07914921222 deb@savvytotsleep.com

Many of you have commented on why we don’t write about sleep confusion and “normal” sleep routines for LOs.

The truth is you can look on any website to find out average sleep needs for babies and LOs – so we tried to make our blog a bit “different”. However – it seems from the many comments we’ve had that you would like more information on average awake/sleep times.

The key thing to ask yourself is does your baby/LO wake up happy and well rested? Frankly – if the answer is “yes” whatever “the experts” say doesn’t matter. Some babies/LO’s just seem to survive on less sleep without any detrimental effects. Although if you read some books you are the devil incarnate if your baby/LO isn’t getting the correct amount of sleep!

It’s important to watch out for for sleepy cues and these are:

In babies;

  1. Fighting sleep!
  2. Irritability and fussiness
  3. Averting gaze away from you
  4. A glazed, distant stare
  5. Pulling ears
  6. Rubbing eyes
  7. Moving head from side to side
  8. A pale complexion with dark rings around the eyes
  9. Continuous crying which means baby has become so overwhelmed with emotion he/she has gone past being able to calm down

In older LOs;

  1. Fighting sleep!
  2. Over active or hyperactivity
  3. Tantrums
  4. Glazed stare or ignoring their surroundings (pretending to be deaf!)
  5. Clumsiness
  6. Obesity/excessive eating
  7. Short attention span and flitting from one activity to another

As SOON as you see sleepy cues it’s important to start a “wind down” routine to help LO prepare for sleep.

You will see from some “sleep experts” below there is a wide variation in expected “awake” times before baby/LO needs sleep.

The “Baby Whisperer” says average awake times by age are:

  • Newborn: 50 – 60 mins
  • 1 month: 60 mins – 1 hour and 15
  • 2 months: 1 hour and 15 mins – 1 hour and 20 mins
  • 3 months: 1 hour and 20 mins – 1 hour and 30 mins
  • 4 months: 1 hour and 45 mins – 2 hours
  • 5 months: 2 hours – 2.25 hours
  • Late 5 months/early 6 months: 2.25 – 2.5 hours
  • 6.5 – 7 months: 2.75 – 3 hours
  • 8 – 10 months: 3 – 4 hours
  • 11 – 12 months: 3.5 – 4.5 hours

Gina Ford says average awake times are;

  • Newborn: 1.5 hours
  • 2 months: 2 hours
  • 6 months: almost 2.5 hours

Baby wise says average awake times are;

  • Newborn: 30-60 minutes
  • 4 weeks: 45-60 minutes
  • 1-2 months: 45-70 minutes
  • 2-3 months: 50-80 minutes
  • 3-4 months: 60-90 minutes
  • 4-5 months: 75 mins -2 hours
  • 5-6 months: 75 mins – 2 hours 10 mins
  • 6-7 months: 95 mins – 2 hour 20 mins
  • 7-8 months: 1 hour 45 mins – 2 hours 30 mins
  • 8-9 months: 1 hour45 mins – 3 hours
  • 9-10 months: 2-3 hours 15 mins
  • 10-11 months: 2 hours 15 min – 3 hours 45 mins
  • 11-12 months: 2 hours 15 mins – 4 hours

The “No Cry Sleep Solution” says average awake times are;

  • Newborn: 2 hours

Now you know average awake times here are the average amount of sleep needs per age: (Remember – we said average!)

  BY DAY BY NIGHT
1–3 months 8-9 hours 8-9 hours
3–6 months 7-8 hours 8-9 hours
6 – 9 months 4-6 hours (in 3 – 4 naps) 9-10 hours
9–12 months 3–4 hours (in 2 – 3 naps) 9-11 hours
1–2 years 2–3 hours (in 1 – 2 naps) 9-11 hours
2–3 years 1–3 hours (in 1 nap) 11-12 hours
3–5 years 1-2 hours (in 1 nap) 11-12 hours

PLEASE remember these are only a guide. Many babies and LOs sleep less/more than the recommended sleep time. Imagine 100 people and that the 50th person is on the average line. But the majority fall outside of the “average”. See what we mean? So – don’t worry if your baby or LO isn’t average.

The key thing is to ask yourself is baby/LO happy on waking – that’s a good sign they are getting enough sleep.