Night Sleep - What's Average?

Listed below is the average amount of night sleep in hours for age (may not be an unbroken stretch of sleep)**. In case you're wondering, I rely upon Weissbluth's (or Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child) averages the most.

Average night sleep I've observed over the years. These are optimal amounts for a well rested child, not what is necessarily
common (since many children are overtired which would make these averages much lower).

Night Sleep
Birth - 6 weeks
9-12 hours
2 months
9-12 hours
3 months
10-12 hours
4 months
11-12 hours
5 months
11-12 hours
6 months
11-12 hours
7 months
11-12 hours
8 months
11-12 hours
9 months
11-12 hours
10 months
11-12 hours
11 months
11-12 hours
12 months
11-12 hours
12-18 months
11-12 hours
18-24 months
11-12 hours
2-3 years
11-12 hours
3-4 years
11-12 hours
Print out PDF chart HERE

Once your child is around 3-5 months old (or before if you're lucky) and has dropped his middle of the night and late-evening feedings he should be sleeping 10-12 hours at night. This average continues through the Preschool years.

1 week: varies
1 month: varies
3 months: 8.5
6 months: 9.25
9 months: 9.5
12 months: 9.25-10.25
18 months: 9.63
2 years: 9.63
3 years: 9.75-11.25
4 years: 10-11
5 years: 10.75
6 years: 10.5
7 years: 10.38
8 years: 10.25
9 years: 10.13
10 years: 10
11 years: 9.88
12 years: 9.75
13 years: 9.63
14 years: 9.5
15 years: 9.25
16 years: 9.13
17 years: 9
18 years: 9

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child**
4-11 months: 11 hours
1 year: 11.5 hours
2 years: 11 hours
3 years: 11 hours
4 years: 11.25 hours
5 years: 11 hours
6 years: 11 hours
7 years: 11 hours
8 years: 10.5 hours
9 years: 10.5 hours
10 years: 10.25 hours
11 years: 10.25 hours
12 years: 10 hours
13 years: 9.6 hours
14 years: 8.5 hours
15 years: 9.5 hours
16 years: 9.75 hours

No Cry Sleep Solution
Newborn: varies
1 month: 8.5-10
3 months: 10-11
6 months: 10-11
9 months: 11-12
12 months: 11.5-12
2 years: 11-12
3 years: 11
4 years: 11.5
5 years: 11

Sleeping Through The Night
3 months to 10 years (if not older): at least 10-12 hours

**In Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, the amount of sleep shown is the fiftieth percentile rather than the average. When averages are listed in this book, they are usually a bit higher than this percentile.

Related Posts:
Daytime Sleep - What's Average?
Total Sleep - What's Average?


  1. Rachel, is the baby expected to drop the DF and MOTN feedings by herself? I have such a miserable situation right now and don't know how to fix it. I have tried asking people on the Babywise board and Val's blog but haven't gotten any help. My issue is that she started waking up for her dreamfeed about six weeks ago and now it's a nightly occurence. I keep feeding her because I can't seem to fit in a 5th feeding with the schedule we have. Also I didn't know I was supposed to let her CIO through MOTN feedins early on so I didn't start doing that until a couple months ago (she's 5 months now) and it still hasn't helped. I was told to drop them one at a time but she's still crying twice a night so I let her cry through the first and then feed her for the second. I'm so upset because I'm getting up twice a night and feeling so fatigued that I let her sleep as late as she can every morning without waking her. I want to start my schedule at 7:30 but when I'm not rested I just hit my alarm and let her get up on her own. I have her on a 3.5 schedule that working pretty well for us. Her naps aren't perfect but they improved after I moved froma 3 hour schedule. Also I dropped her fourth nap and I expected that to help us all around but it hasn't seemed to. Please, please help!

  2. Idealy baby will drop the middle of night feeds by herself either slowly or all of a sudden. He may skip feedings or start to take less at them. Normally baby sleep through the df and mom has to wake him up to feed him at this time. When this is dropped it is usually dropped by moving this time closer to the bedtime feed, by slowly decreasing how much baby gets at this feed, or by suddenly dropping it and seeing how baby does. It seems like most BW people try and drop the df around 4-6 months, but I know the baby whisperer says not to drop it until baby is well established on solids which is more like 7-8 months.

    The middle of the night feeds can go on later than it should if baby is not getting enough to eat during the day and/or is used to eating at night and feels hungry even though he doesn't actually need food at this time since he is old enough to get enough to eat during the day, he is habitually waking (is he waking at the same time each night?), baby is arousing during sleep transitions and isn't able to go to sleep by himself, baby is too hot/cold, baby's daily schedule is inconsistent or not appropriate for her age, baby is getting too much day time sleep or baby is in pain. Those are the reason I can think of right now. I'm planning to do a post on it soon.

    My guess is that she is waking for the df out of habit. She may be waking for the other feeds out of habit (is it the same time each night) or bc she is actually hungry. You mentioned that you have been doing CIO for 2 months during the first night time awakening but baby keeps waking. Do I have that right? How long does she cry during this feeding. Have you seen any improvement? When you feed her at the first and/or middle of the night awakenings does she eat a lot? If she does, then she may either need more food during the day, an introduction of solids (it may take a couple weeks before this helps) or you may need to continue feeding once (there is no reason to feed no more than once at night, even if solids aren't introduced. baby can get enough milk during the day at this age) until solids are introduced. If she doesn't seem to eat much at night then it seems like it is probably d/t habit. You can do CIO, but you can also offer a pacifier at awakenings, hold her until she falls back asleep, do "wake to sleep" (put your alarm on before she normally awakens and partly wake her up--this should help her not habitually wake at the normal time).

    Oh, and she may also be waking because she is getting too much sleep during the day. To fix this you need to analyze your schedule. Are you keeping to the eat/activity/sleep routine? As tired as you are, if you let her sleep late into the mornings you may be perpetuating your problem. Try and get sleep throughout the day if you can since you aren't getting tons at night. To put him back on a routine you may need to keep her to her normal optimal wake time even though she may get tired a little before this from being up at night. You will probably have to do a lot more soothing before sleep and may need to help her out to sleep in some ways that you would normally not. The reason for this, is that you need to get her on a normal schedule where she is awake more during the day and sleeps more at night, but you can't do this without some extra guidance on your part since she'll keep wanting to sleep more during the day to make up for night time sleep.

    To put more feedings during the day you could feed her before and after a nap if needed. Just don't feed to sleep. I find this useful instead of having to drop down to a 3 hour scheudle with can cause other problems at this age. Hopefully the increase of solids (if you're on them already) or the introduction of solids soon will help out if this is a hunger issue. Wooo, that was long :) Let me know if you have more questions.

  3. So...I can't get a good grasp of what STTN entails. Do these hours constitute completely uninterrupted sleep without any wakings for anything--comfort, feedings, etc...? If so...DANG. We've got a long ways to go!

    1. Yes, STTN means sleeping without feeds and if there are wakings, baby can put himself back to sleep by himself.
      See this.


  4. Hi, my baby is 10 weeks old and is getting better with naps and following 2.5-3 EWS routine. But we put him to sleep in a cradle for naps. He wakes up at 30 mins and we swing again and he sleeps again. Night time he sleeps without the cradle by a little rocking. I wanted to know what's the best age to start putting him to sleep with one of the sleep methods you have discussed? We are also cosleeping. Would the 4 month sleep regression upset things if I start sleep training now?

    1. Radhika,
      It depends on what method you use and how comfortable you feel. I think you are fine to start with any of the methods that require little to no crying. Many moms will start with some methods that require more crying right now, but that is up to you. I think you are fine with either option. It is baby's temperament and your personal preference you need to look at to help you choose. I don't think you need to wait for the 4 month sleep regression to pass. You will always have some kind of issue to "wait through" and there seem to be more as baby grows.

  5. Thanks Rachel. I would like to try the combination first so I've less tears. Do you think we should start off with naps first. At night we are so tired that we just give in to what my baby needs :(

    1. Radhika,
      Before you do anything, you'll have to get yourself committed or you'll just end up giving in now, or when a regression in sleep comes. Keep looking at your goals and visualizing where you'll soon be! You'll probably have a lot more luck with nights. Naps are a lot harder for most babies and take a lot longer to work out. Maybe try switching off with someone at night so you can get some sleep and be less likely to give in. And try to ignore all other responsibilities for a few days so you can focus just on this.

  6. Thanks. So I've started off with night time, but I still need to rock him initially. He sleeps well then through the night only waking for feeding every 3-2 hrs and feeding in his sleep. He's 11 weeks, and has been a frequent nurser since the beginning. But he wakes up early 5-6ish. Sometimes even at 4. Plays for a 20 mins or so and goes back to sleep in another 20 mins or so. His 2nd nap is long and the 3 rd is even longer - 3-3.5 hrs, with maybe a feed in between while he's sleepy. I feed on cue and am confused how to go by the clock, since he may having a growth spurt and wanting more. I'm trying to stretch his naps or try easase routine. But more often than not he's want a feed when he wakes up or else cries a lot. Any suggestions on handling the routine during a growth spurt?

    1. Radhika,
      Take a look at the posts on routine and they'll give you an idea of how to organize the feeds, even with growth spurts.Mainly you will just feed a little more often or feed more at each feeding.

      With feeds, if you are trying to stretch them out (3 hours at this age sounds fine to me though) then I would work on full feeds (he needs to take them while completely awake during the day) and hold him off with a feed by just a few minutes more every couple days. Just try to distract him for a few minutes. His body will get used to eating less often and he'll start to eat more at each meal which will make him feel full for longer. You always go by cue even if you are trying to follow the clock too.

      Keep an eye on those long daytime naps. They can sometimes rob a baby of night sleep or cause extra night wakings. (but so can ovetiredness so you have to use some problem solving and trial and error)

  7. Hi Rachel,
    Our baby is 15 weeks (was 4 weeks early, but is a very big baby, 7.5kg) and we're really struggling with his sleeping. We're doing the EASY routine and that's been working well, i.e. I've been able to get him to go to sleep without feeding him to sleep and during the day it has generally been easy to tell what he needs (eat, sleep or to be awake). But his EASY cycles are really short during the day (roughly 2.5 hours ... he can only really stay awake happily for 1 hour but sleeps only 45 mins!) and during the night he still wakes up every 3 hours. We had a two week patch where he started to sleep much better during the night (for 5 to 7 hours in one go for his first sleep cycle) but he seems to have digressed again. Regardless of when we start bathtime he only falls asleep for his night sleep at 8 and we don't do a dreamfeed as he just seems to wake up at the same time regardless of DF or not. I'm really struggling to keep going given I'm feeding him every 3 hours throughout every night...I'm wondering whether I just don't have enough milk by the end of the day to make sure he's full enough to make it for longer stints during the night, or whether it's anything else we're doing wrong. Would really really appreciate your views!

    1. Kerstin Parker,
      Try slowly adding like 5 minutes of waketime up to maybe 15 total to see if it helps with the naps. Work on extending them if possible (see short nap and extending nap posts). With night sleep, I would probably work on extending out feeds slowly. Have a time in mind that he normally eats. work on one feed at a time. Move that feed time back 15 minutes every few days and do not feed before that time (or you can reduce how much you feed at the feed - reduce 1-2 oz every few days) until the feed is gone. Then work on the next feed. Work on getting him to bed a bit earlier, between 6-7. He may be getting overtired past that time and can't settle. Work on having him fall asleep his own at bedtime since this usually helps with night wakings. He can be a little drowsy, but not very drowsy.


  8. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for being such a great resource! I had a question about what 'night sleep' means... does this mean all sleep between 7pm and 7am or from bedtime sleep to when baby has first wake cycle in the morning? Thanks!

    1. fert,
      Night sleep is generally from 7-7 (or the approximately 11-12 hours that baby sleeps from bedtime to morning wake time, including possible night feeds)

  9. We have an almost 4 month old son. Up until about 5 weeks ago he was a good sleeper (5-8 hr stretch followed by 2-4hr stretches). Now I'm lucky to get a 3 hr stretch & he seems like he's forgotten how to self sooth and freaks out when I put him to bed for the night & after feeding, sometimes taking up to an hour. Letting him cry for 10 min doesn't help, he just gets more hysterical. He sleeps in a cosleeper in our room, bedtime is between 8-9pm. Bedtime routine is bath (every other night)-massage-book-song-nurse-sleep. Daytime schedule based on 90 min to 2 hr wake times following his cues, lasting 30 min-2hr (usually 2 1-2 hr naps, and around 30-45min naps). I nurse him on demand. Our pediatrician sugessts CIO, cloae door at 7 pm and don't open it until 7 am....not surevi can handle that. Any suggestions? This situation is not functional.

    1. Sam Friday,
      An earlier bedtime likely will help quite a bit. Look over the suggestion on the setting the stage for good sleep post. It looks like you are already doing a good pre-sleep routine. My guess is that he's protesting having to go to sleep and you helping is just making the protest last longer. I'm not saying you can't help, I'm just saying that's the stage he's in right now. I would look over the sleep training section for ideas of a method that sounds right to you. Yes, you can do could do cio (although I probably wouldn't do straight 7-7 if he's been used to eating all night, I would do a weaning process) but there are other options too.


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  11. Rachel, thanks very much for being so helpful to all of us. My 4.5 months old girl is having sleep issues both in day and night. Day time she cannot complete any nap herself. I put her to sleep with little help but she wakes up exactly after 45 minutes, needing help again. With a little help - singing and rocking for a minute she is sleeping again. I was hoping this would get better with time but isn't. I can time a clock by her wakings in day time. Everytime 45 minutes. In night good night is 2 wake ups while bad night is 6-7 wake ups. I keep trying to help by making her warmer, cooler, a bit more tired than usual, a bit less tired than usual, but nothing helps. She has a bedtime routine but that doesnt help either. Any suggestions for me ? I am exhausted. THank you.

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  13. Dear Rachel,

    I sleep trained my 4.5 month old last week in anticipation of having to return to work in 2 weeks and needing to transition her from the Rock and play to the crib and also help her learn to fall asleep on her own for daycare. Since sleep training she has been waking at 4:45am every morning and just talking to herself and fussing a little and falling in and out of sleep until we pick her up out of her crib at 6:15am. I don't go in to her until the morning wake up time because she is generally not crying and I don't want her to think it is time to get up until after 6am. She has also been taking short naps of 30-45 minutes and takes about 4-5 of them per day. Sometimes she will take a 1-2.5 hour nap during the day but only in her car seat (even when it is not in motion). Is there any way to get my baby to sleep later? She is asleep by 8pm at night but we start her bedtime routine around 7:15-7:30pm. Thank you for your help!

  14. Hi Rachel

    Our little girl is 12 weeks today and I am feeling extremely confused about how to help her during the day. She used to nap really well but slowly she has become a sure cat napped 30-45 mins three times a day. If I go out walking she will sleep the duration I walk (front pack or in pram). At night she has started sleeping approximately 7.30/8pm -5.30am which is great and we are really pleased. During the day I don't seem to get clear cues from my baby, one day she is happy being up for the full 1.5 hours and I can settle her easily before going to sleep in her cot, other times she just goes hysterical and I've completely missed my window and have an overtired baby after just one hour. Her cues are all mixed up which I think is probably my fault since I am now confused also therefore my responses are sometimes just guessing- sometimes I guess right and sometimes I guess wrong. how can I help her get some consistency in her day naps like she used to? Sometimes she wakes from her sleeps absolutely hysterical (even if she is on me!) sometimes it is wind if she is in her cot and I can burp her and get her back to sleep but not very often). Is 44 minutes ok? I miss our long lunchtime naps (2 hours) that she used to have. Please help, so confused !!!