Sleep v. Wake Time: How to Manage Your Baby’s Sleep Wake Schedule

One thing our expert team of night nannies is always consulting with our clients on is sleep time vs. wake time needs of their infants. So knowing it’s such a common question, we thought we would share our insights with everyone who could use the help! We love educating and equipping parents as much as we love snuggling and swaddling our little ones.

Here is a general idea of how much sleep and wake time babies need at each phase of their first year:

When a baby is first born, they can handle only about 30-45 minutes of wake time before needing to go back to sleep. Awake time starts as soon as the baby is awake and feeding their bottle or nursing is part of awake time. This is why those early weeks seem like all they (and you) do is eat, sleep, poop, repeat!

Stanford Children’s states newborns need 16 hours of sleep total, with 8-9 of those hours being at night.

2-6 Months
At around 2 months of age, awake time increases to about 1-1.25 hours. This wake window steadily increases each month by about 10-15 minutes per month, until babies can stay awake 3-4 hours at a time close to their first birthday. A 3-month-old needs about 15 hours of sleep each day, with 9-10 of those hours being at night.

6-9 Months
80% of babies in this age group nap between 2.5-4 hours each day. Your baby may be on a 4-hour schedule now and ready for longer awake periods. Babies age 6-9 months need about 14 hours of sleep each day, with 10-11 of those hours being at night.

9-12 Months
Babies of this age are down to one morning and one afternoon nap at this point and in need of 14 hours of total sleep per day, with 11 or so of those hours at night.

1 Year
The majority of babies still take two naps when they turn one. If the afternoon nap becomes poor, reduce the time of the morning nap to 1 hour so that your baby will continue to take a long afternoon nap. If your baby is down to one nap a day, it should be the afternoon nap with an earlier bedtime.

And as always, Indy Night Nanny believes in the power of routine both during the day and at bedtime to ensure enough quality sleep for everyone.



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