and no naps during the day… Sometimes she sleeps from 9-12 hours but mostly she sleeps 10 hours. She becomes so fussy at evening, cries a lot (from her birth) and she fights sleeping, I always try to get her to sleep but she keeps tilling me she don’t want to sleep and sometimes she run away from me not willing to sleep. Even if I tell her stories or try to make her sleep without her noticing that it didn’t help. She always listen and behave well to me but when I tell her it’s sleep time she don’t want to sleep…. I really don’t know what should I do with her… I mean it’s frightening me because she stays awake for like 15 hours and sometimes more I asked lots of people and doctors about it but they tell me it’s normal and she will get better but is this really normal??

    • Your English is lovely :)

      In English we call it bedtime. We don’t call it sleeptime (although obviously you hope that bedtime=sleeptime). So with a 3 year old you can’t make her sleep. You can however require that she go to bed (hence the term bedtime). How to do this?

      1) Talk to her about bedtime when it’s NOT bedtime. Have a nice chat at lunch about how important sleep is for our bodies, and tell her what will happen AT bedtime. “Tonight when it’s time to go to bed we’re going to take a nice bath, read 3 of your favorite books, give hugs and kisses, and sing a song. Then Mom and Dad are leaving the room and you will stay in your bed till morning.”

      Really – this is what bedtime is. She stays in her bed. You don’t fool her into sleeping and sneak out. You don’t stay until she is sleeping. This is not helping her fall asleep (generally the opposite will happen – she’ll fight sleep because she doesn’t want you to sneak away) and often results in extended sleep battles. So tell her how this will be working from now on – even if it isn’t what has happened in the past.

      2) She get’s 1-2 “callbacks” where she can request you to come back for whatever reason – get a drink, go potty, extra kisses, etc. After those 2 callbacks have been used up you don’t go in again. If she calls for you, ignore her. If you want to get “fun” about it you could make 2 tickets – you decorate them together. Again talk about how these will be used and what will happen when she uses her 2 tickets up.

      3) Leave her alone in her bed for at least 10 hours. If she isn’t sleeping that’s her choice. You can’t make her sleep. You can however require her to stay in bed.

      Is 10 hours enough sleep? I doubt it. Some kids don’t need much sleep but when you describe her being so fussy in the evening it tells me that she is sleep deprived. So start with establishing the boundaries that you are going to live by. Then write me back and we can work on extending her night sleep. Although I suspect things will get better simply by establishing and enforcing boundaries.

      I hope you understand MY english and that this advice is helpful :)

  34. I am so glad I found this site. I love all the articles I’ve read so far. We have a six week old daughter that has been a beat lately at night and up with gas. She sleeps pretty well in her crib and pack n play throughout the day.

    My random question has to do with the chart. What does that mean 8-11 hours sleeping at night. In a row? Or over a course of certain hours? I am trying to figure it out in my sleep deprived state and maybe I just can’t see it right now! Ha!

    • That should read a bear to put to sleep.

    • Yes that means in a row (although obviously there would be feedings in there too). Sometimes newborns (like your 6 week old) may still have a window where they are awake at night so it’s not totally unusual to have a newborn go to bed at 9:00 PM sleep till 2:00 AM then be awake from 2:00 AM – 4:00AM and then sleep till 8:00 AM. Does that answer your question?

      PS. The gap does happen but it’s clearly not ideal for ANYBODY so obviously if you have one, you want to keep the lights low and work on soothing your way into an increasingly SMALLER gap.

      • Yes, it does answer my question, thank you!

        She still has a tendency to cluster between 5-9ish every two hours. She’ll sleep usually until 1-2, wake and eat/burp/rock back to sleep, then up again at 3:30 (eat/burp/rock), back to bed by 4. What I hate is the waking at 4:30, 5:30, and then 6:30. She’s usually not hungry. She sometimes has some gas (been using gas drops), but she always goes back to sleep. Occasionally she’ll nurse again at 6:30. I’ve just embraced it and wake up then now. When I tell her every morning we need to have a conversation about that, she just smiles. ::sigh::

        We use white noise on my alarm clock (obviously I don’t need one right now!), swaddle, and no paci (won’t take them). I’m going to be working on using the swing to get her to put herself back to sleep during naps, which I hope will translate to bedtime too! I love that article btw.

        I also hope she doesn’t have night and day confused. We keep lights low at night. During the day we run errands, watch TV, have all the lights on. It’s not like I’m sitting in the quiet all day and night. She does have gas and a bit of reflux, which does make night feedings interesting. But of course today she’s been super tired and sleeping all day. Maybe coming off a growth spurt and she’ll be sleeping more soon? Mom and dad can certainly hope so!

  35. Oh. My. Gosh. 2 simple changes and I now have a sleeping baby. I have just put my 6 week old baby boy down for the 3rd time today and he has fallen asleep BY HIMSELF! And they’re real sleeps! 2 hours, one hour, 3 hours, none of this 5 minute, 10 minute cat-nap nonsnse. A couple of days ago I was ready to take him back to the hospital and swap him for a baby that slept. We have had so much trouble trying to get him to sleep during the day, on one occasion he slept for only one hour over a 12 hour period. I thought he was faulty in some way until I played loud white noise to him from a radio FM frequency and put him to bed at least 45 minutes after he woke. I cannot actually believe what I am seeing and I am gutted it took 6 weeks to work this out.

    This website should win an award. This is the stuff you need to learn at Child Birth Education classes. Pure gold. Thank you SO much for taking the time to share this knowledge as I believe you will have kept many a Mum and Dad sane with this information. Knowledge is power and a sleeping baby is pure bliss.

    • You thought you had a fault baby? Was he still under warranty? This is why I always tell parents – NEVER skimp on the extended warranty!

      (I make myself laugh sometimes;)

      So glad to hear that you sorted things out! Six weeks is NOTHING (frankly it took us 5 months to figure out my first kid was inconsolable because he had reflux, we just thought that all babies cried constantly and made you miserable). So congratulations on your great success!

  36. My little guy just turned 3 months old. He naps pretty well — usually hour long naps, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. And sleeps pretty well at night — he’ll go for a 4 hr-ish stretch, then eat, go right back to sleep, 2 hrs, eat/sleep, 2 hrs, up for the day. My only concern is that he is still seeming like he’s ready for a nap every hour-hour and a quarter. He gets fussy, and is fed and dry, and seems quite ready for a little cuddle before the swing. Should I be concerned that he still seems to want to sleep so frequently? Love your website — it gave me great comfort and clarity about a month ago when I just couldn’t understand what was happening to his sleep and why he was so cranky.

    • You should ask your pediatrician if you’re worried. But this doesn’t strike me as concerning. It’s great that he’s giving you good sleep clues and that you’re paying attention to them. My guess is he’ll start staying awake longer soon. Each baby moves on their own particular schedule.

  37. I’m confused. The 3-6 month line seems not possible. If baby has only 3 naps, that means the awake time is divided into four parts. The chart recommends 12-14 hours total sleep, which would mean 10-12 hours awake time. 10-12 hours awake time divided into four parts is 2.5-3 hours, and the chart recommends about 2 hours between naps. What am I missing?

    • It’s all a general range. Some 4 month old babies will still be taking 4 30 minute naps a day. Some will take a huge 2 hour AM nap and then 2 20 minute afternoon naps. Often the window that the are awake is longer in the evening before bed so while it’s 2 hours between naps during the day, you hit the “witching hour” in the evening which might create an area where you go 3-4 hours without sleep (this is generally true for younger babies than older). I’m just attempting to give you a rough guide to work from.

  38. I wanted to say thank you for your site! I’m terrified that I might anger the gods and pay for this comment… but we have had incredible success following your advice on having our 5 week old sleep in a swing. From week 2 through a couple days ago our son was INCREDIBLY FUSSY, screamed all day and any time he was awake. He would be up for hours (sometimes 6-7 in a row) fussing, and my husband and I would try anything to soothe him (rocking with him, bouncing on an exercise ball, etc etc etc), but he was impossible to get to sleep and was basically horrible to deal with. We invested in every “colic cure” with no success. I couldn’t handle the all day scream fests and was experiencing depression, mostly because everyone kept asking me how much I LOVE being a parent, I honestly didn’t like it let alone love it. But he has been sleeping like a champ in his swing (swaddled, with a pacifier and LOUD white noise) the last few days, and has been so much easier, happier, and more content when he is awake. I feel SO MUCH BETTER about parenting now (about life in general!!!)

    I do have one question though… I have been watching him for sleepy signals like a hawk. And normally he starts yawning within 20-30 minutes of being awake. I feel like for the last couple of days all I have been doing is feeding him, changing him, and interacting with him for a couple minutes before putting down for another nap. Then he’ll sleep for hours. I’m not complaining after the hell we went through, but I’m just wondering if he is trying to make up from being so sleep deprived the last three weeks? Shouldn’t he be awake longer, especially as he is almost 6 weeks old? The pediatrician says he is completely healthy. I don’t know, I’m a first time mom, so I’m paranoid about everything, but wanted to see what you thought.

    • I have two things to share:

      1) You never need to apologize for not enjoying your newborn baby as much as everybody thinks you should be.


      Of course you love them beyond words. But newborns cry a ton, are almost constantly fussy, often pee on you, and their poop comes out of their diaper 98% of the time.

      So feel free to crab about newborn stuff here. This is your safe space :)

      2) Did nobody tell you that newborn babies eat, sleep and poop? Because that’s the deal. They barely do anything other than those three activities. So he may be a little sleep deprived and catching up but it’s not out of line to have a newborn need to go back down every 30 minutes.So I’m with your pediatrician – he’s totally fine.

      ps. It won’t always be like this. By the time babies are 6-9 months old they’re totally fun to hang out with. Honest!

  39. Is it ok if my infant is sleeping the correct number of hours but have two big naps instead of 3-4 long naps? She is 2 months and 2 weeks old.
    Thank you

    • I guess so? My only hesitation is how long is she awake? Generally newborns take lots of little naps which keeps the amount of time they are awake between naps pretty low. So I’m wondering how it would be possible to take 2 chunky naps and not end up with some huge amount of time that she’s awake (esp. between nap #2 and bedtime). So if her second nap is from say 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM (which would be HUGE at that age) then her bedtime would have to come at like 5:00 PM. Which is unlikely as most 2 month olds go to bed far later (say 9:00/10:00 PM). Which would leave her (hypothetically anyway) awake from 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM. And that is way too long.

      So I guess my answer is a qualified yes?

  40. Can I just start by saying that I love you? In a completely platonic, non-creepy, you-saved-my-sleep kind of way. Your advice on baby awake times has helped us to teach our baby girl to sleep from day 1. Now she is 14 weeks (15 w/ adjusted gestational age) and she’s started to fight naps in the late morning and afternoon. Before, I could give her a feed (bottle), a few minutes of cuddling, then put her in the bassinet with a dummy, drowsy but awake, and she would happily doze off in a few minutes. This week she has started to stay awake longer and cry & fuss when I do the feed/cuddle/dummy routine, so that she’s awake for 2+ hours in the day including a 30 minute fight before submitting to sleep. Am I right in thinking this could be the 4 month sleep regression?

    She’s also started fighting her late afternoon/evening sleep, so much so that it’s her bedtime by the time she actually gets that sleep. Last night she was tired by 7pm so we tried to put her down for her nap, but by 7:30 it was clear she was too alert to sleep so I picked her back up. We did her 8:30 bath at 8:00 instead, thinking that she was dropping her evening nap and is ready for an earlier bedtime, and the routine did knock her out by 8:20 – but she only slept 30 minutes – then it took another 30 minutes of a repeat routine of feeding/storytime before she passed out at 9:30 for good.

    So could this be her dropping her evening naps? It’s been like this for a couple days in a row. Your post says that “younger babies (under 6 months) tend to take naps late in the afternoon or early evening which means their bedtime is fairly late (9:00PM – 10:30PM). When they stop sleeping in the late afternoon their bedtime should be moved up closer to 7:00PM (parents forget this step and keep the original late bedtime).” but you don’t specify when they might start to drop that final nap.

    Sorry for the novella. Keep up the great work!

    • Yes and yes.

      Yes this could be a sleep regression. Yes she could be dropping her evening nap. Yes this is all mysterious and frustrating!

      I would start with more soothing – maybe naps in the swing and bed in the bassinet? Loud white noise + block out blinds? Both?

      She’s creeping up on 4 months so 9:00 PM is bit late. If her naps are particularly crappy and early bedtime might be a breath of fresh air for both of you. 9:30 is pretty late although I get the challenge – she treated it like a nap. But I’m also assuming that because the afternoon had been SO rough, by the time you finally got her to sleep she was probably WAY overtired (right?) and this made it hard for her to get any decent sleep.

      I would start with extra soothing for nap. Temporarily ditch the bassinet for naps and see what happens. Swing, loud white noise, dark room. This will help if it’s the regression or not.

      For bedtime I would work towards and earlier bedtime. So if her’ last nap is say 4:00 PM them I would start her bedtime bath around 6:00 PM shooting for a 7:00 PM bedtime. IF she wakes up 30 minutes later I would keep her in her bedroom, lights off, white noise on, and just hold or rock her quietly until she is calm and work towards putting her back down. Frustrating I know but you’re trying to reinforce the idea that this is sleep time (not story time, play time, etc.)

      Those are just rough times but you can adjust based on when her naps are happening. But yeah at 4 months I would be more focused on working towards an earlier & consistent bedtime then I would be worried about getting that last nap in. Does that make sense?

      Well I’m glad things have been so helpful – thanks so much for sharing! You use the word “dummy” which means you are likely Australian or British, yes? I’m going to go with Australian because then I can use your kind feedback as further evidence that I’m practically as big as Oprah in Australia πŸ˜‰

  41. Hi Alexis,

    I have so many questions but I won’t ask them all in one post. I’m a first time parent and totally lost! My fella is going to be 4 months old next Friday and I believe we are getting through a sleep regression (I hope!) It’s been about a week now with him fighting his naps & bed time with all his might, and I only had one friend say her kids did that too. I borrowed a swing from a friend but haven’t used it much as hubby is afraid it will be hard to break him of this. We recently stopped swaddling him too cause he fought it but I swaddled him for his morning nap today and he slept for 25 mins! He has never been a good napper and has never had a set feeding routine so his feeding and napping schedule were different every day. Now we are trying to encourage him to eat every 4 hrs starting at 7am, seems to be going well as he was eating every 4 hrs before. He goes to bed late (I don’t know exactly how late as my husband puts him to bed). When I put him down for a nap, I rock him for 10 – 15 mins to make sure he is good and asleep and I’m wondering if this is affecting how long he sleeps as he can’t soothe himself back to sleep, although at night he sleeps for a few hours at a stretch. I am wondering how I can stretch out his naps so they are longer (if this is possible) as he generally naps for 20 – 30 mins at a time. Also, I am afraid to put him down when he is drowsy in case he just wakes up all the way and won’t nap then, how do I go about getting him to go to sleep on his own, it is too early for this? And I also worry that if I put him to sleep at night at 7pm, he will awaken quite early (like before midnight or shortly after midnight) although when my husband feeds him at 10:30pm he is awake again by 2-2:30am (a recent development).

    More questions than I planned on asking, sorry :’)

    Thanks for any insight you might provide

    • Sounds like you have a lot going on there – no sleeping, parallel parenting, etc.

      1) I would definitely work with the swing. I respectfully disagree with your husband – your short term concern is a) getting him to sleep better and b) working on putting him down awake.

      Those are MUCH bigger challenges then getting him out of the swing, which is relatively simple (when the time comes). The swing can be a powerful tool to help you achieve both of those goals. It could also help stretch your naps out a bit.

      Also – is he sleeping in a DARK room with LOUD white noise?

      2) Swaddling is tough at 4 months. He may be done, he may not. I would probably START working on the swing WITH the swaddle, but if your gut says it’s not helping then it’s not.

      3) If your goal is longer stretches between feeding at night then I wouldn’t go with 4 hour stretches during the day. He’s going to get those calories one way or the other – do you want him getting them at night or during the day? Personally I would vote “day” and feed every 2-3 hours during the day, working towards 4 hour stretches at night.

      4) I know working towards “putting down awake” is a challenge but this is your window, 4-6 months. What happens if you miss this window? This happens:

      So you’ve still got some time to work on it, but work on it you must :(

      5) So what if he wakes after midnight? If he goes to bed at 7:00 PM and sleeps for a 5 hour stretch, that would be AWESOME wouldn’t it? He would probably eat at midnight and then again around 4:00 ish and start the day at 6:30 AM.

      Personally I love this plan and fully support it. If your concern is that he’s waking you up then you could try to offer him a dream feed when YOU go to bed. Sometimes these work great, sometimes not. No harm in trying though!

      Especially if he’s not napping well (and he’s not, 20 minutes is pretty paltry) then an early bedtime might well be what he needs. So I would definitely encourage you to try napping with the swing and and early bedtime.

      Hope that helps give you some ideas to work with?

      • Thanks so much for responding so quickly! I’ve been on your site all day and you have so many posts I want to read that I keep getting sidetracked :-)

        Anyhoo, I put little Mr. in the swing for his afternoon nap as I thought he needed a good nap (and not on me) and he slept for 2hrs!!

        I spoke with hubby when he got home and he is OK with napping in the swing and we are going to move to a 3hr feed instead of 4hr.

        So the swing method of moving to a putting down awake, do you do a couple days of putting to sleep on level 6 on the swing and move it down every couple of days until you don’t need to turn the swing on anymore?

        Thanks so much again, I’m excited at the prospect of him napping and being less crabby due to being overtired.

  42. Hi Alexis,
    Awesome blog! I’ve been following it for a few weeks now. My daughter is just 5 months old. I’ve never used white noise before. Is it too late to start using it? I am still swaddling her and trying to use the swing. Thanks for the help!

    • Marcey,
      How did a month go by without me seeing all these comments – YIKES!

      Well to answer your question, NO it is NEVER too late to use white noise. It’s highly recommended for any time up till 1 year of age.

      Even after 1 it’s fine to use. Sometimes ambient noise (you rattling around in the kitchen, early garbage trucks, etc.) will wake kids up so so you may find yourself using it for naps or whatever even after 1.

  43. Ok I have been reading and trying to figure out if I am doing what I need to do. My husband would prefer that our girlk just cry it out for however long. My pediatrician said that she let her baby cry for 2 hours before trying to settle him down. My baby will cry for about 30 minutes without settling down. I have been reading that most babies calm themselves within 10-15 minutes. I don’t like the idea of letting her cry like that. She is 9 weeks old today and I have been trying to get her to sleep throughout the night, but she still has the same routine. She does wake once at night between 1-2 and then she gets back up again close to 5, at least by 430. Am I wrong for not making her cry herself back to sleep at 1-2?? She sleeps in her crib right now, and my husband wants me to put her down there for her naps as well during the day. I don’t put her in the crib during the day. She sleeps on a blanket on the sofa or sometimes in the boppy pillow. This is my first time looking at this site, and I have never paid attention to how long she naps. Like now she is sleep but she has been sleep for longer than 2 hours…should I be waking her because her nap is too long?? She woke this morning around 5, we went back to sleep about 630ish and woke again around 830. She took a short nap at 10, didn’t last an hour. We played she might have gotten a cat nap between 12-3, but nothing to be considered a real nap. She was fussy from 230-3 and I was thinking because she was hungry but later found out that she was just sleepy so I put her down and she fell right to sleep. Is there anything I need to change about our routine, will it get better as she gets older? Will she eventually stay sleep? I don’t guess my baby is that bad from what I have read, but I do want to know if I am on the right track for her sleeping at night. I give her a bath/wash off, read a story, and feed her before putting her down in the crib.

    • Chantrice,
      I hate that I missed these comments for so long. I hate that I missed yours in particular. I’m really sorry I didn’t respond to you in a timely manner and I honestly wish that I could have.

      Even though it’s been 1 month since you wrote I sincerely hope you will take my advice seriously, OK? Here it is…

      1) Do not let your 9 week old baby cry. I’m surprised that your pediatrician suggested this. She is now ~14 weeks and I still wouldn’t let her cry.

      2) The good news is that 30 minutes isn’t a horrible amount of time so I’m glad that you listened to your instincts and didn’t let things go on for hours. It can be hard when you’re getting all this conflicting advice (pediatrician, web, etc.) and sometimes your gut is really the best source of information.

      3) Of course you should go to her when she wakes at 2 am. Is is not reasonable to expect a 9 week old baby to sleep through the night without feeding. SO no you are NOT wrong for going to her and YES letting her cry at 2 am would be a mistake.

      4) At 9 weeks naps are all over the map. Things will settle into a routine as she gets older. Part of this will be you helping her to do by providing age-appropriate soothing, consistency, routine, etc. And part of this is her biological development.

      If you haven’t already done so I think you’ll find lots of helpful stuff on this here:

      5) It is not safe to let her nap on either the couch or the Boppy. Boppys are great for nursing and later when she’s awake, as a prop for play time. But neither location is safe for sleep – full stop. Babies are never safe sleeping on furniture and doing so puts you at far greater risk of SIDS than if she were sleeping in her crib. I don’t mean to be alarmist but I also want other people who might read this to know that it is absolutely not OK.

      So you didn’t know and luckily everything has been fine so far. But now it’s time to make a change, OK?

      As far as cry it out goes, it has a very specific purpose. Leaving a newborn to cry is technically “unfair” as they are too young to have any self-soothing ability. When babies get older however some of them will have poor sleep associations that will make it all but impossible for them to sleep. In THAT case, sometimes CIO is the answer. For more on that topic check this out:

      For her age everything sounds really normal. As she gets older you will need to separate the feeding from bedtime and work on putting her down awake. This is a challenge for everybody but you’ll want to think about that as your homework when she is 3-4 months old. But otherwise everything you described sounds like normal newborn stuff.

      I hope this helps and again, I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you.

  44. Hi Alexis – Thank you so much for all of this info! I had commented a couple of weeks ago how great happy hour is when baby has gone to sleep for the night and now, suddenly, it isn’t great anymore. I’m feeling desperate to get happy hour back. I’ve been using your advice since my 5.5 month old was about 1 month old. We have always put him down awake using the swing. He has now been sleeping in a non-moving swing for about a month. He goes to work with me and takes 2 naps in the same swing in my office. The last month he started sleeping from about 8pm to 4am a few times a week. Everything that was good about his sleep ended this past week. He wakes from his afternoon nap between 2 and 230 but then refuses to take his last nap 2-3 hours later. So, then, obviously he is an over tired wreck by 645pm. This leads to trying to put him to bed around 7 or 730 then he just screams. We let him scream a bit before going in. Last night I figured to just get him up instead of fight and then put him down at 8 which lead to him nursing until he was almost all the way asleep. All of this crap sleep during the day and then at night he is waking every 90-120 minutes. I just don’t know what went wrong or if maybe something is going on or if I’m royally screwing up everything that was going so good. His late morning and early afternoon nap are good, about 1 hour or so but even those he has lately been really fussing when I stick him in the swing. I hope you might have some good insight. Thank you so much for sharing all of this information and helping moms everywhere – I recommend your site to all my friends that become moms! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    • Jen,
      Well it’s been a while so probably you’ve already sorted things out. But just in case somebody else is reading this thinking, “Hey that sounds just like me!” here’s my answer, in multiple parts…

      1) The 6 month sleep regression is probably in there somewhere. It’s not generally a horror show like the earlier ones but the time lines up and is definitely not helping you any.

      2) The 3rd nap (happening or not) is ALSO a problem. Most babies drop this nap sometime between 9-12 months but it’s REALLY COMMON to have them stop taking it earlier, even if they still need it. So where does that leave you? Well if you weren’t at work (PS How the hell are you working with a baby? I want to know how you pull this off as when my kids were babies I was barely able to get myself dressed much less accomplish anything requiring higher brain function. Seriously – what is your secret!!!) I would suggest you do whatever (stroller walk, sling, car ride) in the mid-afternoon to get him to take even a short 5-10 minute nap.

      Just enough so he’s not an exhausted mess at bedtime (also our goal is a reasonably consistent bedtime).

      If this isn’t possible or isn’t happening REGARDLESS of how long you stroll around the block then you need to push bedtime up, which is what everybody does when the 3rd nap drops. Usually babies in the 6-9 month range will happily fall asleep in the car or whatever and then sometime between 9-12 months that stops happening.

      But yeah if you ask a 6 month old baby to be awake from 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM (6 hours) he’s going to be overtired, brain chock full of seratonin = no sleep.

      Even 7:00 PM is technically too late because now he’s been up 5 hours which is rough at 5.5 months.

      Which is why I go back to the “by whatever means necessary” afternoon nap strategy.

      3) The too tired thing might be causing the “awake every 90 minutes all night” thing at night. As could the sleep regression.

      But I’m guessing that there is yet ANOTHER thing factoring in there (what fun!) which is object permanence/sleep association.

      Even if you’re putting him down awake if you’re either:
      a) Rocking/feeding/etc. right up TILL you put him down he’ll associate this with sleep and require it throughout the night or…
      b) If you put him down mostly asleep, even though his eyes are still open he may have mentally checked out and really be “pretty much asleep.”

      The fact that he’s almost 6 months and this happened so abruptly sounds a lot like an object permanence issue. Overtired babies will wake up more at night but every 90 minutes smells like object permanence.

      Anyway I hope that gives you something to chew on!

  45. Hi Alexis,

    Excellent website and advice! I have a 2 1/2 year old and 6 mo old (almost 7 mo old). As with you, I have been learning from my mistakes with my 2 1/2 year old (who is still chronically sleep deprived). My 6 month old has always been very good about falling asleep on her own and I was nursing usually 11pm, 2/3am, 5am…however, I have hit a terrible stride. I did review your sight pretty extensively tonight and think the problem may be a TOO early bedtime, but wanted your thoughts. Her naps are awesome and very regular, wakes at 6:30/7am, nap from 9 to 11am, nap from 1 to 3pm and bedtime at 7. Do I need to institute a 3rd nap and later bedtime? Tonight and the last 4 nights have been. Down at 7pm, wake/cry at 11 (CIO), wakes anywhere between 12:30 and 2am and then is pretty much up and down every hour. I nurse for 8 to 10 minutes and put her back in the crib, but she wakes up within an hour and cries. Then around 4/5 am she wakes up and won’t go back down.

    Have I found my answer with the 3rd nap and later bedtime? Before this switch happened I was working on weaning the 11pm nursing session, but it turned into a CIO situation. Seriously sleep deprived, thank you!

    (PS – hopefully you have grown accustomed to emails written by weary mothers in the middle of the night and can decipher them in full :)

    • Debra,
      A 4 hour window is a tad long but it doesn’t jump out at me as a problem. Yes a 6 month old should probably organically have a 3rd nap and slightly later bedtime. But at this point I wouldn’t suggest you insert one nor would I want to push her bedtime back. Why not?

      Because I’m pretty confident it’s not the problem. I think this is:

      Sounds like classic object permanence to me. How are you putting her to sleep? Nursing, rocking, etc? I think that is the root cause of your up all night thing.

      Check out the link and let me know if I’m right.

  46. Hi Alexis,

    Is it ok for an 11 week old to nap for longer than 2 hours during the day? Or should I wake him up?

    • Generally speaking I would say no – babies sleep because they’re tired. Now if he’s constantly taking huge 3 hour naps during the day which cuts into his ability to get enough food in so that he is eating more than the norm (note: I did not say more than you would like πŸ˜‰ you might have to slightly cut back on sleep.

      But some babies just take nice chunky 2-3 hour naps. In which case congratulations. And everybody else who has babies who barely sleep 30 minutes at a time now hates you. So good luck with that ;P

  47. Hi Alexis,

    Thanks for a great source of information! I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter who has slept very well since 3 months old, when we started sleep training with her. My 6 month old son, however, is just starting to give me problems. He usually fell asleep on his own right from the beginning, so I wasn’t really vigilant about bad habits the way I was with my daughter. This has backfired on us now in a variety of ways! But when he’s in a good stretch, he sleeps from 8:30pm until 10:30am (with 0-1 wakings for a feed somewhere between 5:00 and 7:00am). This means he’s getting about 14 hours of sleep overnight, which is all he needs according to your chart. As a result, he still gets sleepy after being awake ~2 hours during the day, but won’t sleep for more than 30 minutes. Should I try waking him up in the morning? We were on vacation last week and I was waking him up, but then night sleep completely fell apart on us, waking up every 2 1/2 to 3 hours all night. I’m sure that this also stemmed partially from my fear of him waking everyone else up, so I overcompensated… you know, the usual vacation sleep issues… we’re slowly coming back to normal routine, but then he slept past 10:00 again today. I really need him to nap so that I have some time during the day! Thanks.

    • UPDATE: After re-reading several critical sections of Weissbluth’s book, I decided that my DS’s bedtime at 8:30 was too late. I moved it up to 7:00, and this has worked so much better! Now, he’s typically up around 7:00am, napping 1 3/4 hours later, and his naps have stretched out so that they are anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. And he’s just so much happier when he has a decent nap. I actually have time to myself again! If anyone hasn’t read this book yet, I strongly recommend it!

      • Angela,
        Well I’m so glad you sorted things out! To tell the truth your son is really unusual. For starters, 14 hours a night? HUGE. And almost unheard of. 13 hours is on the high side, 11 is the average.

        Second, most babies who have a too late bedtime respond by sleeping like CRAP. Meanwhile yours almost rewarded the late bedtime with a rocking FOURTEEN HOURS! Again – pretty much unheard of.

        Regardless, the 7-7 night sleep with nice chunky naps is far more ideal then redonkulous night sleep and up all day. So I’m really happy you found the solution. Good work!

  48. I agree my 2.5yo needs a nap during the day and he is put into bed every afternoon and he stays in his room for an hour. The number of times per week he actually sleeps has gradually decreased from the age of 2 (when his brother was born….bad timing!!!) so that now I am lucky to get him to sleep twice a month. It got a lot less in the past 2 months after he worked out how to climb out of his cot. The last two times he fell asleep on his bedroom floor after climbing out of the cot. He goes to day care and will sleep about 50% of the time but that’s with someone patting him and a whole lot of exercise beforehand. He will usually fall asleep in the car if I am driving a distance in the afernoon after a big day and will transfer to his bed. When he does sleep I have to wake him after about 1.5 hours or he wont sleep at night and he doesn’t wake on his own. Any tips of getting him to actually sleep keeping in mind I have an 8month old too?

    • 98% of babies are still napping till they turn 3. But some drop their naps earlier. But you know what – you are doing EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING.

      Maintain a consistent quiet/nap time. Make the room quiet, dark, and safe. If he’s out of the cot (I would love him to stay in but whatev) then make sure the room is safe – remove all choking hazards, make sure the furniture is bolted to the wall, no cords are dangling about, etc. You may want to use a night vision monitor too as he is young and you want to know he is safe.

      Give him 2-3 board books and put a blanket and a bed buddy on the floor. Maintain your nap routine. Use your words, “It’s time for your body to rest so you can grow strong and healthy.” Whatever he does with that time is his choice. Most of the time he may keep himself awake. Unfortunate but OK. Some days he’ll fall asleep. Great! You’re right – you’ll need to protect bedtime so if he falls asleep at the very end yes – you’ll need to wake him up.

      But this is a great habit for him to have – entertaining himself at quiet time. Everybody gets a little breathing room. Then when time is up you go get him with hugs and kisses and go about your day.

      One last thought – older siblings often drop naps when new babies show up. It doesn’t mean they don’t need it but it does happen. By maintaining this consistency and setting the stage for sleep (should it come) you’re also creating the possibility of him re-establishing afternoon naps after taking a “new baby came home” break. It may happen or it may not. But it’s yet another bonus for you. So keep it up – you’re right on the money!

  49. My first son was a terrible sleeper (although now fabulous) and am now pregnant with my second so curious to see how he compares to this chart after he’s born early next year.

  50. My baby girl is 4 weeks old and refuses to go to bed until after 1 am. My mother in law told me to put her on a schedule by keeping her up more during the day and putting her to bed at a set time. Unfortunately we tried that and let’s just say my husband is lucky he works. Kaylee kept me up till 3am crying till I finally put her in her carseat. Went to drive around but was able to just rock the seat and her fall asleep to were I could put her in the crib. I’ve been frustrates cuz I’m told I’m doing things wrong. I’m told she’s been in the car too long and I need to break her of the carseat, which I thought she hated cuz she screams while being put in it. My mother in law also says I dont have enought nutrition in my breast milk so I need to put formula in the bottle with pumped milk at nite to fill her so she sleeps but she still acts hungrey after 4oz of that in one sitting but then spits up. Idk wat to do anymore. I’m pretty lucky cuz once I get her to bed she sleeps at least 5 hours on a good nite. But its getting her to bed that’s hard. I’m getting to were I feel like a bad mom cuz nothing is working. And now that I’ve read some things you’ve written I feel even worse to no I cause my baby to feel miserable. Help!

    • Bianca,
      Did you see Rebecca’s answer below? Because she’s totally right. I know it can be really hard to know who to listen to (your relatives or strangers on the Internet) but I’m weighing in to say that her advice is right on the money. And your MIL, sadly, is wrong.

      Your baby has a bedtime that is too late. Yes this is a problem. It’s a really COMMON and NORMAL one however. And as you noted, the answer is not keeping her awake longer or putting her on a schedule. Both of those things are a bad idea when you have a 4 week old. Also your breastmilk gives her EVERYTHING she needs right now so you absolutely don’t need to give her formula (although it won’t hurt her to do so). But breastmilk has all the nutrition she needs and then some.

      Sometimes it can be really really hard to put newborn babies to sleep. Sometimes newborn babies cry a lot. This does not make you a bad Mom. This makes you a Mom of a newborn baby.

      If your baby is miserable and nothing is working and a nice car drive calms her down and helps her fall asleep then GREAT! Go for a car ride! If you’re able to transition her from the car seat into the crib and she stays sleeping happily then GREAT!

      You are not the first nor the last Mom to take her crying non-sleeping baby for a car ride to help her calm down and fall asleep. This is totally normal and totally OK.

      Take Rebecca’s advice. Read the post I link to below for more advice about how you can gradually move bedtime earlier (Bedtime What Time?). I think you’re doing fine. Your baby will be fine.

  51. Your MIL is plain wrong. A 4 week old should not be on an imposed schedule. Her wake times should not exceed 30-60 min (including feeding time and the time it takes to soothe for bed/nap). Try a portable crib or bassinette to make her feel more cozy at naptime or bedtime (also white noise, swaddled and a dark room). Or a swing to help her sleep instead of driving around in the car. Feed her at least every 2-3 hrs if she wants it. Breastmilk has all the nutrition a baby needs and most likely, you are producing enough but remember to eat healthy and drink tons of water (set timers to remind yourself). You could also try Mother’s Milk tea if your pediatrician has no isses with it and you’re concerned about your supply. Keeping her up more during the day is probably the reason why she can’t sleep until 1am. Please, please don’t listen to your MIL. Really try to put your baby down more frequently (max.30-60 min awake time) and really watching for sleep cues (spaced out, quiet, rubbing eyes, yawning, rubbing ears, fussy, complete change of behavior). This should help with the late bedtime. Do what you can to help your baby sleep more (use a swing, wear your baby, etc).

    • Yes yes and yes. You are very kind to answer her questions and your advice is totally right on the mark. Thank you for your gracious and generous input.

  52. Hey Alexis, I have a few questions about my 7 week old:

    1. Right now he seems to sleep ALOT during the day, but he is also sleeping pretty good at night (it doesn’t seem like he has his days and nights mixed up). I was looking at the chart and it says that after 6 weeks babies should be having awake time between 1-2 hours. Other then the morning and evening he really is only awake at one time for about 30 minutes. Do you think I should check with my doctor about that? For example: Today he woke up at 9:45 and I fed him 3 oz. He was awake until about 11:15 at which time he fell asleep in my arms. He woke up at 11:45 and promptly wanted more food so I fed him 4 oz at noon and he was awake until 12:45 when I took him for a walk. He slept in his car seat until about 2:45 and wanted to eat again so I fed him 4 oz and he went back to sleep at 3:15 and is still asleep now at 4:15 in his swing. My mom says I worry too much, but I just want to make sure everything is normal.

    2. He has started recently going to sleep at abou 8 o’clock in the evening and then he wants to wake up at 9 to eat and stay awake until about 10:30 or 11. Is there anything I can do to change this or do I just need to go with the flow and he will slowly have more awake time in the evening? He isn’t fussy when he is awake from 9-10:30/11. He just won’t go to sleep.

    3. At what point do you try to start moving back bedtime? I know right now he is just going to go to bed late, but I was just curious at what time we can start trying to put him down earlier.

    Sorry, lots of questions, thanks for your help. I am IN LOVE with your blog!!

    • Susan,

      To answer your question in minimal words – everything you describe is normal and will sort itself out in time with probably minimal intervention from you. Great news, right?

      Here’s the longer version:
      1) I’m not at all worried about your babies. The numbers are general guidelines. I don’t like to highlight that fact as invariably there will be somebody who takes the “guideline” idea to validate their belief that their 2 month old just doesn’t need to nap. Does your baby wet tons of diapers? Is he growing? Yes? He’s just fine.

      2) He’s napping at 8:00 PM and his bedtime is 11:00 PM. All totally normal. Not a ball of laughs but normal. This is also why he doesn’t wake up till 9:45 AM (his “night” is 11:00 PM – 9:45 AM = 11 hours = awesome). Check the post below for how you can start chipping away at this late bedtime stuff.

      3) You could chill out about it for a few weeks and see what happens organically or you could start waking him up a bit earlier. Without the “wake him up a bit earlier” part there is a good chance that putting him down earlier won’t work well (although you are welcome to try!). Do things gradually – plunking him in bed 1 hour earlier will go poorly but usually babies are pretty open to 15-20 adjustments in schedule.

      So glad you love my blog! I try. It’s not always easy (generally when I write one of my children is pelting me in the head with legos) but awesome comments from nice people like you help a lot :)

      • Thanks so much for your fast reply! How much earlier would you suggest I get him up? 15-20 minutes? Also, one more question. Today he had pretty much slept from 2 o’clock on. It is now almost 9. Is this normal for a 7 week old? We did go a lot today so he spent a good amount of time in his car seat. The last 3 or so hours we have been at home though and he has still continues to sleep. I guess I am worried he is going to start getting days and nights mixed up again. Can that happen at this age? Thanks again, this whole baby thing has really thrown me for a loop because i want concrete answers and I obviously know there are not any.

  53. Hello, I have a 4 week old and she loves her sleep during the day. She tends to be awake for 1-2 hours and then sleeps couple hours. Seems like an endless cycle of wake, eat, sleep all day long. During the night, she wakes 2-3 times to eat and remains awake for 1-3 hours. She screams if I put her down when she’s not sleepy (however when she gets sleepy, she has no problem with me swaddling her and putting her down). Seems that nursing her and rocking her put her into sleep mode but it can take as long as 3 hours. She shrieks when I put her in the car seat or swing too. She just wants to be held. Any tips on this or do I simply wait it out?

  54. Hi Alexis,

    I have a couple of questions for you:

    1) is there such a thing as too much soothing? My 10 week old has slept great since I started using white noise, a swing, and swaddling starting at 5 weeks. She averages about 17 hours a day, with approx. 12 hrs at night. I wonder if I should try weaning her off one of the soothing elements now since she seems to sleep more than average, or just count my blessings and wait until she’s a bit older? I’m also wondering if I should just let her sleep even if her naps are excessive (over 3 hours once a day on most days). The downside to her sleeping so much is that I don’t feel like she has a lot of time to “learn”. She has fussy time from 7-10pm and its the only time she doesn’t nap (maybe a cat nap 15mins long) but she isn’t receptive to doing anything except cluster feed every half hour.

    2) your chart shows the approx. time awake per day and between naps; that includes feeding time right?

    Thank you so much! Your blog ended the madness and sleep deprivation 5 weeks ago and now almost makes it easy…almost :)

  55. So our 7-mo-old is on the high end of the total-sleep-per-day range (15 hrs). Her awake time is 3 hours (like clockwork) so her schedule is:
    6:30-7:00 wake up
    9:30-10:00 down for nap
    11:30 wake up from nap
    2:30-4:00 nap
    7:00-7:30 bed

    95% of the time she’s an awesome sleeper so the schedule is pretty close every day. She dropped the 3rd nap at about 5 months, and pushing bedtime later does not result in a later morning wake-up – we’ve tried :) I’s like there aren’t enough hours in the day for her to sleep as much as she wants. We end up having to wake her up from both naps to protect bedtime; that means if we let her take longer naps she still gets the same amount of sleep, just more during the day.

    So my question is, what is the importance of day vs night sleep? Since they are guided by different parts of the brain, I would assume they have similar but potentially different benefits. I am not worried that she’s getting enough sleep; I’m just wondering if our strategy is the best (i.e., putting limits on naps to preserve the 11-12 hrs at night).

    And this is totally low priority- I am mostly curious. Thanks!

  56. We are having trouble with super early wake ups!!

    Our son is almost 8 months old, and a couple weeks ago we finally started cry it out. Only at bedtime at first, then anytime before 12:00 that he woke. It seemed to be going really well. He only cries a few minutes at bedtime now, and has been consistently sleeping through until 12, sometimes 2!

    He has always had trouble sleeping in the early morning, with tons of wake ups. But he is down to only one, around 3. However, where previously he used to wake up at 6, then 5, then 4:30, now it is at 4:00!!! He is wide awake and smiling, there is no way we are getting him back to sleep. I don’t dare let him CIO in the early morning, will he just cry a ton and not really go back to sleep?

    Further details: he was going to bed consistently at 7:00, now around 6:30. He naps 4 times a day still (he just can’t go longer than 2.5 hours, and with the early wake up he needs the 4th nap. One nap is 1.5 hrs and the rest are usually 30 minutes, maybe 45 if we are lucky.

    • Hi, just wanted to update on this. I am not sure I need an answer anymore. For some reason (not sure what changed) he started sleeping until 5 again, which isn’t great but we can deal with it. Though if you have any thoughts I would love to hear them, in case this problem comes back.

  57. I have a 3 1/2 month old. She was sleeping 6 hours before eating and then sleeping another 3 before having some awake time. Now she is back to waking every 3 hours. She naps pretty well, but can only be awake 1 hour or at most an 1 1/2 before needing to nap and then she naps for 1 1/2 hour. So she ends up taking 5 naps and going to bed at 10. Is she. Sleeping too much? Should I try to keep her awake longer between naps?

    • My 3 month old and one week baby girl started sleeping more past 3 days.she was up all day before this happened then slept a good 5 hours straight which new to me and ate and sleeping again.took get on long car ride she slept 2 hours there and ate and slept she sleeping too much or am I being paranoid. She slept on and off today but took her to Walmart she was up half the time but slept more than normal at night she also had tummy ache spit up before she slept.I’m just worrying

  58. Hi, my little boy is 10 weeks old tomorrow and pretty much falls within your chart with his sleep/ awake time. He sleeps great at night, with his big chunk 4-8 hours in a row and then dream feeding twice until waking between 6.30 and 7.30 am. His naps – since the last couple of weeks – are not that great however, he only stays awake 1-2 hours at a time bit his naps don’t last more than an hour now, usually 20-45 minute, apart from exceptions. Is this OK? My real question though is that his soother to fall asleep each time is the breast, so his pattern is never eat-play-sleep, but rather eat-sleep-play, and more often than not eat-sleep-eat-play… Ending up with many nursing sessions/ snacks and nothing resembling a feeding pattern!… He is exclusively breastfed and gaining weight great and hitting all milestones great too. Just had this question re the feeding as he won’t fall asleep without my breast (have tried rocking/ pacifier/ white noise etc…) and I don’t see how this will change! Is it too early to worry about it? The white noise btw is a lifesaver, accompanied by the breast works wonders. Thanks for your insight!!

    • Btw… since my comment above, today he had a 3and a half hour morning nap!… So weird… Not waking him up as the time to myself is welcome (guilty!). I guess erratic nap times at 10 weeks is normal?… Thanks again

  59. hi, I have found your articles and chart on sleep really useful, and some of it reassuring in that I don’t think I am doing anything horribly ‘wrong’…which is why I write to you now! I am flummoxed as to why my 8 month old son has, in the last two weeks or so, started to wake up 1/2/3 hours after he has already fallen asleep for the night, then deciding to STAY AWAKE FOR 2-3 HOURS FOR NO OBVIOUS REASON!
    He falls asleep by himself in his cot, without me in the room, both at nap time and bedtime. We have had a solid bedtime routine for the last few months – nappy/clothes change, breastfeeding, sleeping bag on, story, prayer, cuddle, put down in cot awake. He usually has a bath between dinner and the bedtime routine, too.

    He usually has 2 longer naps and a short nap during the day, totalling 2-3 hours a day. He will comfortably stay awake between naps for 2-2.5 hours depending on how good/bad his night sleep has been. He has only ever ‘slept through’ a handful of times, so he has never been a champion sleeper. We still often have nights when he wakes every 3 hours or so, though not necessarily for a feed – sometimes he has wind, or teething pain, but will go back to sleep quite quickly after the necessary feed/ burp/ teething powder/ patting on the back. However, we are increasingly getting more nights where he will sleep in 4-5 hour stretches, or occasionally even more. With this new staying awake phenomenon, even though he is sleepy, he will stay awake and make lots of silly noises which drive me crazy on the monitor and don’t let me fall asleep myself. I feed him if he is hungry. He gets drowsy after his feed, but still does not actually go back to sleep.
    His last nap of the day is variable, sometimes longer (more than an hour) and sometimes v short (30 or 45 mins) is usually done by 5/5.30 p.m. These days, in order to fit in dinner as well as bath time and milk feed, I try not to let him sleep past 5.15 provided he has had enough sleep earlier in the day. I aim to have him in his cot before 8. In fact, he is usually visibly tired by 7 p.m. So I try to ensure his last milk feed starts by 7 latest in order to avoid him falling asleep during the feed. Usually, he is fast asleep by 7.30/7.45. Should I be lengthening the time between his last nap and bedtime? E.g making sure he is awake by 4/4.30 and letting him fall asleep by 7.30 ish? Or should I be making bedtime later? My problem with the latter is that he genuinely seems ready to sleep well before 8.
    During this new waking up period, he is not particularly grouchy or in pain etc. he just seems to talk to himself, roll around etc. Last night, he woke at 9.45, i fed and burped him and he was drowsy again by 10.15 ish, but did not actually go to sleep till 12.15. He then woke again at 4.15 for a feed and went right back to sleep till 9.45a.m.
    Please, please, please give me some advice/suggestions as this just seems like a terrible waste of time and sleep!
    Yours hopefully

  60. Dear Alexis,

    I have read this article and comments hoping to find some miracle cure for my 7 week old son. Unfortunately he fails to even meet the minimum needed sleeping hours. He barely sleeps 8h/24h. I am breastfeeding and co-sleeping. He simply refuses to go to sleep especially during daytime. Napping is usually done at my breast – if I take it out he wakes up and he does not like the pacifier. I feel like a binky with legs. I have tried white noise, grey noise, classical music, lullabies, rocking, sometimes not even breastfeeding does the trick. I am a step away from depression and illness. He hates swaddling and the swing.

    Is there any other way I could help him go to sleep? At nights he falls asleep only at my breast and waking up every hour or so when he loses it :) I put him down around 8 p.m and by 4 a.m he is wide awake, crying and fussing, nothing soothes him. Eventually he cats naps until 7 a.m when he wakes up for good. From there,whatever I do he simply resists sleep. Please do help…

    P.S Excuse my mistakes, English is not my first language. :)

  61. Sometimes putting baby on a routine does help. I had my first on a routine very early on he is now two and a half, sleeps seven til seven with a two hour nap in the afternoon. My now ten week old has been on a routine from two weeks, he has two two hour naps in the day, occasionally a half an hour nap in the afternoon, bed at 7pm, dreamfeed at half ten, sleeps until five ish feeds, then sleeps again until seven or half seven. He also puts himself to sleep within five minutes of being put down, without crying or fussing. This is because I always from day one put him down regularly for naps and before he started to cry I would pick him up calm him down then put him down again until he is asleep, now he knows when he is put down, it’s sleep time.

  62. Hi, I was just wondering if you thought my 7.5 month old was sleeping too much? She sleeps about 12.5 hours at night and 3 naps totaling about 3.25 hours. This is over your 14 hour estimate. She is happy otherwise and we are looking into dropping her 3rd nap soon (which would take her down about .5 hours). I never thought she had anything wrong with her so never thought to ask the doc about it, I will on her 9 mo check though (his answer I’m sure will be if she is happy then don’t fix it!) Also do you recommended keeping the 3rd nap until 9 mos? Thanks!

  63. My 11 month old has always been a huge, easy sleeper. I’m concerned because she never moves in her sleep. She remains in the same position for every nap and nighttime sleep. She may turn her head from one side, but she sleeps hands up above head and legs spread without an ounce of movement. Is this ok?

  64. I have an 8 month old baby boy an he sleeps about 10 hours at night an takes about 3 naps a day which i saw was good for his age. The thing I’m worried about is he takes really long naps about 3-4 hours instead of 1-2 hours and he stays awake generally 2 hours between naps. Is this a really bad thing?

  65. Hi Alexis
    Its so lovely that you take the time to reply to all of us mums! Im hoping you can help me with some advice about catnapping and the best age to start routines.

    My baby girl (breastfed) is 10 weeks old.
    After 3 weeks old and up to 6, she never put herself to sleep and i learnt quite quickly that i needed to help her and would soothe her to sleep with cuddles and rubs on the back. she would then nap on me, pretty much until the time came i couldnt stay laying down any longer so id put her down. Within 5 minutes she always woke. So it was then wake up time, feed play etc.

    From 6 weeks she started waking on me after a short time, so i thought maybe it was time to put her in her cot. quite quickly she adapted to a rock, pat, ssshhh and would crash quickly in my arms. I was amazed the first time i was able to put her in her cot and she didnt wake after 5 mins. However she couldnt nap for longer than 45 mins and after a few days this became 25 mins and has stuck for the past 4 weeks.

    the only way for her to have her sleep longer is to lay on me, so we now do this twice a day for 1 to 2 hours and once or twice i put her down for catnaps. hoping each day they may become longer.

    i have tried to put her down drowsy, but she wakes in an instance and is wide awake.
    i also try to get her back to sleep after her catnap and its near impossible. sometimes she wakes really tired and other times is smily and cheerful.

    obviously i cant keep laying down for 3 hours a day, but have tried to enjoy it while she is so little.
    its also hard to engage when she’s hungry cause she doesnt wake because she’s tired so our feeding ends up all over the place and sometimes she’s so tired she just falls asleep.

    So my questions for you are…
    when is the best time/age for me to really persist in getting her to sleep longer and in her own bed.
    and, what do you think is the best way to go about this? (put down awake, soothing etc).

    I dont want to pressure my newborn or put myself through trying super hard to get her sleeping when maybe its too early?

    Thank you so much in advance!!

    Alysha x

    • oh my you could be describing our situation exactly except I have a little boy who will only ever sleep for longer than 10 minutes (in the swing!) if he is on me literally!
      going out of my mind and as much as i love him i’m sure he too poor thing would sleep better on his own

      Hates swaddling (my sister who swaddled her daughter, tried and he was hysterical she thinks he’s too old to start now at 9 wks) please advise i’ll try anything?!!

    • Hi there Alysha and Petitharicot! Just wondering what your situation is now, and whether you received any useful advice?? Im desparately looking fortips, as I have the same situation with my 11 week old. Reasonably good night sleeper, but ALL her naps must be taken in the sling! Its the only way I can get her to sleep properly, any other method and she wakes up as soon as the buggy / car stoos moving, the basket stops being rocked etc etc. In happy to persisit in my efforts to change her sling addiction, if I thought it would lead aynwhere – thats why I ask! But Ive abandoned all attempts recently as I just feel so sorry for her when I can see she hasnt slept well and is tired, when I know she needn’t be if I just put her in the sling for a good nap…. Help!!

  66. Hi,

    Best site ever. I like you postings. My 1 year old son is trying to get up in the middle of night between 2-5 AM (~9.30 PM bedtime) (anytime) and does not want to go to sleep at all. He will be sleepy, eyes open but babbling/crying himself. Even if we rock, walk nothing works for at least 1 hour. Finally yesterday he slept on his own (cosleeping with my husband, rolling all over bed) after 2.5 hours. He does not have fever, doesn’t look like teeth (has 4). Not sure sleep regression! He gives hard time for his afternoon nap and night nap before sleeps finally. Not started CIO yet (did with 6 year old girl and felt so bad about it). Just feel so frustrated (I know its going to end in few months, But…)with this as so busy with job, daughters projects at school and when I read your articles, start my day afresh. I am also weaning him off the bottles and evening nap(last 3 weeks).
    I think CIO is only option now.
    Keep on writing:-)

  67. Please help me I’m going crazy! I am a mother of 3 beuatiful kids I never did have a problem with the first two they were good sleepers but. Didn’t breast feed them so that could be a differnce. Our youngest is 8 1/2 months and I will be going back to work soon for the afternoon shift.
    I have tried and tried so many times to put her down while she is awake after a bath and after a good breast feed and all she does is scream and scream. My question is how long do you let them scream for because she can cry up to a couple hours then I give in as I think it is way too long. My baby girl has 5-10 cat naps and she has done this since she has been born but yet goes to bed around 10 and sleeps until 9 am waking up about 5 times a night for a reassurance feed. I don’t let her cry in the middle of the night because I have two school aged children and a husband that needs his sleep for his job. I also live in a townhouse complex and the neighbours will be able to hear as well. So please help me as I’m having issues with her sleeping anytime of the day.

  68. Please help me I’m going crazy! I am a mother of 3 beuatiful kids I never did have a problem with the first two they were good sleepers but. Didn’t breast feed them so that could be a differnce. Our youngest is 8 1/2 months and I will be going back to work soon for the afternoon shift.
    I have tried and tried so many times to put her down while she is awake after a bath and after a good breast feed and all she does is scream and scream. My question is how long do you let them scream for because she can cry up to a couple hours then I give in as I think it is way too long. My baby girl has two 5-10 mins cat naps and she has been doing this since she has been born but yet goes to bed around 10 and sleeps until 9 am waking up about 5 times a night for a reassurance feed. I don’t let her cry in the middle of the night because I have two school aged children and a husband that needs his sleep for his job. I also live in a townhouse complex and the neighbours will be able to hear as well. So please help me as I’m having issues with her sleeping anytime of the day.

  69. You see you said 3 naps a day for 3-6 months how long should these naps be my little one normally

    wakes 7
    nap 9-10
    nap 12-2/2.30
    nap between 4/5 for 30 minutes so she can last till 7
    6 baths massage bed time tv in back ground while feeding tv off in to cot dummy which i SO regret using for night time but love it during the day haha! but cant have every think i guess!

    but ive noticed since she is going in her cot she wakes alot more i think she enjoys being cosy in her carry cot but she has pretty much grown out of it but in her carry cot she will go down at 7 normally we give her her last half oz in her and thats it not much fussing (although id rather she would just settle her self but not sure how to approach that tbh) then she wont wake till 5 for a quick like an oz or 2 then back down till 7-8 but since she is in her cot she wakes every 3-4 and will have a feed each time and is harder to settle but also the last few days she has been having bigger sleeps in the day as she wasnt feeling to well and didnt sleep for a whole day so ive been letting her catch up but she is still sleeping more should i just keep waking her up when her nap normally ends or leave her be and see how she is as i have heard the better sleep they have in the day the better they sleep at night but how much is too much lol!

  70. Hi Alexis!
    I just found out this site and it’s fantastic. My daughter who is 11 months old, she is turning one year at the end of this month is a good sleeper, but lately things have change a little bit.
    She goes to bed anytime between 7:00 pm – 7:45pm she sleeps,she usually wakes up at 7:00-7:15 am every morning, then she is ready for her morning nap around 9:00 a.m, during this nap she falls sleep right away, maybe she plays at her crib for 10 minutes but isn’t an issue, then she is up after one hour and half or 2 hours. Usually I put her down again around 2:30 but now she doesn’t fall sleep until one hour or one hour and half later and I knwo she is tired because sometimes whe are in the car and she falls sleep around 2:15 pm, so I’m not sure what to do since I thought that maybe she wasn’t enought tired but every time that we are driving around her nap time she falls sleep easily. But in her crib she seems super excited and ready to play. I can’t cut her morning nap because is so clear that she is super tired around sometimes around 8:45.
    Please if you can give me some ideas. I’m really active and I take her out every day to indoor playground, play dates or I play with her. Maybe she is too excited? Sometimes I stay home and I just play with her but doesn’t make any difference.
    Please help!

  71. Sorry I forgot to say that when she falls sleeps around 3:30-3:45 if I let her sleep in she would do it until 6 im and goes easily to bed at 8:30 pm. Usually I wake her up at 4:30 pm but today we want to see, with my husband, if she was really tired, and she was since she wakes up at 6… really happy. But for me a 3:30 nap is too late. We thought to make her morning nap shorter and wakes her up at 10:30 a.m but it’s healthy wakes her up?

  72. Naps:4 month old(16wks). We recently (2wks now) went from 3 2-3 hour naps every day to 4-5 30 min naps. Baby girl wakes up at the 30 min mark ON THE DOT every time. This is affecting her day time mood and ability to stay awake. No impact on her night sleeping which is wonderful: 7:15pm-7:15am with 1-2 wakes for feed. I’ve tried nursing to sleep first, swaddle(which she uses at night), white noise, letting her cry after the 30 mins, pack n play, swing, stroller, crib, blackout blinds. Man, you name it, I’ve tried it. I’m very attentive to her tired signs and usually get her to bed before the eye rubbing and crankiness come on. I don’t know what to do to get her back to “good” naps. I haven’t left the house in 4 days to get her back on track, but no progress. Help!!

    • Amy, I know it’s not any help, but we are in the same boat!! It’s driving me crazy. My son has been doing it for a while now. I’m like you and I’ve tried everything. I’ve been frantically looking for a magical answer and I often wonder if I’m doing something wrong. I hope things get better for us soon!

    • Same here. No real advice, just commiseration. I like to say at 3 months she became self aware and the world is just way to interesting to miss a minute. She wakes up at 35 minutes on the nose (even in a swing with vibration and white noise in a dark room) and acts like you tricked her into falling asleep and she’s mad that she missed something. She is also taking 4-5 a day like yours because she can still only stay awake 1.5 to 2 hours before she starts showing sleepy signs. I know nap consolidation is a milestone, so maybe it is just a phase and one of those temporary back steps. Unfortunately it has been going on for a month and a half now, but it has certainly been a month and a half of huge mental and physical development. I just got a different swing (very different movement from my last) and yesterday she took a 1.25 hour and 45 minute nap so now my eggs are in this new swing basket and I’m convinced all our problems are solved…or the novelty of the new swing will wear off tomorrow. Good luck!

    • Amy, my son is 20 weeks and sounds almost exactly like your child in regards to sleep patterns. Around 1-2 months of age he was taking some short naps (30-45 minutes) and usually a long afternoon nap (2-3 hours). Then around 2.5-3 months of age almost all of his naps were 30 minutes on the dot. Now he is almost 5 months old and all of his naps are still 30 minutes on the dot! He too still needs 4-5 naps a day and can only typically stay up for 1.5 hours at a time before becoming overtired. I have tried many things as well: black out shades, white noise, swaddle, no swaddle, warmer and colder house temperature, socks, no socks, nursing before nap, etc. Nothing seems to matter. I have tried putting him down later, hoping he’d be more tired so he would sleep longer, but this didn’t work and only resulted in him having less naps, and therefore being more tired and cranky during the day. I also tried letting him cry it out after a short nap but he cried for almost an hour and then it was almost time for his next nap!! At night he sleeps from about 7 pm until 7 am and wakes twice to eat in between. I have no idea what to do. Right now my only idea is to wait it out in hopes that it gets better with age. Has anyone found a solution to this or does anyone have an insight?

    • Our little girl (almost 1 yr now) did something similar around 4 months. Awesome night sleep, crappy naps. It took about a month and a half for her to consolidate naps and get on a (mostly) predictable schedule. It was…..extremely lame. We never left the house either :) But she gradually started to have longer naps every once in a while, then one nap a day would be long and the others short, and then by 7 mo both naps were so long we had to wake her up to protect bedtime. We actually write down her sleep/eat schedule every day, and it helped me realize that things weren’t quite as wonky as I thought so I could relax about it a little bit. Good luck and hang in there!

  73. First of all, this is a great site and has been very helpful!

    My question is, my son is 8 weeks old and what I’ve been reading basically says do what you need to do to soothe them to sleep until they are about 4-6months old, then at that time you basically have to sleep train to break the habits that you have created with pacifier, swing etc.
    Are there things that I can do now to create good sleep habits? I try putting him down awake but drowsy and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t know if that has to do with his age and the fact that he is still so young.

    I have learned from your site that I was letting his wake periods go too long during the day so I have spent the last couple of days trying to limit them and making sure he has quality naps during the day. He has been a great sleeper at night and the last 2 weeks he has been sleeping 6-8 hours in a row without waking but naps are more of a challenge.

    Anyways, just wanted to know if there’s anything I can do to streamline the process now and make it easier down the road.


  74. My 4 week old just slept 8 hours over night. I woke her up to feed her and she has gone back to sleep and has been sleeping for 3 hours. I don’t know whether to wake her. She was awake a lot yesterday so I don’t know if she’s catching up. She doesn’t have weight issues that I know of and she’s not sick that I know of either. Do I still need to wake her for feedings or will she wake for them? She normally stirs if she is hitting feeding times. I’m worried about her. She has gained her birthweight back by two weeks but the next doctors appointment isn’t for another month so I’m not sure what her weight is.

  75. Hello,
    My boy is now 13 weeks old and on average he goes down around 9:30 but after only 5 hours he will wake up for a feed then go back down for 3 hours before waking up for the day. he has teased me a few times by sleeping 6-7hours straight for a few nights but then always goes back to the 5 hour stretch last night was only 4!

    Sleepy muma

  76. Firstly I would just like to say a big THANK YOU for this blog!! I have been obsessively pouring over every single baby book, website and blog you could possibly imagine and so far this is the only one that really speaks to me and I don’t leave it feeling guilt ridden or anxious about how things are going with my baby.

    That said I still need some advice/reassurance about my little girl. She is exactly 12 weeks today and from the moment she turned 2 weeks old has not been a great sleeper. She is quite colicky which has never helped and has never really had solid naps or any kind of regularity to her sleeps so I am really concerned that she is chronically overtired. We do everything from swaddling to white noise to the swing and although we might get the occasional 2 hour nap it is always spot on 40 mins. She just doesn’t seem to be able to get past that first sleep cycle. I swear i spend most of the day trying to get her some sleep but sometimes no matter how hard ill try she will go hours and i mean hours not sleeping! During the night she does sleep better although we usually start her routine at 5.30 and she will only fall asleep and stay asleep between 10.30/11. The last few nights she has been up every hour which I am really hoping is just a growth spurt or wonder week because usually I can get at least 4 hours between night time feeds. Another thing you should know is she is not a great eater always pulling away at the breast and fussing, regardless of whether its a quiet environment or not. She will also do this when I express into a bottle. We have had her looked over for reflux and this doesn’t seem to concern the doc. She also hates the car, the pram and the carrier so leaving the house is always a nightmare.

    I am convinced this all comes down to the fact that she is overtired, so my question for you is how do we get out of this vicious cycle? We watch her signals like a hawk and put her down (she can put herself to sleep most of the time) but without fail will wake up that 40 later, making it even harder for her to fall asleep and stay asleep the next time – and round and round we go! It’s so heartbreaking to see my baby so irritable with dark rings under her eyes. I just wish I could help her get some sleep!

    Thanks Alexis anything you can suggest would be greatly appreciated!

    • Ash, I don’t have any answers for you but my baby is 20 weeks and only takes 30-40 minute naps. I know that when he is tired he doesn’t eat well because he’s cranky. So maybe try to feed your baby shortly after she wakes so she is not tired yet, and therefore maybe won’t fuss as much. (Maybe you already do this, but thought I’d throw it out there.)

      • Thanks for the reply Jessica! Ah how I wish that would work! I do try to feed bub when she wakes up as I’m desperately trying to get into the sleep feed play sleep routine but she is way to interested and distractable with everything going on around her (even in a quiet dark room!) that I can’t even get a solid feed into her. She will feed for maybe 5 mins tops:( it’s usually only when she is tired and ready to nap that she will settle into a feed but obviously I’m trying to avoid nursing to sleep.

        The last few days I have been expressing into a bottle again and she seems to be taking it quite well, and at least I can follow her wandering eyes with a bottle! I hate expressing but I know now how much she is getting and its stopping the snacking on the breast. Maybe after awhile of consistent feeding I can maybe even write off feeding as being the route cause of catnapping!

        How often are you feeding your baby? After each catnap or after a couple? K

        I’m holding out for the day mine consolidates her naps – If she ever will!

        • Hi! I think it’s fine that you feed yours before naps. I know people who do that, and it works fine for them. I know they say, “feed, play, sleep,” but not everyone does that. I think if you feed before her naps then you know she’s not waking early out of hunger anyway. I nurse my baby every 2.5-3 hours during the day. That is when he seems to get hungry, and I still just feed him on demand. He is 20 weeks. He will not take a bottle from me. I am not sure if it causes his catnaps or not. Everyone I asked said to still just nurse him on demand. I usually feed him a little while after he wakes up (if he’s hungry, which he usually is). So if he wakes at 7, I might feed him at 7:30 and then maybe goes down for a nap around 8:30/8:45 until 9:00-9:15, then I would feed him again around 10:00. That’s a typical “schedule/routine” for us. I don’t like to feed him too close to sleep time because then I can’t always distinguish between whether he’s hungry or tired, since he’s not on a schedule yet. I also don’t like to feed him immediately after he wakes because I didn’t want him to wake just to eat. It’s been a real struggle for me to get him on a timed schedule because of his short naps. He still takes 30-40 minute naps. I have tried everything to get him to sleep longer, but it’s very rare if it does. He will sleep longer if I hold him, but I can’t do that much, and of course I want him to learn to sleep longer on his own. My sister’s baby took catnaps until she was about 6 months old, and then started sleeping longer on her own. I am really hoping this happens with my little one!!! Good luck! There is no one right way to do things, so whatever works for you is great. I taken me a while to learn that as a first time mom. Also, to give up control about the sleep issues! :)

          • I just wanted to say “YAAAAAAAY!” to Jessica’s comment here.

            100 gold stars for Jessica. Thanks so much for sharing this thoughtful and helpful comment :)

            Also I hate “sleep feed play sleep ” or E.A.S.Y. For a lot of reasons. The idea is that it’s trying to force you not to nurse/feed baby to sleep which in theory is a good thing. But most people are going to quickly fall back on some other thing that will blow up on you (holding baby for all naps, rocking to sleep, etc.) so really you’re just switching one “soothe to sleep” method for another.

            Secondly – it creates the possibility that your baby takes short naps because they wake up hungry. And this is REALLY common! One of my sleep consult peeps had this exact problem. When she switched up feedings (more per day) voila – longer naps happened!

            Especially with newborns you want to be generous with feedings and not worry so much about spacing them out or getting them on a schedule. I know we all love schedules so we can plan our day and have some idea about what will be happening when. But that is not how newborns are wired. It’ll come (generally by 6 months sometimes sooner) but hungry babies sleep poorly so sometimes MORE is more.

            Thanks for chiming in Jessica :)

  77. Hi my LG is 5 month and from being 2 weeks old has only ever napped for 30 mins unless in pram or car but now even they don’t keep her asleep. she has always gone to bed between 8/9 and slept till 7/8 waking once but for the hang last 4 weeks she’s only sleeping till midnight then 3 then 7 she wants feeding but because she doesn’t sleep long in the day i can’t catch up help lol
    thanks in advance

  78. Hello! Thank you so much for this website. We have started putting our 13 week old in his swing around 8pm and he will sleep until 11:30-1ish. However, whenever I put him back in his sleep after feeding him, he either wakes up – like instantly wide awake – or he sleeps for 1.5-2 hours max, after church I just succumb and bring him to our bed where he’ll sleep 3-4 hours. I would love for him to sleep in the swing for the whole night. Any suggestions? Thank you!!

  79. Um that should say “after which”, not “after church”. Sorry it’s 5:25 and I’m on feeding number 3.

  80. Hi Alexis!

    So glad I found your site as I have been researching my plethora of baby sleep problems. You have made me feel better about quite a few things already, like having my son Benjamin fall asleep in his swing. I do have a few questions though:

    How do you figure cluster feeding into all of this? I wonder because in looking at your schedule, he is not getting that much sleep between 6-12:30, and now that I think about it, maybe he is overtired? Benjamin typically cluster feeds from 6ish-12:30. He nurses about every hour during this time, sometimes even sooner, often falling asleep at my breast.We do try to fit a “bedtime” routine in during this, typically consisting of a bath and massage in between one of his clusters.

    When we try to transition him to the bassinet in the pack in play (in our room)anywhere between 11:30-12:30, we try to swaddle him. This works 50/50. What typically happens is:

    a) he is so upset once he realizes what is going on it seems he is impossible to swaddle, breaking out of it
    b) He grunts/groans/other baby sounds for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour, hour and a half, but then finally falls asleep (in the swaddle)
    c) he will cry hysterically. (and I feel strongly against crying it out…it just seems wrong at his age, or at any age)

    Rarely does he ever just…go to sleep.

    Thank you in advance!


  81. Hello
    I have an 8 month old who I’ve really been struggling with regarding sleep. She’s a pretty good night time sleeper but naps are rarely more than an hour. She’ll have phases where they get even worse and we get a lot of 30-45 minute naps. And sometimes you can’t get her to take a nap at all. I’ve tried everything…crying it out, soothing, taking the pacifier away, different wake periods, different schedules. We couldn’t get her to wake up for the first two months of her life and ever since 3 months old …..we can’t get her to sleep!! I’ve always heard that anything under an hour wasn’t really a good nap. Should I just be happy with a 30 minute nap and hope the next one is better? If she naps 30 minutes do I put her down earlier for the next nap or keep her up for a usual duration?
    Thanks so much!!

  82. Thanks so much for this chart, it really clarified some things for me. My daughter is 11 weeks old and cat naps in morning and evening for about 45 minutes but sleeps 3 hours from about 12:30…. She could sleep more, I gently wake her. Is this 3 hour nap too long?

    • Oh I should mention that she generally goes to bed at 8:30 and wakes anywhere between 2:30 and 4 for a feed, back down until 7, although that only started about 10 days ago

  83. How long is too long?? My two month old has been sleeping at night for about 7-9 hours straight at night. I know I should count my blessings for this gift right now because I am sure it will change but is there a point where I should worry. In the mornings she seems generally happy and has anywhere from about 3-4 one hour naps throughout the day, and occasionlly will have a 2-3 hour nap. As with all babies, she is extremely cranky in the evenings.

    Just wondering how long is too long at this young age and should I maybe be seeing my MD re:long sleeping….

  84. Hi. I am really in need of some advice. I have a 21 week old daughter. We are having problems getting her to sleep, and stay asleep. Her current routine is
    6:30 am- Feed. Offered 8ozs, takes between 5-6.
    8am- Tired cues, will nap until around 9-915am
    10am- offered 8ozs, and baby rice flavoured with fruit puree
    Between 10:50-11:15- she will go down for a nap in the cot. She will generally sleep for around 2 hours.
    13:30- offered 8ozs, fidgets a lot (we are using infant gaviscon for reflux)
    We then struggle to get her to nap in the afternoon, even when she shows that she is tired! I try to take her for a walk. She can sometimes nap for around 45mins to an hr.
    16:30- offered 8ozs and a some taster spoonfuls of veg puree.
    Even more of a struggle to get her to cat nap. We use white noise, the hoover etc anything that stops her from either crying or the high pitched screams (like over excitement). Always seems quite unsettled in the evenings.
    19:30-take her up for a bath and bottle. She is offered 8 ozs, but tonight she only took 4.
    Sometimes she falls asleep while having her bottle. I wind her, and then put her down. But by this point, as soon as her head hits the mattress, she wakes up!We have tried letting her cry it out, she escalates so quick into hysteria, and it can take hours to calm her down. For example, tonight, she fell asleep by 8pm, put down, but woke up, and is still awake in her cot now.
    Also, she will not sleep through. She is restless and moans a great deal. Getting her dummy back in can settle her back down.
    I just don’t know what else we can try!!

  85. Ok, so, 8-14 hours per night for a 4 week old? Is that for BF babies or formula fed babies?

  86. Hi my lo is 7 weeks old and will not sleep unless in my arms in the day when she is asleep I will put her down(Moses basket) and she will instantly wake up screaming so for last 2 weeks she has been awake 3/4pm-11/12am by 5/6pm she does not stop crying unless in my arms I know she is tired and i also have a 3 year old so can not hold her all day just wondered if you could advise or help oh and she will go 11/12am feed 12/1 asleep 2/3 feed sleep straightaway 5/6 feed awake until 8/9 feed sleep only in pushchair or carseat feed 11/12 again in carseat untill 2/3/4 awake untill 11/12

    • The answer is MORE soothing. Lots of babies can’t nap in a moses basket or crib. If she likes the carseat then use it (frankly I would lean towards a swing). More soothing – swaddle and white noise whenever she sleeps. Do everything here:

      Part of this is the witching hour so the long window of being awake (admittedly that is REALLY long) is sort of normal for a newborn. But more soothing will help make that shorter and help get you out of the “put down she screams” struggles you’re having at naptime. Good luck!

  87. Alexis,

    I’m desperate! My little girl is a few days shy of 21 weeks old. She is usually a very happy baby. My biggest issue with her is sleep. At around 10 weeks she started sleeping through the night. Going to bed around 11 waking up between 6-8. I would change her, feed her and she would fall back asleep until 9-11. Around 15 weeks she began “teething” ( no teeth have broken through yet) and will not ever sleep through the night. My problem is I can never get her to sleep before 11 pm. I go into her room with a night light on and rock to her calm her down or we keep her in the dim living room with us until she falls asleep. She will wake up around 3-4am wanting a bottle or to be changed. Then fall back asleep until around 6-8. Ill start the process of changing feeding and she’ll fall back asleep until 9-11am. She takes 2-3 naps during the day usually 30 mins to an hour. I feel like I am failing as a mother. I don’t know how or what to do to get her on a better schedule. It seems like this week it’s gotten ten times worse because the “teething” pain seems to be increasing. I need some advice, thank you so much!!!!

  88. I have a 23month old daughter who, I’m afraid is a HORRID sleeper. I have to rock or cuddle her to sleep for naps & bedtime or she won’t go to sleep, no matter how tired she is. I’m not a “cry it out” mom, but we have tried to put her down in her bed when we know she’s tired & she literally cried for more than an hour. I couldn’t stand it anymore & went & got her. (Yes, I checked in on her every 15-25 minutes). I don’t know what to do. Any advice on ways to get her to sleep in her own bed (& go down in her own bed) would be awesome. Oh, & I have a horrible back & the bedrooms are upstairs, carrying a limp toddler to her bed is getting too heavy! Mother at her wits end over here.

    • I need to write a post on big kids because that’s what this is – a big kid problem. She’s almost 2. You’re options are to wait until she’s 3/4 and ready to have a conversation about things. At that point you could get into more “big kid” behavioral modification stuff a la reward charts and things. But I don’t recommend you do that.

      Because when you have a 2-3 year old I no longer see this as a “cry it out” issue – it’s a limit setting issue. What are the bedtime rules? Who sets the bedtime rules? Right now she does (I’m not trying to be mean or unsympathetic but this is really what is happening, right?). She’s basically going to bed when she’s too physically exhausted to stay awake then you carry her to bed aggravating your back. This also sets you up for multiple night wakings because she’s falling asleep in one place and waking up in another.

      So yes this deserves it’s own post and I’m not fully giving you a great plan right here (sorry I have a cranky 3 YO on my lap). But the bottom line is that you should be setting bedtime. And the bedtime rule is that she stay in bed. Give her some options – use your words. “Honey if you can’t sleep you can play with teddy, sing songs, count your toes, etc.” Mommy loves you, I’ll see you in the morning.

      Also her bedtime (when she falls asleep in exhaustion right?) is probably way too late. I would start a bedtime routine where she goes awake IN her bed somewhere close to when she’s ACTUALLY falling asleep now. Get comfortable with the new way (ie Mom in charge vs. toddler in charge). Then begin gradually moving her bedtime up in small increments.

      I hope this is helpful. And I hope you seriously consider what I’m suggesting. This is a pretty key thing that is fundamental to her health as well as your own. It’s also I believe an important thing in your parenting – to feel confident and empowered and in charge.

  89. Hi Alexis,
    Great website, great information!!! I would like your opinion… First, let me tell you that I don’t think I’m sleep deprived…. My son is almost 6 months although he is not sleeping through the night, he gets a good night sleep. I start the routine with a bath, pj at around 5:45pm… by 6:30pm he is having his bottle (6oz of formula) he falls half asleep, I put him in his crib, sometimes he fuzzes for 30 seconds I pat him a little and that’s it. I don’t hear a peep until 11 or 12… again 6oz, and in 15 minutes he is back to sleep… until 4 to 5 when he gets another 6oz, and usually I need to walk him for 5 to 10 minutes and he sleeps for one or two more hours. I am debating whether or not I need to put him awake in his crib so he can soothe himself… he’s always been a good sleeper and never has waken up in the middle of the night unless for a feeding… This is totally working for me, but I wonder if I’m doing wrong by not letting him fall asleep by himself… what could be the consequences later on? I will really appreciate your input…. thank you…. Sandra

  90. Hi. I have a 6 week old boy and the witching hour literally started a couple of nights ago between 5pm-10pm (roughly).

    He already has a healthy appetite (eating around 40oz per day!) – mostly because he only goes 2-3 hours before wanting more food.

    As I am worried of overfeeding (yes I know you supposedly cannot overfeed a baby but I still worry as he put on 2lb in 2 weeks).. I wandered if during the witching hour I should “cluster feed” to see if this perhaps makes him sleep longer after the witching hour?

    Currently I try to hold off as long as I can before shoving a bottle in his gob but it is hard when so miserable during this evening period each day. I rock/play/walk etc for as long as I can.

    Any advice appreciated. Main goal is to have him stretch out his feeds so he is not eating so often but I have no clue how to do this :( He already has 4-5oz each feed so can not offer more (he hasn’t wanted more anyway so far). This would mean longer sleep periods during the night too hopefully?


  91. I have a 4 month old who is completely unpredictable. Falls asleep anytime and wakes up any time. He almost always naps 1.5 hours after waking for 45-90 minutes but it is never the same time and really depends when he wakes. I am a stay at home mom so we do have a pretty steady daily schedule. Any tips for getting some consistency?

  92. I know you are extremely in demand but I really need your help. I feel that I am at a emotional precipice. My lack of sleep because of my daughters sleep issues at night is affecting my marriage and me to such a point that I am losing hope for my life ever being remotely close to normal again.

    After reading your chart I am unsure of what to do. My 5mo little girl is napping well, twice a day. She naps about 2 hrs each time, sometimes longer. Should I be waking her up? I am worried that this sleep is interfering with her night sleep. But due to her being only able to be up for about 2hrs after she awakens from a nap I come to a point in the day after her second nap where I either let her nap at 6pm (this would be the 2 hour mark from her previous nap, where she is getting tired again) or try to keep her awake. This usually means I start her bedtime routine and she is in bed by 7pm.
    I have learnt from my sisters mistake and from the beginning have been working towards putting her down awake (or at least semi awake). I never rocked her all the way to sleep. Her first 12 hour night at 15wks was her last. The next night and each subsequent night was filled with wakeups. She now is waking up at (approx) 10pm 2am and 4am with her wakeup for the day @730ish. I usually feed her at the 4am wakeup and the other two are a tossup as to how i soothe her, either a feed at 10pm or just a soothe with her soother butt taps and a bit of rocking then I put her back down and gently hold her arms on top of her swaddle. I also use a cool mist humidifier for white noise. I have tried to let her cry is out for a bit to see if she puts herself back to sleep but this is a tossup.
    I dont know how to proceed, whether I jump into cio or whether I just jump off a cliff.


    • Tried to seperate her last feed from her bedtime so I fed, then bathed and lotioned then bed. She went down easy enough at 8pm and was up at 10, 11, 1230 and 445 (this is when I fed her). I tried to let her cry a bit to see if she would put herself back to sleep but I ended up having to get up and soothe her by picking her up and rocking her for about 3-5mins then putting her down and gently holding her arms on top of her swaddle.

  93. Hi there,

    My daughter is 3.5 months old and is waking on average 6-8 times per night. She naps 3-4 times during the day but never more than 45 mins and quite often as short as 15-25 mins.

    We have a bedtime routine that includes bath, saying goodnight to the house, stories and boob. Bedtime is falling between 8-9 pm…this has moved from 11-1130 in the past few weeks.

    I am feeding on demand and she is solely breastfed (she won’t take a bottle, nor a pacifier).

    We had a rough start as we did not discover a tongue tie until she was 2 months. Therefore the first 2 months were very difficult as she was constantly hungry and as such she couldn’t settle and sleep was challenging (even more so than now).

    Any advice to help us reduce the number of night time wakings?

    Many thanks!


  94. Hi,

    My son is almost 7 weeks old. In the past 2-3 weeks, he’s started falling into a night time sleeping pattern. The only problem is that he takes his last bottle too early…anywhere between 4-5pm, and then wants to go right to sleep. This means that his longest sleep stretch starts at 6pm and leaves him waking up 2-3 times per night. I’d prefer if I could push this back 1-2 hours so his “last” bottle isn’t so early in the evening. Am I wrong for wanting to push it back? 4pm just seems so early! And when I go back to work, this won’t jive with daycare since he’ll be there until 6 or 7pm at night.

  95. My little one is 7 weeks old an hid sleep patterns are very irregular. Ours like sometimes he sleeps a lot an sometimes he don’t and the opposite. It worried me more when he’s sees more. Out is something i should worry over?

  96. My little lady. Is 2 weeks today and she will not sleep in anything at night. Only on my chest or my hubby’s’s really hard as I know it’s not the safest way to sleep. But we have tried the rock & play, car seat, her mamaroo, it’s called the snuggle nest. The nap nanny & nothing.. Do you recommend anything that they like to sleep in at night. She will however sleep in all of these during the day.. I’m just at a losss & need some help.

    Thank you!

  97. Hi!

    I have a 5.5 month old and she currently sleeps A LOT. By a lot I mean, two 2-3 hour naps, and one 1 hour nap? Sometimes she will even take a 4 hour nap. People say I’m lucky but she only sleeps through the night (11 hours) every once in awhile. She lately (not including the growth spurt she is in right now which is making her wake up every 4 hours to eat) has been waking up after 7 hours at night and wanting to eat. I thought by this age she should be able to sleep longer than that without eating. I am correct with this? She typically goes back to bed pretty quickly and then I wake her up at 6 for daycare or she may get up on her own around 5:30. This is her schedule as of now:
    Up at 5:45 or 6 am (we work early)
    Asleep at daycare by 7:30 and sleeps for 2-3 hours
    Takes another 2 hour nap or more in the afternoon and up by 2:45
    Sleepy 2 hours later and have to put her down for another nap for another hour around 4:30 or 4:45 (sometimes I have to wake her up)
    Asleep by 6:45
    Wake up around 2 or so to nurse

    Is she sleeping too much? Is this why she’s waking up around 2? Sometimes she wakes up earlier (around 1) and she’s becoming a little bit more difficult to put back down (takes about 10 minutes to get her back down)

    What age should she be sleeping less than 17 hours a day?

    I have heard not to wake a sleeping baby but I get scared that she is sleeping too much during the day. I’m also wondering when she can stay up past the 2 hour mark without getting overtired! She rubs her eyes even before she’s been up 2 hours. Let me know what you think!

  98. Alexis,

    We have a daughter who turns 6 months old tomorrow. She has been enrolled at a Development Center (daycare) for about three months now. When she first started there, she would take a few naps throughout the day, anywhere between 30-60 minutes in length, occasionally longer. She has a white noise machine and a sleep sac that we had her teachers use to swaddle her arms. Over the past month though, she began to roll over so her teachers would no longer swaddle her arms. This has led to her naps being almost non-existent. Over the course of an 8 hour day at the center, she has had recent days with as little as 20 minutes sleep the whole day. When we pick her up, she immediately goes to sleep in the car and then sleeps for a good 3 hours when she gets home. Her teachers are working with us, but she just isn’t sleeping and we’re pretty sure it has to do with the swaddling. When we bring her home, we do swaddle her arms, but we have a video monitor that we have on to keep an eye on her. When swaddled, she naps great. She sleeps great through the night, without having her arms swaddled, which we think is due to her being tired and not having anything to look at because her room is dark. We’re somewhat concerned about her sleep at daycare because on the weekends, she takes about three naps per day (morning, afternoon, and early evening), but she just isn’t getting that sleep during the day on weekdays. Do you have any thoughts you can share with us?


    • Hi Jason,

      It might be worth looking at this post –

      I think Alexis recommends strapping them into a fully reclined swing swaddled so that they can’t flip (you have to watch the video for that bit).

      Also, it might be worth looking at the Zipadee zip or the Merlin sleep suit?

      We use a Zippy and I have NO idea why it works, but it does so I’m not complaining!!

      Sounds like she is a great sleeper over all – she should come and have a chat with my baby πŸ˜‰


    • Hi Jason,

      I just posted but it didn’t seem to come up…

      Have you read this post?

      If you watch the video then I think Alexis recommends strapping baby in swaddled into fully reclined swing so she cannot flip over.

      Also, you could have a look at the Zipadee Zip or Merlin Magic Sleepsuit (if you google them). We have the Zippy and I have no idea why it works but it does for my swaddle lover!!

      Congrats on what sounds like a great sleeper overall, she can have a chat with my son πŸ˜‰


  99. Help! My 5week old has such trouble sleeping, he has not slept well since birth (usual average 8 – 10 hours in 24) We have tried everything, rocking, different beds, different rooms, routines, swaddling, pacifier, sleeping with us, on us, without us…

    He sleeps reasonably at night ( 2- 3 hrs between feeds) but takes a long time to settle and is noisy and rarely sems to get to deep, relaxed sleep.

    During the day he doesn’t sleep much, likes to be on his own looking at the ceiling and enjoys a bath and change mat… but then he cries when moved. We are not over stimulating him i don’t think – he doesn’t have toys, he has a bit of ‘me time’ until he shows signs of tiredness which is often then into bed where he screams or lies awake, or sleeps for 10 mins only.

    The car seat works whilst moving then he’s awake, the sling often works, again only when moving.

    I know he is over tired, he has little bags under his tiny eyes and his sleep is so noisy and disturbed i don’t sleep at all…

    What can i do to help him?

    • Rach, sorry you’re having a rough time! Just thought I’d comment to give you some encouragement to stick with it. Just because swaddling/white noise/swing/etc didn’t work instantly doesn’t mean it won’t help! Babies that age don’t know what the heck is going on so they’re relying on you to set the routines and help them fall asleep. Decide what soothing/sleep aids you’re going to use and be super consistent. An overtired baby is going to take a bit longer to get on board but I think with consistency you’ll see improvement. And I’m guessing Alexis would call ‘motion junkie’ on your babe and tell you to get a swing ASAP! Best of luck!

  100. Hi there,
    I just have a quick question: my little boy is almost 9 months old. He normally (ie when not teething of not ill) wakes up at 6:00-6:30 (at best 7am but rarely!) Is this normal? He’s normally asleep between 7:00-7:30. He usually doesn’t wake up through the night. Is there any way of getting a later wake up? Or do I just have to realise I’ve got can early bird & be thankful he sleeps as well as he does?! I’m hoping his daytime naps if 45-60 mins (2 naps) is ok too.
    Thank in advance :)
    Rosie x

  101. my daughter is a week old and sleeps for 5 or more hours without eating during the day but is up every 2 to 3 hours to eat at night…do i wake her up to eat and if so how do i keep her awake?

    • Ooof – who do you complain to you when your OWN SITE eats your comment? Grrrr….

      Anyhoo Terr – listen this is totally normal. Day nights are messed up at first. You can break your back trying to “fix” this or just accept that this is the first few weeks of life with a newborn. I would..

      – accept it
      – keep lights bright during the day and dark at night
      – try to encourage night sleep (tons of soothing)
      – try not to let her sleep for 5+ hours during the day if you can (if she’s absolutely not interested in eating and only wants to sleep so bet it)
      – Have faith that this is temporary

      The first 6 weeks with a newborn can be rough. It gets better :)

      • Hi Alexis, my 9-week-old little man is a pretty good sleeper, mostly only wakes once a night, sometimes twice. But we certainly have trouble getting him to sleep during the “witching hour”.

        I try to have him in bed by 7:30pm but often he doesn’t get to sleep until 10-11pm. My question is that if we make his bedtime later, do I just give up on the early bedtime? And won’t he get over tired if we keep him up? When should his last nap be? At the moment he has a 45 min nap between 5 and 6pm.


  102. Hii,
    My baby sleep for 30 min and wakes up upset and rubs her eyes and has trouble falling back asleep. I assume she is rubbing her eyes because she is tired. We go through this all day. She is almost 3 months.

    When she wakes up she doesnt seem too interested in playing. But the time it takes for her to fall back asleep is 30 min give or take no including the time it takes to breastfeed her…which she usually insists on before falling back asleep. Any suggestions? Thanks

    • Hi Maya,

      Sounds like you have a catnapper, like my little one. Here’s the link to short naps:

      My little one is 18 weeks old and her naps started off at 15-25 minutes at 10 weeks (she was held for naps in the first 8 weeks) and have now extended to an hour on some days. She’s usually very tired after a 30 minute nap, so I rock and shush her back to sleep to extend her naps. I have to rock and shush her about 20-30 minutes though or she’d wake up after I put her down.

  103. Hi Alexis

    First and foremost, thank you for this site…. We’ve had many rough nights and this has helped so much. I was guilty like so many others if keeping my baby up too long during the days which made for a week of awful cry-filled nights with hardly any sleep for anyone. We have made adjustments and no more crying at night and more sleeping for my 9 week old! However, she takes two long naps to start the day (between 2 1/2-4 hrs each) and sleeps 30min-1hr at a time at night when We first out her down at 9pm until about ) 2-3am. I nurse her to out her back down each time which works fine but it is a constant up and fun. Preferable to how it was I admit, but is there a good way to get her to consolidate her sleep in The evenings? Is she sleeping too long in the early mornings and would you recommend that I wake her after she has slept for two hours during the day?

    Thanks so much!


    • I’m wondering the same thing! My 9 week old will take a short morning nap and then will sleep over 3 hours (probably longer if I let him) in the middle of the day with another 2 hour nap early afternoon. He goes down fine around 9 but wakes up around 2 bright eyed and refuses to go back to sleep until at least 3:45. Nursing, rocking, crying, nothing seems to work. Inevitably he ends up in our bed. Should I shorten his middle of the day nap? What is the max I should let him sleep during the day so he will sleep through the night?

    • If I look at all the comments here I think there are two separate issues going on (in all the comments).

      1. Inability to fall asleep and STAY asleep. Generally this is common for newborns and the answer is – MORE SOOTHING. Baby is demanding more soothing with 30 minute nursing sessions. Works great for baby, not so much for you. The answer is to give other forms of soothing – swaddle and white noise to start. See where that gets you. Maybe baby would benefit from sleeping in a swing for the early part of the night. Experiment a little, see what works.

      2. Sleep all day – party all night. The traditional advice to this is to keep baby awake during the day. This almost never fixes anything although it does leave you with a tired cranky baby during the day. Basically this is an issue of development, circadian rhythm, and what they’re used to. The short answer is to keep the lights and activity LOW when baby is up at night. Keep the lights and activity HIGH when baby is up during the day. Keep trying to shorten the night window. Don’t let baby get overtired during the day (more on this below). And don’t fret overly much about waking baby during the day.

      There is an occasional caveat to this – if baby sleeps so much they don’t get enough opportunities to eat. But a 2-3 hour nap for a newborn is unlikely to be causing major problems.

      If your baby takes a 2 hour nap early afternoon and then is awake till 9 PM I’m assuming this means he’s awake from say 2 PM – 9 PM. Sometimes there is nothing you can do about this but that’s a HUGE chunk of time. A 7 hour window is an eternity for a newborn. I’m thinking you need to either squeeze another nap in there or push bedtime up. This may immediately help improve your night party issues.

      If nothing else, have faith that the night party is temporary, if exhausting, and babies DO outgrow this!

  104. Sleepless in San Francisco

    We have a 9-10 month old who sleeps from 11PM-2AM and 3AM-8AM with one 45 min nap during the day. We actually feel lucky when she sleeps this much as last night she only slept for 5-6 hours. The doctor said she’s perfectly normal that babies regulate their own sleep habits and we have nothing to worry about. Its true that she has abundance of energy and is always happy and bubbly so the sleep is our only problem!

  105. I am so grateful for this site! I am a zombie these days, mixed in with a crying blubbering mess! :) I am reading everything you have to offer, and will see if I am ready for CIO. I’m not quite convinced it will work (to be honest). But I am beginning to not be able to finish a sentence because my brain simply cannot make the words come out! :( Anyhow, I am devouring your site and will hopefully have wonderful things to share once I make the right decision for me. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge!

  106. I can’t seem to get a clear answer to my unusual problem. Whilst everyone is all ‘uuughghh how do I get better naps out of my baby’ I’m over here going ‘how much napping is too much?’ I’m working with a sleep coach who advises not to wake my baby unless it’s been five hours since a feed, but that results in two three hour naps and then I’m told I should try to fit in the ever important evening catnap. That’s like 6.5 hours of day sleep! Which would be fine if night time sleep isn’t getting worse every night – last night she was in her cot for 13 hours, six spent asleep and seven spent crying/fussing. She did two 2-hour stints after a feed but otherwise it’s 40 minutes and bawling. So I feel awful that she is getting so little sleep at night and let her sleep as much as she likes during the day – but am I just stuck in a vicious cycle? It would break my heart to wake he from her naps after a rough night, but would it help to balance the day and night sleep?

  107. Hi Alexis,

    I LOVE your website, especially this post about awake times for babies. I was curious if you could offer some more input for our son, who is almost five months old.

    We’ve been trying to establish a nap routine for him. For all of his 5 months of life thus far, he’s been a terrible napper. On the other hand, he’s gotten much better about nighttime sleep (11 hours per night, out by 7pm). One day he’s nap for two hours in the morning, the next only 30 minutes. Same for afternoons. Well, after reading this post, I decided to start putting him down regularly for naps about every two hours (which is what the chart suggests for a baby his age). I started a pre-nap routine as well, involving a short story and some lullabies.

    After implementing this, it worked GREAT!!! …… For a week and a half. During that time, we was able to fall asleep on his own without fussing within five minutes of putting him down. Now the naps would vary in length, but generally the long one was in the morning followed by two catnatps.

    Now, however, he totally fights me during naps. I am still implementing the same pre-nap routine, and still respecting his awake times. Yet for some reason, when I put him into his crib, he starts fussing and crying right away. After I leave the room, the cries intensify and almost sound angry! After 20 minutes of crying, he’ll finally fall asleep for a grand total of 30 minutes.

    I’ve watched him nap before, and I know he doesn’t have transition problems mid-sleep. He is fully capable of going back into deep sleep from light (because I’ve watched it!). When he wakes from these short naps, he is calm, quiet and alert.

    Any thoughts??? I KNOW he is not getting enough sleep with only 1 1/2 hours of TOTAL napping during the day! And it’s driving me and my husband crazy!


    • Exact same problem I was having at the exact same age of my child! I heard of an album on itunes called happiest baby white noise. Now I play the hairdryer track before every nap or bedtime and no more histerical crying! He is sleeping better than ever now! So glad I dowloaded it!!!!

  108. Hello,

    My daughter is almost 3 months and sleeps for less than an hour about say 6 times a day she normally goes to sleep between 8 and 10pm in the evenings and then sleeps for 3-6 hours then starts waking every 2 hour drinking a bit-either breast or bottle, she sometimes wants one above the other. We co-sleep at the moment but I am hoping to get her in her crib when she establishes a consistent routine. I normally leave her to sleep and feed when she wants to as I am a stay at home mom! Left my job to take care of her so am litterly at home to please her :)

  109. My daughter is coming up on seven months and I think she weighs about 12 and a half pounds. She seems to fall into the normal range according to this chart, but I’ve also read that she should be starting to sleep longer periods at night. She is still waking up every hour or two to nurse! Please tell me this will end soon. Is there something I can do to help it end soon (that won’t be bad for my child)?

    Also, we have a bit of trouble keeping her asleep because she tends to kick herself awake. We swaddle her, of course, but that mostly addresses the arms… and I know you’re not supposed to swaddle the legs in a straightened position lest it cause hip dysplasia. I’ve been trying to sort of swaddle her legs loosely into a frog-like fetal-ish position. Is this a viable solution? It’s not SUPER effective- is there something better you could suggest? And again, if you could tell me this will end soon that would rock.

    Thanks so much!

  110. my 10 days old takes only small naps and then long ups. he takes maximum 2 hr sleep, but mostly it is less than half an hour. but then stays up about 1-3 hrs. nothing seems to work. no rest to mom and me. pls help

  111. Hi!
    I just wanted to take the time to let you know how much I love you as a mom and as a human being. Your blog has helped me through so much I cannot begin to tell you. My LO(first one) is now 5 months and since week 5 she has been sleeping through the night because of your posts. She even falls as sleep on her own because I read the article and I just tried to put her down awake (I had to rock her ot bed for 45 minutes before that) and see what happened and she talked for like 25 minutes and then silence… FOR THE WHOLE NIGHT. She never slept in my room (personal belief, she was in the crib first night) so some of the article did not apply to me but nonetheless it reaffirmed my beliefs when at the 3-6 months section you say to work towards that. I felt empowered that we were already there.

    All the information we need to have a full night of sleep is here and sometimes I found myself crying at the posts and comments because out of a sudden, the world wasn’t so lonely at 2 am.

    lately my LO has been waking up at 2 am and then at 5 am but she just wants her soother and I also know she is teething so reading the article sleep deprivation I realize if I do this for more than 2-3 weeks then I am falling into a trap and I should stop lol plus she will be old enough to let her ”cry” although she doesn’t she just chats lol

    So anyways thank you so very much for taking the time to write your blog.


  112. Between 6wks – 3mnths are babies supposed to be getting 8 – 13 hrs of uninterrupted sleep at night?

  113. Hi Alexis!
    I love your blog I could never get enough. Right now I feel like we get something good going and then after a few days some switch goes off and she goes nuts. I can’t get her to sleep. Whether I keep her up 45 min 1 hour … Nothing. My LO is 8 weeks tomorrow so maybe we were just getting over the 6 week peak … Today she’s been napping so well! Now do I ever wake my baby up … My ped said he wouldn’t unless she had gone 5 hours without a feeding. Well lets just say she never goes that long. I use a swing with the vibration turned on. Double wammy right? Good luck weaning off both? Is this normal? She’s still tiny so I’m not too concerned about the weaning. BUT my ped pretty much made me feel like a failure and said everything I was doing needed to stop or it was gonna be that much harder :( her swing isn’t on full speed were on a 3!! :) she won’t sleep if she’s not moving unless she’s on her tummy. So I much rather prefer she sleeps swaddled in her swing … I don’t use white noise at night. And she wakes once or twice depending on what her bed time was. Do you believe in a dream feed?? Any tips or tricks to add?

  114. Hi! I am concerned …my baby girl is 3 months old. She sleeps great at night, she is in her own bed, goes to sleep around 8:30 and wakes up around 8:00 am. Nights are wonderful most of the time! My concern is naps. My baby girl refuses to nap unless she is either held or is on a car ride. I just don’t know what to do …she gets extremely cranky so I rock her to sleep but the second I lay her down she wakes up screaming! I try everything to calm her down then lay her back down but she does the same thing over and over! What should I do? I am conpletely out of ideas.

    • Sounds like your baby likes motion. Have you tried having her nap in a baby swing? It will allow you to put her down awake (or drowsy) and then she might stay asleep. You can keep doing what you are already doing for night since that is working so well.

      • Thank you for the suggestion …I have tried the swing …she’ll sleep for about 10 minutes in it before starting to cry. Is it possible that she doesn’t need good naps during the day because she sleeps so long at night? If that is the case though I don’t understand why she is so cranky.

        • Maybe she just needs more soothing for naps. Are you using white noise, swaddling and a pacifier? You might need the full arsenal until she gets used to not being held.

  115. Alexis,

    Is this sleep chart up to date? I know Ferber revised his book so I was curious.

    Also, an 8-10pm bedtime is appropriate for a 6 month old? Lots of different sites say 7pm is a good bed time for baby. Should I make it later? We’ve been doing CIO for almost a week with big improvements! The problem is he wakes up anywhere from 430-530 for the day! He seems tired but also very awake and won’t go to sleep until an hour to two has passed. Any thoughts? Right now my baby goes to sleep around 7:45. I was toying with the idea of doing an earlier bed time, because he’s usually extremely tired by then! Or should I be making his bed time later? Again, thoughts?

    Thank you!

    • Yes – the sleep chart is up to date.

      Early bedtime is better if you can swing it but sometimes younger babies aren’t ready for that. Why? Because lots of babies are taking late afternoon/early evening naps which pushes bedtime back. However the general rule is that you want to have bedtime as early as possible (within reason) so if your baby is ready to go to bed earlier then go for it!

      • Hi Alexis,

        Hope you do get time to reply. My 9 week old baby sleeps during the day. only wakes up for feed and bath time and gets back to sleep again. he wakes up around 4 pm to play and this goes on until 9 pm. Obviously feeds and naps in between. But when comes 11 pm and we want to settle down and feed him and make him sleep. He wont. It takes us 1.5 hrs to make him fall asleep and then he wakes up again at 2 or 3 am for his feed. After this feed he usually sleeps for 4-5 hrs at a stretch and feeds again at around 7-8 am and goes back to sleep again for 2 hours. I need to reduce his day time sleeping so that he can sleep peacefully during the night. But its not helping. What can we do?

  116. This is the most helpful web page that I’ve *ever* found on the internet.

  117. hi Alexis,
    First off, I love you site. I find it to be funny, resourceful, and encouraging all at once. When you are so very tired, this is an excellent combo! I was wondering if you could help me with a specific situation with my baby’s sleep. My daughter is 20 weeks old, exclusively BF on demand. From 5 weeks, she slept 5-6 hour stretches at night in the Rock N Play. She had slight GERD and after eliminating dairy from my diet it seemed to subside. By 8 weeks we were getting 8 hour stretches! It was glorious. Having 2 older children, I knew there would be regressions, but thought we were headed in the right direction! We switched her from RNP to a flat surface in PNP next to our bed at 3.5 months (she had several tough nights but then resumed a ‘somewhat’ decent sleep pattern of 4-5 hr stretches). Due to her waking because of anything (husband snoring, a fart, you name it) we thought it best to move her to her own room. This occurred last week (19 weeks) and she gave us several good nights 7p – 2a, 2a – 6a, but the past 2 nights have been AWFUL. She should be through the 4 month sleep regression, correct? She takes a pacifier to sleep and is always placed in bed ‘awake’ never rocked or nursed to sleep. We try to do an Awake, Feed, Sleep schedule but are not supper rigid, if she needs a recreational nursing before a sleep I give it. I’m Afraid the pacifier is now an addiction and needed to get thru sleep cycles :( she also wears the Zippee sleep sack and can’t access hands (has been showing signs of thumb sucking past week during the day). Is she frustrated she can’t get to her thumbs to suck on? I am at the end of my frayed rope – I have a 5yr old and 3 yr old to care of as well as a husband and they all need me! I need them and I’ve been a big B because of lack of sleep, going on 6 weeks now. I feel like we’re headed to the land of Sleep Traning/CIO but I don’t know if I’m strong enough to endure it :( please help!!

  118. Hi Alexis,

    I am currently transitioning my 13 month old girl to one nap a day as she has been struggling to go down for her 2 naps and doesn’t want to sleep more than 30-45 mins. Consequently, she has started to sometimes only sleep 9-10 hrs at night instead of her usual 11. I’m wondering about the sleep chart though; it says that the time in between should be ~3 hrs. Is that for 2 nap days as opposed to 1? Also, if she is getting 12-13 hrs of total sleep with just 1 nap and seems to be ok with the 5+ hrs in between, BUUUT naps for less than 2 hrs, is this still ok? Thanks so much!!

    • This sounds really close to my daughter who is 14 months, she sleeps about 12-12.5 hours at night then takes a morning nap of about 50-1.5 hours( really random) so she never wants to take an afternoon nap. she is rubbing her eyes and yawning but won’t go down for anything. She seems happy all day! I just put her down at 6 pm, which sucks cause she can’t see daddy all that much. But she seems happy, but I could really use that afternoon nap to happen! If you figure anything out let me know!

      • What time does she wake up and what time is her morning nap? When I researched nap transitions, I learned that many parents had to slowly push back the time of the first nap until the second nap became obsolete. I was lucky that I was able to just move it from 10am to 12pm without much more than some eye rubbing, and then I stretched it to 1pm. Maybe a later nap time will let you have a later bedtime?? Her schedule is: wake up 7-8am, nap at 1pm (usually 1.5-2hrs), bedtime 8pm. Hope that helps!

  119. Hi Alexis,
    I am a new mum of a 7 week newborn and I have been recently reading your blog, which I find awesome, so much useful information and written in a very witty way, an extra bonus when you are stressed and sleep deprived!
    I noticed around the second-third week that my little one doesn’t sleep that much particularly during the day and that he needs lots of comforting to fall asleep. He was also crying and fussing a lot which peaked a week ago and everyone was telling me that he was colicky. Following my paediatrician’s advice I recently started drinking lots of herbal tea, a mix of fennel, aniseed, linden and chamomile and along with swaddling and some white noise (after your strong suggestions) my baby has calmed so much, he sleeps longer at night and naps better, not to mention how much calmer I am! I wanted to share this with you and your readers in case other mums find it beneficial too. If you have come across any info or have any advice on herbs and their effect on babies, please share them with us.
    Now, I do find it very challenging to put my baby to sleep. I have tried the put him down awake and it rarely works. I know we should not worry too much about it as he is only a newborn but I always feel as if I am sneaking up on him as I lull him to sleep in my arms and he founds himself woken up in his crib! What I try to do at least is to break the nursing to sleep association, as from what I read it gets worse along the way. This is difficult too as many times I can’t tell the difference between him being awake or asleep! He may suck with his eyes half closed and while I think he is drowsy he is in fact asleep! I read somewhere that many parents ask this question to you, so any ideas to make this easier are more than welcome.
    Thank so much for all the useful advice and for making me feel I am not alone in this, although you write from cold Vermont and I read from warm Athens (Greece).
    All the best,

    • Hi Thomai,

      Thank you for your kind comment :)

      Yes breaking out of the nurse to sleep habit is rough and definitely worth of a more detailed post. But the general the idea for you would be to try to feed before baby is going to be ready to sleep again. So if your 7 month old can only be awake ~1 hour before she’ll be sleepy again, try to nurse her no later than ~30 minutes after she woke up. So you guys nurse for 15 minutes and then you change diaper, sing a song, and then see if you can gently coax her to sleep without nursing.

      These things don’t happen overnight so it’s like a new skill you practice at here and there. Don’t let the pressure overwhelm you. But keep chipping away at it.

      And enjoy your warm sun :)

  120. I know all kids are different, but what if your baby just refuses to nap? My 14 month old sleeps about 12.5 hours at night ( brilliant) and she will if I am lucky take a 1 nap in the morning after we drop her brother at pre school. But then aft that, no naps will be had. I see her rubbing her eyes, and yawning but even driving around the car won’t help her nap. I have tried letting her cry for an h our in her crib, I have tried just moving it later, earlier, everything. Even though she shows signs of being tired, she never acts cranky, she is always playing and smiling and laughing. She goes to bed at 6:15 because I don’t feel she can stay up any longer, which make her not get to see daddy very long. Any suggestions? I’d love for her to have an afternoon nap. Today she only napped 50 mini the am, I spent the rest of the day trying to g her down again.. It only makes me and her frustrated. My poor three year old gets no alone time. With me because she won’t go down once he is home from school. Any help or ideas would be great!!

  121. I have a 16 month old who has been an amazing sleeper since he was 8 months old. I recently took a trip to Florida for a month this summer (Eastern time zone) and since we got back home (Central time zone) he has been waking up around 5am. I can’t tell if he is just still on the other time zone or if something else might be wrong. He was waking around 6:30 while we were there and playing happily in his crib until 7, when he would start to fuss and wake me up. Now he wakes up grumpy at 5! I’ve been putting him to bed around 6 instead of 7 to try to adjust him, but I’m wondering if maybe I should shift him to a temporary 5pm bedtime and slowly adjust from there? Thoughts?

  122. Thank you, thank you for this post (and for all the rest…but particularly this one). Now if I only I could get my mother in law to read it the next time she comes round and coos at her granddaughter whilst I’m trying to put her down for a nap; telling me ‘don’t worry, babies don’t get overtired, they just fall asleep when they need too…’ Ahem

  123. My baby is 20 days old and sleeps continiously for 9 hours during day time….will there be any problem

  124. Hi Alexis,

    You might say that I have the sleeping baby that everyone wishes for. He’s slept through the night (8 hrs) since he was two weeks old. Somehow I lucked out. Now he’s 4 months and he sleeps from 9pm-8am (he’s has a 10 minute wakeful nursing period around 6/7am but goes back to sleep), and his napping habits are needing to change (his recent fussy habits are telling me so) but I can’t figure it out and could use some help.

    He sleeps at night in his crib, but he naps in his swing. If I try to get him to nap in his crib, he sleeps 30 minutes tops, but his swing will give him 1 – 3 hrs of nap time depending on the time of day. Right now his naps are around 2 hrs apart. Up until a week ago, he used to do a 1 hr nap around 10am, 1 hr nap at 1pm, and a 3 hr nap from 3-6. Lately though he’s dropped the 1pm naptime and he’ been napping from 2 – 5 pm. with a 4 hr awake period in the evening that simply makes him overtired and cranky. We’ve tried giving him a nap at 6:30, 7, and just putting him to be early at 8pm. Nothing seems to work and the 2 naps just aren’t cutting it. Am I missing something?

  125. My 4 week old cries sometimes during the day but lately its been more at night. I should say scream. She just seems never happy. She will cry from 40 mins to and hour and a half! Is she overly tired or is there something wrong?

    • I don’t know. Probably not though. Most babies are really just fine. About 2% have reflux and about 5% are intolerant to milk protein. So there is a 95% chance that you just have a newborns and newborns cry a ton and need SCADS of soothing.

      So my general advice is – more soothing.

      Also the witching hours (which is when your baby is crying and being miserable) can last 1-6 hours!!! So there is nothing patently unusual about a 1 month old baby who cries for an hour at a time. It’s exhausting. Ask for help. Get out of the house.

      And know that it won’t last forever.

  126. According to your chart, shouldn’t the range for a 3-6 month old be 12-18 hours of sleep, if baby sleeps 12 hours and has 3 2-hour naps? My son is 3 mos., 1 week and he sleeps 12 hours a night, with a varying nap schedule. I would say he’s only awake, though, for anywhere from 6-8 hours a day, probably closer to 8 most days. Is this normal, or is he oversleeping? When he is awake, he’s alert, achieving his “milestones,” and is growing at a normal rate.

  127. I just switched my 14.5 month old at 14 months to 1 nap a day after much protesting. She is an early riser so she only really gets to 11:30am before passing out. A lot of people told me that once she went to 1 nap it would be the length of the two naps combined which was about 2.5-3 hours. It has gone from her one nap being the same length as her typical AM nap 1 hour 45 minutes to now it is become just 45 minutes. I have left her in her crib to for about 15 and even 20 minutes to see if she would go back to sleep but have had no luck. And her nightime sleep hasn’t gotten longer and in frequently she wakes even earlier. She averages about 10-11 hours a night (7pm-5-5:45am) I fear she isn’t getting enough sleep. She drags in the morning and is literally passing out by 11:30am. I’ve put her down at 11 a few times b/c she couldn’t stay awake but that results in a definite 45 minute nap. HELP!!

  128. My daughter is almost 3 months (6 days) and she can barely be up for an hour. Her eyes get red and yawning begins sometimes as early as thirty to forty five minutes after getting up. Her naps are almost always 20-40 minutes long. Is there a way to help progress to her being up longer between naps?

  129. My now five month old (just turned today) has definitely been battling the four month regression for the past four or five weeks. He wakes and nurses every single hour. This week we have had three days where he woke and ate every two hours. He goes to bed around 9. Normally regardless he wakes up for the day between 8:30/9. The last two days however it’s been 10 then he’s up for an hour, nurses and goes back to sleep for an hour. Is this a growth spurt? What the heck do you think is going on? Lol

  130. My son is 7 weeks old. He sleeps well at night in his bassinet. Usually 9-10 hours with 1 wake up feed sometimes 2. I can’t get him to nap during the day unless he is laying on me. I am breastfeeding and we do a lot of comfort nursing. I haven’t tried a pacifier on him. Do you think he would benefit from a pacifier so he will nap on his own during the day. Since my husband went back to work all I do is camp out on the couch with him all day because he doesn’t want me to put him down. I really don’t mind holding and nursing him all day but I have to go back to work in a few weeks and I’d like to get him on some kind of nap schedule for the sitter.

  131. My son is coming up a year. Some nights aren’t too bad and he’s up a couple times but goes back down in 5-10 minutes. Other nights, he wakes and is up for 1 to 2 hours or more. On these nights, nothing’s in particular seems wrong, he’s mostly quiet in your arms but he won’t be put down. We are at a loss on these nights. Any thoughts on what’s keeping him awake on these long nights? They tend to come together, like we will get a few of the long waking nights in a row then things will go back to being ok. I am still in the process of weaning him off the breast and he only gets a bed time feed and a morning feed (anytime after 5am is considered his morning feed) with occasional night feeds. The night feeds have been gradually reduced over the last few weeks and we are at the point now where on the good nights he doesn’t get any and sometimes on a bad night he doesn’t get a feed either. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
    From, A mom in desperate need of sleep

  132. Hi Alexis,
    I’ve sought your help before, for my now 11 month old who has fought sleep since that first night he was born. We are working on getting him to sleep through the night, with not a lot of success. THe other thing though that’s currently REALLY killing me is that he refuses to nap. I mean, refuses. I have tried him on a schedule, I have tried just following his “cues”. He sometimes will sleep in the car, but frankly, I don’t want him to. I really need him to sleep in his crib. And I’m willing to rearrange my life around it if it will happen! (with the exception of stuff we have to do for big sister.) I have read Weissbluth’s book and have let him cry at naps for an hour – NUMEROUS times. doesn’t seem to make a difference at all except that it frays my nerves even more to hear him cry. There are loads of days we get through with a 15 minute nap. Total. He goes to bed at 6 b/c he can’t stay up any longer. And with 2-3 night wakings, he’s then up for the day anywhere between 5-6 (at the moment.) He is breastfed, but eats tons of solids of course. Is there anything I can do to get this baby to nap??? I am not trying to sound as desperate as I am, but realize I’m kinda failing at that too….Thank you!!!!

  133. I need help Alexis!
    1st, I love your site.
    My baby just turned 3 months old. she is only napping a total of 30 min – 2 hours a day, usually in about 15-30 min intervals
    She fights naps so hard and I know she is overly tired. Any tips on getting her to sleep? We have white noise, car ride, stroller rides, swaddled, swing…..she just squirms with her eyes shut till she opens them again.
    At night we do a bath, bottle, book(or sing) routine while being rocked in a dimly lit room. I thought it would be a recipe for sleep but no.
    Finally we lay her down in her pack n play with a soothing baby app playing on my iPad. She might fall asleep for 30 min- 1 hour and then squirms with her eyes shut until she wakes up.
    The only way I have been able to get her to sleep is on my chest, her laying on her tummy. Then we both usually fall asleep (bad I know )
    Lately she has even been squirming on my chest thru the night.
    She does have acid reflux but is on meds for that and since she hasn’t been spitting up like she use to, I thought it was under control.
    I’ve called her dr and spoken to the nurse who doesn’t seem to have answers…. Any suggestions are welcome! I will read any book and try anything safe that May help.
    Also, not swaddling anymore because she squirms until the wrap is around her face, which freaked me out.
    Thanks for reading….

    • PS
      I’m considering feeding her formula for two weeks ( while pumping to keep my supply up) to see if it’s my milk. If it is, I’m going to go off dairy….
      That’s our sleep deprived plan so far

  134. My baby is now 12 months old. Afternoon nap is close to impossible these days. Tried tweaking her morning nap as suggested by the Sleep Book Guy (whose name I can never remember) in order to get pm nap back. Not too successful. I realize she is on the young side for the Nap Transition. What do you suggest?

  135. My Girl Baby is two years old and she is not sleeping in the night. But we are able to see the sleep in her eyes. Not know what to do. Really we are suffering a lot. please suggest some methods

  136. I have a 4 week old son that is sleeping anywheres from 2-2.5hrs per nap about 2 good naps per day and then maybe getting 1.5 hour for the last nap. It seems like all he is doing is napping and I want to make sure that this will not hinder his night sleep. I am starting to notice that he is taking longer to go down to bed at night and I wonder if this is because of his long naps during the day or if we are starting the witching hour stuff? the only issue is that he wakes up at 5 or 5:30pm takes his bottle then we shoot for a 7:30 bottle and hopefully a 8 bedtime but its usually 8:30 sometimes. lately he’s been extending til 9pm. from 5-9 doesn’t that seem like too long to be awake at night or is this normal for his age? he also will go down peacefully and happy for some of his naps then his later naps he will fall asleep then wake up immediately and fuss and fuss and i can’t get him to sleep on me for more than 10 minutes so sleeping on me isn’t an option, he abhors the swing and i have tried it soo so so so many times (he really does prefer his bassinet) i try to get his wake time correct especially for the morning naps and he’s been doing well with it but then seems so alert and unwilling to sleep for later in afternoon nap around 3 or 4. how early in the day does the witching hour begin? he is swaddled, white noise, everything needed to help he just fights me and I’m worried its because he has already had 5 good hours of sleep in those first two naps.

  137. Hi!
    I have a 13 month old who wakes up at 10am,goes for a nap around 1-2pm..sleeps for about 45mins to 2 hours max. And no matter how long she naps,she gets really cranky at around 7plus.(bedtime is around 10plus)so if I get her to sleep at 7 plus when she is cranky,she wakes up in a few hours and doesn’t sleep till even later. What can I do? And I have to rock her to sleep. When she naps,she is on me. I cannot put her On the bed or she starts crying. For sleep I just have to wait till she is deep asleep so I can put her On the bed. I’ve tried Cio but she justs screams and screams without stopping. Please help. I’m really desperate :(

  138. Hi! Love the blog, have followed it since my twins were born! They are 14 months now and driving me insane! They had been sleeping through the night for 8 months and in the last few weeks are waking up a few times crying and naps are all over the place. They used to nap perfectly and Ive been so strict on routine from day 1. They go to bed at 7 and a few weeks ago had started waking later, moving from 6 to 7 am, bliss. Now one of them is sometimes refusing the afternoon nap but both have reduced the length of the afternoon nap significantly. They are unbelievably cranky in the evening after the second nap to the point where I can’t stand the crying anymore and often resort to putting the tv on. They are both teething but not too bad with it (based on the rest of the day!). I don’t know if I should drop to one nap? I’m worn out here.

  139. Hi, excellent website, very resourceful and comforting. My LO is seven weeks old and she sleeps in blocks of 2 1/2 or 3 hrs 6/7 times I 24 hours. Is she sleeping too much. If yes why? She’s mostly fussy when she’s awake and frowns quite a bit. Should I watch out for any syntoms ?

  140. Hi alexis

    Good Day
    I have a newborn daughter,born on
    01nov13,jus 1month n 2wks old..she sleeps
    in d afternoon sometimes 4hrs in one
    nap..n sometimes very short naps..
    but at night she does not sleep at all
    she can be awake till 8 or 9am in the
    morning..and starts to sleep after that
    its very difficult for me as i dont
    get to sleep at all..only abt 2-3
    sleep daily as i have one more daughter
    2years it normal for d newborn
    to stay awake all night?baby refuses
    to sleep if put in cot ,only sleeps
    When we carry her..please advise,thx
    and as for my elder daughter she refuses
    to eat solid food ..only drinks milk
    i have tried to feed her all types
    of solid food..still not able to feed her solid
    is there any way out of it?

  141. Please help me. I’m in tears almost every night. My 5 month old son used to sleep through the night. We’ve just had so many issues. First, he had low weight gain and started waking up tons at night. So, we started him on some solids early per pedatrician’s. He slept GREAT for 3 nights. Then, we traveled for Thanksgiving and he got sick in the same weekend. He regressed and started requiring the swaddle again. Ever since then, he’s been waking every 1-2 hours in the middle of the night. It got better for several days (we were waking up every 3 hours) but we were still able to put him down awake at night, and he would put himself to sleep. But regardless, he would wake up screaming in the middle of the night. Now, for the past several nights, he screams while I’m trying to set him down. He doesn’t fuss. He screams, and if we set him down (even while we’re touching him) he gets hysterical. The only way to get him to sleep is to hold him until he’s asleep or 99% asleep. Putting him down awake at all leads to hysteria. Then, he’ll wake up hysterical ~45-60 minutes later and is very difficult to console. Sometimes we get ~3 hours, but often it’s less. This can continue every hour for the remainder of the night. Or not. There just seems to be no pattern to his wakings/screamings. I feel like I’ve tried everything. Are these night terrors? Is he going through an extreme attachment phase? Can this be typical of teething? I’m sorry for the rambling, but I’m really getting concerned for my mental health. Please give some hope. I feel so lost.

  142. My 6 month old was sleeping through the night at around 2.5-3 months. We usually are able to just set her down at bed time which is typically 7:30-8:00. She was napping great and getting plenty of rest. We didn’t really rock her or nurse her to bed ever.

    Now in the last week she gets REALLY cranky at bedtime, won’t self soothe for anything, and only let’s me hold her at night.

    I am at my wits end. Every time I set her down after she has fallen to sleep she screams and is inconsolable.

    She will only sleep on me while I stand or sit right now.

    Advice would be great!

  143. Hi all,
    I have a 9 week old baby girl. If I let her, she will sleep 5-6 hours during the day and 8 hours at night. I’m worried she isn’t feeding enough Is this normal?

    • Hey Lindsay,
      My daughter was the same way. She would have 2 very long naps during the day, then sleep 8-10 hours straight at night. I figured, if she’s hungry, she’ll wake up. I just made sure I offered a bottle/boob before bed/nap and as soon as she woke up.

  144. My daughter is 8 months old now. She was sleeping through the night at a month old until she started teething at 2 months old. Then we’d be up once or twice a night, which isn’t a big deal. Now, she’s up 2 to 5 times a night! I know she’s capable of sleeping through the night or at least for longer periods of time, so what am I doing wrong?

    bedtime: 6-8pm
    nightfeeds every 3-4 hours
    awake 7-8am
    naptimes: 10-11am, 2-3pm (1-2 hours at a time)

  145. my 6 month old puts herself to sleep wide awake, however, she is still mostly taking 45 minute naps and lately has started waking every 3 hours at night. she was such a good sleeper, sleeping through the night. we had a regression at 26 weeks, waking every few hours, and now this!!! what to do??

  146. Hi,

    My three month old little girl is a wonderful sleeper at night she goes down awake at 9pm and is up at 8am with no night feedings. My issue is naps! She does not want to nap any where in her crib, bassinet, or swing only place she sleeps is in her car seat when we are out. Can cry it out be used for naps? I know she needs naps because she gets so fussy.

  147. Seriously need help
    My daughter will be 7 month old on Saturday and I am struggling getting her off the breast. She refuses cups and bottles. Anyway this isn’t the worst part.
    She will NOT sleep unless I feed her to sleep or rock her to sleep (she wakes up every 10 minutes screaming to be rocked back to sleep) I have tried everything I can think of. She screams so bad that im sure the neighbours think we are murdering her.
    Also she only has a morning nap (and only if I breastfeed her to sleep)
    I cannot get her to sleep without breastfeeding and even then she will not have more than one nap in the day.
    Please help
    From seriously tired mummy and daddy

  148. Alexis,

    Hi. My son has just turned 4 months old. we are currently working on weaning from the swing. We haven’t yet started to turn the speed down, but are putting him in the swing awake. I generally put him down just before 2 hours, swaddled, with his pacifier and a loud fan right next to him. He is a sleep fighter. So, my ? is this: How long should it take for him to fall asleep once he’s in the swing? If he doesn’t fall asleep in that alotted time, what are my options? Also, he nurses about every 2 hours, which lines up almost exactly with his nap times, so he almost always starts to fall asleep while nursing. I try to let him finish, then wake him to swaddle and put him down. Is this the right approach?


  149. Alexis,
    my son is 7 months and sleeps around 10-12 hours per night. usually from 7-8pm to about 6-7am. i know that i am very fortunate to have a good sleeper. but my question is this, he sleeps this long at night and then takes about 4 naps per day ranging from 20 minutes to an hour. so with the chart saying that he needs 12-14 hours of sleep per day he gets that at night alone… would you still consider this sleeping too much?

  150. I’m not quite sure how we’re doing but I don’t feel like it’s great…And not sure how to proceed…

    1. Lucky because: our 11 weeker goes down for the night between 645 and 730pm and wakes at 6am…after bedtime routine of bath, lotion massage, in pj’s & swaddle sleepsack, prayers & bed. UNFORTUNATELY he eats q2h during the day so MOST often it falls into the nursing time and he falls asleep nursing..

    2. He DOES wake to feed (quite a bit every 3 hours)at night- does NOT settle with shhhhing and firmly patting in the crib where he sleeps. BUT, on a bright note, he does go RIGHT back down in crib after nursing…He WAS doing 6 hour stretches (and the angels sang) but then he ended up with colitis secondary to an allergy we’re figuring out and we haven’t been able to get him back to the stretches- HELP!

    2. That being said it’s also HOW he goes down: He nurses around that time and BAM- out like a light, try to wake him but he’s done..and in the crib he goes. BUT, then he’ll wake up crying if the pacifier came out or he startles himself, and will need rocking again. Note we also have sleep sack (HALO), white noise, and occassionally pacifier if needed. So, to try to get him down when awake has been next to impossible…because if we DO wake him up it’s WIDE seems he has no in between. THEN we find ourselves in pacifier heck, because if it falls out we have to put it back in etc….

    3. Nap: needs the swing…we do put him down wide awake for nap, with white noise (just started that up after reading0 and pacifier…BUT we’d like to be consistent with crib and not sure if this is too early or not wise…Naps for 2 short naps in the am (no necessarily scheduled time, should there be certain times/patterns?) and a 2 hour nap religiously in the afternoon from 3-5 or 2:30-4:30. Also- do I let him wake up himself or should I wake him?? Usually first nap in AM he ewakes himself but the second not so much..

    Last question:
    We also know he is going to outgrow the halo swaddle sleep sack shortly- and thought about the Baby Merlin but feel it’ll just be a battle to wean that later, too..but we have tried iwth a wearable blanket and he still startles himself awake…

    I KNOW the window closes at 6 months, and things get a lot now that we’re at the 3 month mark I really just am not sure what to start with…and how to proceed without overwhelming him…AND if we are on the right track (he usually sleeps like 16 hours a day total…a little more than you recommend..)

  151. Hi Alexis,
    My 17 month old son used to sleep really well. I put him to bed at 7:30 and he would play in his crib for 45 min happily before falling asleep. He would wake at 7:30am and have one nap during the day from 1-3. Now he is a nightmare. He wakes up at 5:45 and refuses to go back to bed. I have no idea what has changed. He looks so tired and he is so crabby.

    • he is not getting enough sleep. you have to make him go back to bed, gently of course. he has to know he can sleep more and doesn’t have to get up because somebody else is or because he sees a light (sun light, hall light, etc.)

      • Ha ha my son is 20 months old and he sleeps less than 6 hours in a 24hour period, he screams from 7pm till about 12am every night finally screams himself to sleep then is up by 6am and I have tried to force day naps on him which results in hours of screaming. Sometimes kids just dnt want to sleep.

        • Shireen,

          I don’t want to be alarmist but if your son is screaming this much and sleeping this little, it may be time to have him evaluated by a pediatric sleep doctor. There are underlying medical conditions that can lead to significantly diminished sleep – this SOUNDS scary but most are treatable and temporary. Things like apnea, restless leg syndrome, sleep-phase disorders, etc. If things are really that hard, rather than consider that some kids don’t want to sleep I might look into the possibility that there is something preventing him from sleeping. Pediatric sleep MDs can typically diagnose these things relatively quickly so it might be worth looking into?

          Good luck!

          • I already have a 3yr old autistic son who only sleeps about 6 hours so I’m used to it. He just hyperactive is all. He will sleep eventually ha ha

            • He also going through bad bad sepersation anxiety. He would sleep all night if I was to allow him to sleep on me. Unfortunately its a phase he will grow out of

            • Autism (or any neurological disorder) can definitely lead to sleep issues. But I would still see a pediatric sleep dr. because sometimes kids with autism etc. respond well to treatments like melatonin supplements or possibly changes in bed environment (things like lycra bed sheets). You may never achieve 11-13 hours a day but possibly get significantly more than 6? Good luck!

  152. Hi Alexis,

    I am a lurker of your site :) Love it!!! Quick question: my son just turned 8 months yesterday. He typically takes a nap about 1.5 hours after he wakes up. However, it is now taking him much longer to fall asleep for that morning nap. I just read everywhere that this is the most important nap of the day bc it’s what prevents him from being overtired the rest of the day. What do you suggest? About how long should an 8 month old be staying awake in the morning before a nap?

  153. Hi! I have a 3 week old who does nothing but sleep! 3 hours total of alertness a day. – can this be normal??!

    • Normal and temporary. Newborns sleep a lot – some as many as 22 hours a day. But that will change – trust me :) As long as your baby is awake long enough to eat enough (you’ll know if you’re regularly getting wet diapers) then things are fine. And trust me, you’ll miss these days soon enough πŸ˜‰

    • I have a 3 MONTH old that does the same. It drives me crazy because when I try to keep him up for play, tummy time etc… he gets extremely fussy until I swaddle him and put him back to bed. Little lazy man. He’s been checked for medical issues and has been given a clean bill of health. Just a lazy, sleepy baby. I’ll be putting my foot in my mouth when he’s 9 months old and won’t sleep at all. My daughter was that way. One 30 minute nap once a day! Yikes! Lol!

  154. Hi,
    I’ve been really concerned and a bit worried because when my baby was a new born he didn’t really sleep at all and since 2nights ago he’s had a dramatic change from not sleeping to sleeping all night and waking up till 4am to eat then 7am and sleep all morning and wakes up around 2pm and is awake for 3hrs then back to sleep for hours . Its a big change and I wanted to know if that was normal he is now 8 weeks old.

  155. Sleep chart – figures don’t make sense.

    I am confused about translating the sleep chart to the reality of my baby. Lets take the 3-6 months entry: 3 naps or 1-2hrs each with ~2hrs between naps, 9-12hrs at night, and a total of 12-14hrs per day. So lets take a baby having 9hrs at night. He should have at least 3hrs of nap time per day. So in the 15hrs of ‘day’ he should fit in 3 naps. Well, those naps are going to be far further apart than 2 hours – more like 4hrs apart. So if a baby is on this schedule, is it ok? He fits the total sleep requirement and number of naps, but spends a long time awake.

    I guess my real question is “whats most important”? Getting the total daily sleep in any pattern? Having long naps with long awake periods, or short naps more often? And I assume that night time sleep isn’t referring to unbroken sleep?

    • I’d like to hear the answer to this as well. My 5 month old started sleeping 12 hours a night at 3 months and immediately started screaming to go to sleep if we had her awake for 1-2 hours of sleep. Then she’d only nap 10-40 minutes. Now were letting her stay awake longer between naps 2:30-3 hours and she doesn’t cry any more but the naps are still short. Sometimes I’ll go in there and rock her back to sleep and she sleep another hour but with out that hour she’s only getting 13 hours of sleep on good days. So what is more important and putting back to sleep after they wake up is that advisable.

  156. Need some advice…I feel like we are going through some inconsistency issues with my 6 month old. Here’s a rough outline of our routine:

    Wake between 6:30-7:30am and feed formula (sometimes a fruit too).
    Play, songs, activities until she has been up for around 1.5-2hrs.
    1st nap, usually starts between 8:30-9:30 and can last for 45mins-2hrs.
    Wake and feed formula and fruit or veggie.
    Playtime, walk, run errands, etc.
    2nd nap starts between 12:30-1:30p..never know how long it will last but I can usually count on 45 minutes.
    Wake and feed formula and fruit or veggie.
    Playtime, errands, etc.
    3rd and final nap is typically a short one and starts anywhere between 4p-5:30pm depending on when she’s ready to go back down.
    Up from catnap no later than 6pm, then it’s playtime again.
    At 7p we start bath and bed routine. She gets her bath, then a bottle, then put down by 8pm at the latest (usually closer to 7:30).
    Dream feed always offered between 10p-11p. Never know when she will take it or refuse it.

    Overnight..used to STTN no problems…last 2 or so months though she has been on/off waking around 2-3am, sometimes at 1am then again at 3am…I never know anymore what I’m going to get. Sometimes she takes a bottle and sometimes I just need to pat her back or rock her back to sleep. Last night for example she cried at 2am..offered bottle, she drank a bit, didn’t even fully wake and went right back out (and then I was up the rest of the night).

    Other things to note…I always try and put her down fully awake for naps. This is hardly ever an issue with her morning nap as she will usually put herself down. After that though, the afternoon naps can be a disaster…again I never know what I’m going to get. Today I tried putting her down awake for her middle nap and she was NOT having it..I had to do pick-up/put down for an hour and finally rocked her for just a few minutes before putting her down to sleep. My husband puts her to bed and he always puts her down in that drowsy but awake state and she always goes right to sleep.

    So I need someone to help me analyze this “routine” we have and see if anything sounds off…is she getting too much sleep during the day? Bedtime too early or too late? I guess my biggest issue is the waking in the middle of the night which she never used to do. She also seems to be refusing the dream feed more often than not and I feel like if I could get her to drink during that, she maybe wouldn’t be waking during the night? I am in unpredictable “routine” hell so all help is appreciated!

    • I will add that for the naps, lately she has not been staying awake a full two hours before getting sleepy. She usually is ready to go down for her nap after being awake for 1.5hrs..sometimes she’s even rubbing her eyes after only being awake for an hour.

  157. Trying to figure out what to do with our seven-month-old’s third nap. He goes down around 8 usually and wakes up around 7-7:30. He gets a dream feed at midnight.

    A good nap will last an hour and a half. He usually falls asleep after about 2.5 hours awake. So he will go 930ish to 11ish, 230ish to3ish Ina good day. But when he has two good naps he almost always skips his last nap. We do his routine and put him in the crib and he just hangs out and babbles happy as a clam for an hour. If he doesn’t have two good naps, then he’ll often go down and we end up having to wake him to feed him and do our nighttime routine. What should we do?

  158. Need help. My daughter who is 5.5 months won’t sleep unless its her nanny rocking her or me nursing her or she’s really tired. My problem is she is on the heavy side and is getting too heavy to be rocked and at the same time she only wants to be rocked while lying down horizontally and only by that particular nanny. She won’t sleep if she’s in a vertical position even with rocking or if rocked by other people. She would actually cry and twist her body around if rocked by other people. Because of this (among other reasons) we want to start sleep training her. We tried putting her down sleepy but awake (w PDPU) but she ALWAYS wakes up and would end up staying awake so we end up giving up all the time. Would you recommend CIO at this point? Im worried that she just might not sleep with CIO.

  159. My baby is 10 months old and we started CIO 11 days ago. So far so good, but recently has has not been taking great naps which causes nights to be semi-sleepless. He has been waking up from his last nap aound 3 and goes to bed at 7:45p. Is this too much of a gap? Also, I have always heard naps no longe rthan 2 hours but if he is sleeping good still, can he nap longer?

  160. My daughter is 6 weeks old and will not sleep At night she is in a swing we have tried everything!! She is full not wet I just don’t no the scary thing is she doesn’t sleep during the day either maybe 45 mins twice during the day what can I do??

    • This sounds exactly like my daughter. Would you mind telling me what happened or what you did to get her to sleep??

      • Sounds like my daughter. She is six weeks tomorrow and driving me bonkers. She used to sleep relatively well but this last week or so has been a nightmare – won’t sleep during the day, if she does it is for about 45 minutes tops – at night she will sleep from 9pm-12/1pm then just on and off until 6am. It is driving me insane – I am SO tired and impatient. I have tried everything :( please tell me your kids improved??

        • Honestly – I learned that up until 3 months you are just in Survivial mode. Do what you gotta do to get the little one asleep. I was in the car driving around aimlessly for the first 3 months of her life – just so she would sleep. The more sleep during the day the better night sleep she will have. Sounds like she’s overtired. Have you tried the swing? Worked wonders from 3 months till 5 for naps until she started trying to get out of it – saddest day of my life.

  161. OK my 10 week old has finally figured out sleep (mostly) so my question is a little different…

    When to start the day?

    My baby regularly sleeps 7-9 hours after bedtime (which is 10 pm. Have tried for earlier to no avail!) So he’s waking up anywhere from 5am-7am. I have been feeding him and putting him back to bed, and then he’ll sleep another 1-2 hours. Which means sometimes he’s not getting out of bed until 8 or 9. (But it’s getting him 8-11 hours night sleep)

    I don’t mind this, but it has me wondering if I should be waking him up to start the day at a certain time everyday? Or let him sort this out on his own when he’s older?

  162. Hello! I love your site and have been very excited about the results swadding and white noise have given us. The chart indicating normal waketime has been helpful as well. Thank you! Quick question…

    Why, as the days goes on, does it get harder and harder to put baby to sleep, ending in a very difficult bedtime?

    My 7 week old can put down awake for the first nap, second nap a little more work involved, third- more work, fourth even more…and then bedtime…it seems as though any little noise will cause him to stir.

    • Hi!

      I have found what you described as well and just thought I’d offer what I have found browsing/reading various websites, and my own personal experience with my 3 month old. It does get a bit harder to put them down for naps as the day goes on because I think 1. they get more and more tired as the day goes on, so more fussier etc. and 2. their awake windows get a bit longer as the day goes on. I still stick to the general 1 1/2 hr awake window throughout the day, but I notice her sleepy signals come after 1 1/4 hr for her first nap of the day and in the afternoon she can go up to 2 before her last nap (albeit, a little cranky sometimes).

      Also, at 7 weeks, your baby is still really little and sorting lots of things out! I don’t think I even realized I needed to help my baby fall asleep to nap at 7 weeks (blush), I was just letting her fall asleep when she wanted like in the newborn period… which led her to not really nap at all except when nursing, which led her to want to nurse every hour in the afternoon/evening because she was probably chronically tired and that was the only time she could “sleep.” :(

      It sounds like you are already way ahead of the game with your baby with being able to put him/her down awake for even the first nap, so don’t worry too much! You are doing a great job. :)

  163. Afterthought: He is still organizing his sleep and things will get smoother once he is down to 3 or 2 naps?

  164. Hi Alexis/Everyone,

    My 3 month old (15 weeks) would only nap in the ergobaby from about 7 weeks to 12 weeks, by which point, it just STOPPED WORKING (after it had deteriorated gradually). She was napping about 3-3.5 hours (on average) a day in the carrier, which I felt to be too little for a 2 month old, but was resigning myself to as her “pattern.” I was trying to put her to sleep after about 1 1/4 of awake time.

    As things were getting really bad with the carrier situation, I reached out to some other mommy friends and followed a couple of their suggestions and Alexis’ on this site: I found a pacifier that she would finally take, and a portable Fisher Price swing too. (I live in Japan and they are just NOT popular here. Sigh…)

    So now, she is getting swaddled, sucking on her pacifier, listening to white noise blasting, in her swing, with the curtains drawn. And she is napping like gangbusters. She will sleep for 2-2 1/2 hours (I’ve been waking her up at that point) for one nap, and has two of those around 9 and 1 (depending on when she last woke up). Her awake time now is about 1 1/2 hrs. She’ll take a last catnap of 30 min to 45 min around 4:30/5 if she got two good earlier naps in and we start her bedtime routine around 7:30, bath and nurse her to sleep (for now) so that she is asleep by 8 or 8:30ish. She is sleeping around 10-ish hours at night and 5 and a bit during the day, on average, which is great! On paper.

    My problem is that since she’s gotten used to napping in the swing, and so awesomely, her night sleep is turning to crap. :( Before, she was still waking up to nurse once or twice, but would/could sleep between 6-8 hours for that first stretch. But now… last night, for example, she woke up less than every 3 hours. Sigh. I don’t know what to do. Is she still adjusting to the newness of her sleep cycles with the swing and this will even back out??? Is she maybe going through the 3 month growth spurt (but she is not eating all that much at night when she does wake up…)??? I am worried that she is sleeping TOO well and deeply in the swing during the day and getting day and night switched around now… During the day I am waking her up gently after 2 1/2 hours of napping so that she is nursing at least every 3.5 hours because she seems like she could go “forever”/4 hours at least otherwise… And at night she is only sleeping for 2 1/2 hours or less at a time.

    Anyone have any suggestions or advice? My original plan with using the swing for naps was to slowly start turning the speed down (a speed a week?), put it next to her crib (which in my tiny Japanese apartment means the doorway to the bedroom–there is literally no other floor space with my bed and her crib in the room), and then stick her in her crib following the same pre-nap routine… But now I am wondering if I should speed things up, try her crib for her first nap, or change it so she won’t sleep “as well” (leave the curtains open, skip the white noise), so that she will get that night time is for deep sleep and nap time is for nap sleep…

    I have been driving myself nuts about her sleep and nap habits and I’m really trying not to anymore… But it’s really hard! I’m terrified of the whole “putting down drowsy but awake thing” and trying to take it in small steps… Any advice or help would be most appreciated! :)

    • Juanita, First, thanks for your reply! It seems like our little ones, mine now 11 weeks old, have similar daytime sleep habits. My little guy Nate, naps in the swing for morning naps now because he doesn’t get solid naps in the morning. (I have to run my preschooler to various activities and we try to stay busy every morning.) I reserve the afternoon for Nate so he can catch up on any daytime sleep lost in the morning. I have decided to let go and relax about where he sleeps and just be happy that he sleeps. Therefore, if he naps in the infant carrier on the way home from an activity, I let him stay in it and finish his nap. I used to worry about this, and would’ve never done this with my first, but I think it’s important to think bigger picture here. While I do believe it might not be the best way to get sleep, at least it IS sleep. So, from my point of view, I wouldn’t worry to much about getting sleep in the swing, infant carrier, or on a stroll.

      That said, I DO feel that it is important to put down baby awake. Your little one will fuss, but I bet she’ll surprise you. I know mine did. I couldn’t take the sound of fussing with my first, but it now just seems natural to me, to let Nate work it out. I know feel more confident and ‘get’ the cries, which ones are sleepy, because of spit-up, a burp, or discomfort, or which ones need immediate attention. It”s usually just a burp and all I do is burp him and put him back down. I still use white noise because I think it is an easy cue to use and if needed I can travel with it.

      My son, goes down for bed around 8 as well. That is also, after a quick sometimes only 20 minute nap. MOST nights, *knock on wood* he sleeps though until 6 or 7am. Occasionally he’ll wake to eat at 5. I am not positive as to how he is able to do this what I feel is early, but here are my ideas. Maybe some will help you.

      1. Our morning begins with a wake-up time around 7-8am. I do wake him now for the day if needed. So far, I haven’t needed to do this much.

      2. I am careful to watch his hunger signs and feed him as much as he will take at each feeding. I think he needs a certain amount of food each day and if he doesn’t get it, will wake for middle of the night feedings. -this does happen every now and then….remember they are not robots!

      3. I will not let him nap past the 3 1/2 hour mark and we aim to feed every 3 hours. I will keep an open mind however, and watch for signs that he is ready to go longer, watching to see an increase in each feeding, ability to stay awake longer. But the point is, I think it is important to teach daytime verses nighttime sleep. The day is for being awake, eating, playing…night is for sleeping.

      4. No matter where he can get his sleep, he must nap every cycle. Like you said in your comment to me…he is sleepy after only 1 1/4 hours in the morning. As the day progresses, you are right in my case, he can stay awake longer, hence the shorter naps, and cumulative sleepiness- preparation for nighttime sleep. So, he takes 4 naps before bedtime.

      5. Lastly, and what I feel has been the most effective, and this might receive criticism, but here it is. I am flexible with how I put him down. We don’t swaddle anymore, because it just felt wrong to me. Who doesn’t want their arms and hands? So, we back sleep, stomach sleep, whatever works. Stomach sleeping? Works. It did with our first too. It’s how he sleeps when I am holding him, it just makes sense to me. My mind says this is okay even though I know I am going against the current advice of back is best, because my Mom had 6 kids and we were all stomach slept. That said, both of my sons had/have good neck control and I made sure of this before we started doing this. Wake time is especially important after feedings so he can get all of his burps out, be comfortable on his tummy.

      When your little one wakes in the night, have you tried giving her a pacifier? I think by 15 weeks she doesn’t need food, but might be waking for comfort in the middle of the night. Also, you should know that we formula feed. I know my sister, who breast fed all of her children, was feeding around the clock for a while. I do believe breast is best! Good for you. It didn’t work for me.

      I think there is a lot we can do as parents to help our children develop good sleep habits, but I also think it is important to be flexible, relax, and keep your stress level down.

      Good luck! Keep calm and carry on. :)


      • Hi Rachel,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post! It meant a lot to me when I read it last night during one of my LO’s late night nursing sessions. It’s good to feel supported, even by a stranger on-line! :)

        I am going to try to stay strong, calm, and work with her to hopefully get her sleeping in longer stretches at night again, and to tank up during the day as much as possible. She has been super distracted and jiggly during her daytime feeds lately…

        I appreciate you sharing your tips and advice with me. I have been wanting to phase out swaddling, but after watching her first few naps in the swing (without it), she is SO active kicking and flailing her arms around that I thought she still needs it to get to and stay asleep. However, she is getting better at finding her hands and fingers to suck on (and breaking at least one arm out of her SwaddleMe by morning anyway) that I am thinking of trying to let her sleep without it tonight… I am kind of in the “it can’t get much worse” mindset at the moment (she says with trepidation).

        I have also experimented with tummy sleeping for napping (my mom also advocates it), but I think she was just really confused and got exhausted lifting her head up the whole time thinking it was tummy/play time and cried herself into a frenzy. That time she did sleep in her crib for 30 minutes after I flipped her on her back and helped calm her down, but I think just because she had cried herself to exhaustion.

        Anyway. I will keep on keeping on. Thanks again!

  165. Help please! I have a 7 week old baby that REFUSES to sleep. I would say on average he gets 5-8 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. I KNOW that is not ok! And I KNOW that he is exhausted (overtired), he screams all day every day :( He has been this way for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried everything it seems but I’d still like some suggestions. How do I help him nap, especially during the day? Preferably without having to use my boob as a pacifier/ sleep aid which is what seems to be the only thing that is working at the moment (I know, I know, all I’m doing is creating a sleep crutch that’s going to be harder to break later on but I’m desperate!)

    • Oh you poor thing. Will he sleep in a sling/baby carrier, i.e. attached to your body and moving around? If so I personally would carry him constantly for a few days, so he can catch up on sleep a bit and not be so terribly overtired. Then try working on this:

      When you have a difficult baby, 6-7 weeks is the hardest. I promise you it will get better! Hang in there and don’t beat yourself up about being a boob pacifier if that’s the only thing you can do at this point. You have lots of time to make changes later when the super fussy stage ends.

  166. Hello,

    My baby is 11 weeks old and her schedule is still all over the place. I’m starting to see a few nap times coming out. I’m seeing some times the same at 11, 1:30 and 3:30. The 3:30 nap is the only long nap lasting from 3:30-5:30. Is this ok? Is it too late of a nap?

    Her schedule is this:
    7:30 up & feed
    10:30 feed
    11 nap
    1 nap
    1:30 feed
    3 nap – 5 ish
    5 feed
    7 nap (short)
    8 feed & bed between 8-9.

  167. My baby is 9 days old and in the category of “sleeping too much” it’s great and all, really. I almost have to wake him for feedings, then he falls asleep from said feeding. He does wake up and we see those big eyes for a very short amount of time but then he’s out again. He does get a bit fussy at night though, but nothing at all like the nightmare I was told it would be. I usually start to doze off nursing him cause he nurses for sooo long. I was worried at first, but I’ve been doing research and this seems to be normal. He checks out just fine at the pediatrician, has a normal amount of dirty diapers and eats just fine. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones!

  168. My 4-week-old has a semblance of a sleep routine, which I am very thankful for! She is generally fussy from 6 pm-11pm, and goes to bed between 10:30 and 11:30. At night she usually has her first feed at the 3-4.5 hour mark, and then feeds at decreasing time intervals until she wakes up at around 10. She is usually fussy in the morning until she has a nap or a series of short naps in the early afternoon, and her next nap starts somewhere between 4 and 7. She is fussy from about 6pm until bedtime.

    I am supremely grateful that things are getting slightly predictable but the only problem is that a lot of the community baby activities (especially a new moms class I signed up for in a couple weeks) seem to start at 10am. I am leary of waking her early and disrupting her routine lest I end up with terrible nights again or longer fussy periods. But if this continues I will miss out on a lot, and possibly be forced to disrupt her sometimes anyway for things like doctors appointments.

    Suggestions? Should I just let her sleep and schedule around her, waiting for time to make her bedtime and wake up time earlier? Or should I try waking her gradually earlier at this young age?

    • Hello Andrea,

      I am a first-time mom and have a 10 month old daughter. My daughter had similar sleeping patterns like your infant. I work in the medical fields with adults, so no pediatric experience except during my education. I strongly feel that we underestimate the importance of sleep and the need for uninterupted sleep in our society and I feel that infants need any minute they can get to sleep without external interuption until their brain is mature enough to establish a sleep pattern on their own (and only with parents help if they cannot find their own). Babys brains mature and grow during sleep so sleep is essential for their healthy development.

      My daughter had very random sleeping patterns when she was 3 months old but this time passed and starting around 5 months she developed her own sleeping pattern. She goes to bed between 7-8.30pm and sleeps through the night until 7-7.30am since she was 5.5 months old. She takes two naps during the day, one around 10am and one around 3pm.

      I understand as a new mom we want to explore everything and don’t miss out on things we believe are important. I believe our Western society puts new moms under immense pressure and doesn’t acknowledge the fact that mom and baby need a lot of alone time especially in the first few months.
      I therefore decided for myself and my babys health and well-being to let her sleep when she wanted as long as she wanted. I didn’t attend any mommy or baby classes until she was 5 months old. I could have gone by myself without her but honestly I didn’t want to be without her. We practise attachment parenting. So, babys now best what is good for them if we allow ourselves to listen to them.
      Good luck in finding what works for you.

      • I do not believe in letting babys cry it out! We practise attachment parenting and there is no need to use the practise of letting baby cry it out. Babys will get more agitated and are not able to develop this so important skill of trust in their early life.

  169. The chart on this page has been EXTREMELY helpful with trying to figure out if my baby is sleeping enough. I have a question though. On the chart is has an estimated bedtime for each age group. My question is specifically for the 6 week to 3 month group. Does bedtime count as the time they actually fall asleep? I know bedtime with older children is different than sleep time.

  170. My baby slept 3 hours at daycare today. Should I be concerned? This is not normal for her. She is 1 year old. And I must not that she has a cold

  171. I missed spelled a couple of words so I will try this again:

    My baby slept 3 hours at daycare today. Should I be concerned? This is not normal for her. She is 1 year old. And I must note that she has a cold. Do you think the cold played a part in this?

    • Yes! She needed her sleep to get over the cold! Our bodies need every ounce of energy to fight an infection so the body automatically sleeps to preserve energy to fight off the cold.

  172. Thanks Bettina.

  173. I have a question about baby sleep! Our 4 month old has recently started rolling over one way, but can’t go back the other. She gets REALLY mad when she does this in her crib. We go in as flip her over, but she just flips the other way a moment later! Lately my husband and I have been letting her CIO for 10 minutes and then we go in, flip her the way she likes to sleep and try to soothe her. It works sometimes, but other times we have to take her out and rock her to sleep. Alexis, I’m worried we’ll undue all the progress we made with her putting herself to sleep. Should we continue our method, let her CIO longer, keep flipping her over until she’s asleep?

  174. My baby is 5 months and 3 weeks old and he sleeps about 18 hours every day. When he is awake is very busy but doesnt like to be alone for long. Is it normal for him to sleep so much?

  175. Hello! I really appreciate all the baby sleep info! So helpful! So I have a very unhappy little man…he is 10 weeks old and just started on reflux meds. I have him on a pretty strict schedule otherwise he is so inconsolable. Wakes at 7… Eats every three hours and takes about 4 naps a day 1-2hrs long. I look for sleep cues and as soon as he yawns I quickly swaddle him and put him to sleep in his crib awake. I don’t dare drive anywhere because he cries as though he is dying. My question is he showing sleep cues so soon after waking…usually within 1 hour of waking. Should I try to extend this wake time to make it longer? How should I handle bed time when he is napping so late. Thank you in advance!

    • It sounds to me like you are doing great! 1 hour wake time is completely normal at 10 weeks old. My baby is 4 months/17 weeks and she still can only manage about 1 hour 15-20 minutes. Some days we get 3 naps but most days are still 4. I have read elsewhere that dropping to 3 naps by 5 months is typical and that seems right to me.

      Sorry about the reflux. :-(

  176. Hi

    My 7 month old is in absolutely no routine at all, he can go 2/3 nights doing the same routine then quickly changes to nothing!!
    SOMETIMES his pattern is.. 7.30 wake up, breakfast 9, milk 10, sleep 10.15-10.30, lunch 12/1 little bit of milk not long after and sleep for maybe an hour, milk about 4/4.30-5, dinner 6ish few ounces of milk about 8ish bed 8.30/9.. The night time is 9/10 all over the place, constantly waking wriggling very unsettled and unhappy, that 1 out if 10 he’ll wake at 1 I’ll give him water, he wakes again at 3/4 and I’ll give him milk n he goes till 6 n normally just wants a bit more milk n he’ll be off again till 7.30.

    Hope all this makes sense I really am out of ideas! Any advice is very much appreciated. Thank you

  177. I came across this site in the early hours of one sleepless night and love it!

    I have a 7 week old that I need some help with sleeping, both at night and naps during the day. She is breastfed.

    I have scoured countless websites looking for tips and advice on how this can be improved and now hope you can provide some insight into where I am going wrong.

    She goes to sleep at bedtime well, usually after a long/cluster feed, anywhere from 7-8.30pm. We have a bedtime routine which consists of bath, massage, feed then put down to sleep. We keep lighting and noise low.

    The first portion of sleep is good and usally the longest, 3-5 hours. From then on the duration of sleep is progressively shorter after each wakening. It is also harder to get her to sleep as the morning progresses. I am trying not to let her sleep on me, but find more often than not this is the best solution for her to sleep anything longer than 1 hour past 4-5am.

    Up until now, she falls asleep(not completely asleep but in a light sleep I guess you can call it, eyes closed but moves about when put in her moses basket). I would like to start putting her down awake, but she is so alert when awake that I don’t see how this is possible.
    I am currently swaddling her for naps and bedtime. I’ve tried a dummy, but she won’t take it. I don’t mind as would prefer that she doesn’t have one if possible. Have yet to use white noise.

    My first question is how awake should they be when you put them down? I’ve read many things which say put them down sleepy, what’s sleepy?

    My second question is how to improve the sleep during the second half of the night?

    Lastly, with regards to naps during the day; I didn’t realise they needed help to nap during the day until the other week. So now am conscisouly trying to get her to nap when she shows signs of tiredness. I find it very difficult to get her to nap during the day and think she gets overtired because of my struggle which only exasperates the issue.
    I do the same thing when putting her down for naps as I do at nightime, either feed or rock/hold until sleepy/in light sleep and then put in moses basket. How can I improve the ease in which she falls asleep for a nap?

  178. Please help!
    first time mum. 6week old girl who is being breastfed. She nurses to sleep at feeds on my knee and the same at night but as soon as I lay her down she wakens. I’m leaving her long enough that I know she’s out cold before I move her but always end up with the same results.

    Have tried all the dummy brands, white noise, hair dryer noise etc, swaddling.

  179. Hi Alexis,

    I just stumbled upon this page yesterday and have already read through most of your posts! You see, I have a lot of time to do that since I have a baby who hates sleep. He’s almost 9 weeks old and goes down at around 9:30pm and will sleep until 1:30am. At which point my husband feeds him a bottle of breast milk and then he will not go back to sleep for the next 2-3 hours. We place him in his bassinet and rock it, but he will cry the moment it stops moving. We try the pacifier but he will usually wake up the moment he spits it out. The swing works sometimes, but again, he wakes up the moment it stops swinging. We are so exhausted and we just don’t know how to signal to him that that time is for sleeping not playing! Please help!

  180. I am a newcomer to your site and it has been a blessing. Thanks for sharing your information.

    My son will be eight weeks old in two days and he is a struggle when it comes to napping. Currently, our bedtime routine begins at 7:30 pm. We give him a warm bath, lotion him, swaddle him, feed him, sing to him and then put him in a pack/play in our room. He goes down drowsy but not asleep. He will usually fall asleep on his own around 8:30 pm. Sometimes we may have to go back in if his pacifier falls out or he needs some additional rocking. Lately he’s been waking up around 11 pm to eat a little more and then he’ll sleep until 6:00-6:30 am. During the day it’s a nightmare to get him to nap. After he feeds in the morning (about 20-30 minutes in length), I’ll sing to him, do tummy time, or other play activities and I can tell he gets tired within an hour or less so I swaddle him and sing him the same song each time. However, he tends to fight sleep every time I put him back in the pack/play. This pattern is repeated throughout the day and if he falls asleep it’s only for 30-45 minutes. If I wear him in my Moby or ring sling he’ll take much longer naps. Am I doing something wrong in my routines? Should I be concerned that he only wants to take cat naps?

    • Some kids at that age don’t consolidate their naps yet. However he is only 8 weeks so I wouldn’t worry about schedules! The pack and play is probably not soothing enough. A lot of 8 week olds need a LOT of soothing. Check out Alexis’ newborn sleep survival guide (the 0-3 month guide). Swing, swaddle, and white noise are powerful tools. Also check out Dr. Karp’s 5S’s technique.

  181. Hi i have a question if anyone can help my baby just turn 3 months old,he is very happy baby barely cries, but i’m having trouble figuring out his sleeping window it used to be 45 min but it has change sometimes he gives me cues of tiredness at 50 or 30 min but when i take him to his room he starts crying what does it mean, other times he starts smiling when i put him down! so i let him fuss for 10 min then he starts moving his head with his eyes close from side to side until he falls asleep! please anyone help Is he to late or to early to nap! I really not like to hear him fussing/mild crying!!

  182. When my baby was waking up every 20 min all night long I was desperate, so I did CIO. This was after reading this article- in order to have things be the same when our 6m old woke up in the middle of the night.(like the post suggested) At first it worked like a charm, but then every nighthe would wake up 30 mi. Earlier, 30 min earlier until he was waking up the same as he was before! Why would the baby still be waking up although everything was the same & there were no sleeping crutches???!!!! I did this for a month. I did CIO at nap time too in order to be consistent. The baby became depressed & stopped eating, and my dr. Became so worried she told me to stop breastfeeding & switch to formula. I tried to follow the advice but my baby refused to take a bottle. I decided to stop sleep training at that point. Now I just hold my baby and nurse him for naps. I get nothing done but we are both happier & he is now sleeping a ton better at night. (Waking 2 times a night) also he did pop out a tooth so he may have been teething. After the tooth coming out he started sleeping a lot better!!! My point is that this advice did not work for my child!!!! I haven’t read anything that has helped! No cry sleep solution, Ferber, happiest baby (no!). I suggest following your own advice & figuring out what’s best for your baby. & I want to add- yes sometimes your baby sleep patterns do get better on their own!! Also I want to add that at first months my baby slept like a perfect angel for 10-12 hours every night. Until 4& a half months. & was in the 98% for weight & height.

    • Hey Marie,

      I’m so sorry to hear you had a rough slog and so glad to hear you found something that works for you all! Does that mean that all the advice shared here or in leading books is pointless? Well I clearly don’t think so. And for the 70% of working Moms the “hold for nap” solution simply a viable option. Also I say Happiest Baby (yes!)

      But cheers to your continued good sleep,

      • hi Alexis,
        Thank you for your reply. To clarify, I am not happy about the fact that my baby refuses to eat or the fact that I have to hold him for naps (to get him to eat)! This is ridiculous! My point is nothing has worked for me, and the advice on this blog and books turned my baby into a having failure to thrive! I am at a complete loss and have no idea what to do! I don’t want to continue doing what I have been doing but I don’t see any other option out there. What advice do you have for a child like this who won’t drink (milk or formula & I’ve tried the none lactose kind) when he’s awake?! Even when I know he is starving he wont eat, unless I am sitting in his bedroom on glider. I’m not trying to criticize this blog, what I’m saying is there are people out there who none of this advice is working for (ME!) help! -Marie

  183. My baby is 4 months and one week old and can barely stay awake an hour and a half. He’s not anywhere close to being able to stay up 2, much less the 3 hours indicated on the chart. I’ve tried keeping him awake longer only to find that he seems to become very overstimulated and then, in turn, is unable to settle himself for naps and I end up having to rock/nurse him to sleep. I’ve been journaling his schedule for this last week and he is sleeping somewhere between 15-16 hours total (usually closer to 16) in a 24 hour period. He is still taking 4 naps, although sometimes I feel like he even needs a 5th (depending on what time he wakes) just to make it to the 7:30/8 bedtime. He usually wakes for the day 12 hours after bedtime (waking during the night to eat, but just eats and then right back to sleep). We had our 4 month well check earlier this week and the Ped said he should only be taking 1 morning and 1 afternoon nap. I don’t see how this is even possible! Any advice on how to get him to extend his wake time? Or is this just a developmental issue?

    • Hi Amanda,
      Some babies just need more sleep than others. I think it’s totally fine for a baby to nap more. My friends and I all had babies that were only up for an hour to an hour and a half when they were 4 months. Plus the sleep schedule listed above says 2 hours for a 3-6months. Also, ask the pedi where he is getting his information. I haven’t read anywhere that a baby at 4 months should only be taking 2 naps. I have a 8month old and he is still taking 3 naps a day(between 45m-2.30hours), though he does sometimes only take 2(depending on length). Also, if your baby is taking shorter naps like mine is then he would he would need to nap more often. It sounds like he is napping better when you have a shorter awake time so I would say continue with that. Your baby will stay awake longer when he is able to. Hope this helps!

  184. Alexis, thank you for all the information on your website. It’s really helpful! I need help with my 6 month old not sleeping during nigh for hours!!! She has three 30 minute naps during the day. The last one is around 5pm. She falls asleep around 8pm by herself or during feeding (depends on how tired she is). She sleeps ok until 3am and then she wakes up and play in her crib for 3 hours! She simply will not go back to sleep. She’s not fussy, just happy and wants to play. Sometimes she cries in her sleep, but I’m assuming she’s teething (BTW no teeth yet). What can I do to make her fall asleep at 3 am? I can’t find the answer anywhere…

    • One thing i forgot to mention. After the night craziness, she falls asleep around 6-7 am during her morning feeding. Usually she sleeps until 9-9.30 am. Shall I consider this as her first nap or still a night sleep?

  185. Hi
    I have a 5 and a half month old who just won’t sleep and I’m desperate and worried about her development as she’s constantly grumpy or taking a cat nap.
    As a new born, she was awake almost all day, except for 4 or 5 30minute naps but at night she’d only wake twice. Since she hit 13 weeks, that’s all changed. She still won’t nap for longer than 30 minutes, 4 times a day but she’s awake every hour all night. She also won’t settle for anyone except me, and not f

  186. I’m going back to work next week. πŸ˜• I work second shift and won’t get home until 11 30 pm (and quite possibly 4 am some nights.) How should I shift the sleep schedule to help me get more sleep on just the 1130 nights? I know quite well that I’ll be lacking sleep on the 4am nights ! She’s 3 months old aND loves the swing. We are planning on using this to our benefit when transitioning to the crib! So glad I found that article! Thanks so much for your help!

    • I forgot to mention that she’s currently trying to roll over in the swing occasionally. Should I stop using it or just make sure she’s buckeled in? Eeeekkk.

  187. My 3 month old will not nap well! She goes to bed at 8, usually up to eat at 3 and 6. Up for the day by 9. She takes about an hour nap at 10, and after that all I can get is 20-30 min catnaps the rest of the day. Even in the swing… With white noise. I try every 1 and half hrs. But by evening she’s super cranky. :-(

    • Try take her for nap one hr after she wakes up, check when she starts getting fussy and start the nap routine, you have to be consistent and give it time to work, maybe a week. Half Hr later she will be sleeping.

  188. My 6 month old sleeps 11-12 hrs at night and takes 4-5 1/2 hr long naps.Is this too much zzzz’s

  189. Hi, I think my 10 month old sleeps too much in the day at the moment our day looks like this:

    6.30ish Wake up (normally crying)
    7.00 Breakfast
    8.00 Milk

    8.30/9.00 Nap – normally for around 3 hours but quite often more along the 4 hour mark

    1.00 Lunch
    2.00 Milk

    3.00 Nap – normally for 2 hours

    5.00 Dinner
    7.00 Bath
    7.30 Milk and story
    7.45 Bedtime

    He used to sleep until around 7.30 and have shorter naps in the day but this seems to have changed for the last couple of weeks. I thought his awake time would be longer now :( he doesn’t wake in the night but has just started to wake around 5am really upset and is really hard to get back to sleep.

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

  190. My little boy was born 10 weeks early. He’s now 23 weeks actual, 13 weeks adjusted. I’m wondering if I put him down for naps too often. Every 1-1.5 hours I’ll swaddle him and do a story, sing him a song, then put him in his crib still awake. He always puts himself to sleep within 5-10 minutes. I’ve felt like this was a sign it was time for his nap.

    But lately He isn’t sleeping well at night AT ALL! His doc recently switched him to a preemie formula (higher calorie) because he wasn’t gaining weight fast enough. When she did that, he slept 5-6 hours at night for three days in a row, and it was amazing! Since then he’s gone back to every 2-3, but the last week or so it’s been as often as every 1.5 hours (like last night). I’m hoping this is just his three month growth spurt, but I’m going out of my mind with the thought that he’s just going to keep on like this. I’m a SAHM and I have chronic health issues that cause me to have chronic fatigue, and I have gotten to the point where I just break down in tears when he won’t sleep.


    • Amanda,

      I would consider him a 13 week old baby. So there isn’t normally a huge growth spurt at 3 weeks (although babies are mysterious so it totally could be). I’m not sure what happens when he wakes up every 1.5 hours but my general advice is for newborns (since I consider him 13 months) is more soothing. If he’s waking frequently in the crib, bump up the soothing with potentially swing, swaddle, white noise. Start with swaddle and white noise and see if that gets you anywhere. If after 2-3 days you see no improvement, try a swing.

      Preemies OFTEN need WAY more soothing so that may just be where he’s at right now!

      • Thanks! We swaddle him and use white noise (read AND watched Happiest Baby on the Block :)). We’ve had him in a swing until recently. He has a new pediatrician, and the woman told me he needs to be in his crib, in his own room. He’s been in a swing in our room. We hadn’t planned on switching him till he was about 4 mo adjusted. I came out of the appointment feeling like I was doing something terrible because my kid wasn’t in a crib in his own room! We were slowly weaning him off the swing when it just up and died last week. Obviously there’s some kind of connection, he starts sleeping worse when his swing breaks? Come on. But we’re afraid if we put him back in the swing (provided we can figure out how to fix it) it’ll be some kind of set back for him.

        I just want to do what’s best for our baby, but the lack of sleep is becoming unsustainable!

  191. Hi there,

    I have an 11 month old who has just recently started fighting me on all naps and bedtimes. She used to be the model sleeper, taking 2 1-2 hours naps each day, bed by 7:30pm up by 6:30am. Now she’s waking up 3-4 times a night and having screaming (and I do mean SCREAMING) fits when we try to put her down. I know she’s teething, and she’s trying new foods quite often, so I can’t tell how much of this is those things or her having a sleep problem. However, these screaming fits and multiple late night wake up calls don’t happen every night, usually every other night. I’m at my wits end, and I could use some advice.

  192. Hi,

    Do you have any advices for our 5mo who now wakes up around 5:30 in the morning? I miss the 7-7:30 wakings! He usually has 2 or 3 night waking and I would nurse him twice even though I know that he shouldn’t need food. He is usually asleep by 7:30 at night and he has 2 naps of 30 mins and 1 nap of over an hour on the good days. Three weeks ago we started to put him down awake and pick him up when he cries and put him down when he stops and it usually takes ~15-20 minutes for him to fall asleep.

  193. when you are figuring out times do you take into consideration a baby born early? my daughter was almost 3 weeks early which makes it tricky when trying to read the charts. It is the difference between two different groups of times. my daughter is very sleepy and it worries me, so knowing this may help.

    • Absolutely. I generally consider the adjusted age for at least the first year. So if you’re looking at charts, lean towards adjusted age (birth age – 3 weeks) vs. actual. You might find that distinction less important from 6-12 months however. Good luck!

  194. So, what I don’t understand is: If my baby (6 weeks) wakes up from a nap, she tends to be hungry and often has a dirty diaper, so I change her diaper then feed her. When should there be interactive time? Also, is the swing the only method you recommend for getting the little one to sleep? We have tried, but for some reason just can’t seem to make it work. The Boba, on the other hand…

    Thank you!

  195. I don’t understand how to create a set bedtime and wake time. My 12 week old baby (born 3 weeks early so 9 weeks adjusted age) eats every 3 hours and naps great throughout the day, sleeping about 2 hours each nap. But his nightime sleep is inconsistent- anywhere from 4-6 hours and his wake time is different every morning depending on how many hours he slept through the night. So how do I have a set bedtime if every morning he wakes up at a different time so the 3 hour feed/wake/sleep cycles happens at different times every day…? I’m starting to wonder if his lack of a consistent set bedtime is causing his inconsistent nighttime sleep which is less than the 8+ hours you describe in your chart.

  196. Hi, my 9 month old has never slept through! Shes always been a nightmare to get to nap during the day and is a very light sleeper if she was to fall asleep in the day while out in her pram.

    She doesn’t have milk at night but will stir at least 3x a night, and will usually go straight back to sleep if I put her dummy in. But she has recently been sleeping 630/7pm, waking 630/7am cries out about 3x but goes straight back with dummy. Yet she wakes up tired and miserable every morning and has to be put back to bed withing an hour!! Is this normal? Thanks

  197. If my 15 week old sleeps 17 hours a day, is that too much? He does 12 at night and then 3-4 naps during the day for another 4-5 hours total.

  198. Hi! Advice please –
    my 6 week old is a champ sleeper…once she gets to sleep. She occasionally sleeps through the night, but at least for 6 hours for her first stretch. When we’re home, she takes naps as outlined above. However, she HAS to nurse to sleep. This means when we’re out, she’s not car-napping or stroller-napping. We have to go upstairs to her room, rock in the chair, and nurse until she literally falls asleep with my nipple in her mouth. She naps in the swing and sleeps in her crib. I’ve tried letting the swing put her to sleep, and it’s occasionally worked when she’s very very tired (out most of the day, at the drs office, got a shot) but for the most part she starts squawking after 5ish minutes and is in a full-fledged cry after 10.
    I know she is still in the range of “do what works to get her to sleep,” but since staying asleep isn’t her problem, I’m wondering if there are some gentle tips I can try to encourage her to fall asleep without nursing (she doesn’t take a pacifier) so that the transition won’t be so jarring later on. Thanks!

  199. Hi my 7 week old is really fussy when it comes to naps . She sleeps really well at night 6-7 hours which I know is lucky as many mums tell me but in the day she gets to sleep but wakes her self up all the time she’s constantly fussy and rubbing her face until she’s awake or try’s to fight her sleep , seriously one eye open as if she’s going to miss something she’s so nosey the slightest light or sound will wake her instantly . Is that normal I think she sleeps so well at night as she’s shattered.

  200. Hello! Im a little confused about the numbers on the chart. It says that (for a t month old) there are 3 naps between 1-2 hours each, but then the total sleep is between 11-15 hours with the goal of nighttime sleep being 12 hours? Isn’t that 17 hours? Math has never been my thing, but am I missing something? We are having a hard time getting our little guy (5 months) to sleep all night. He takes 2 naps that range between 1.5-2 hours and a 1 hour evening catnap. Could too much daytime sleep be the culprit?


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