Sleep Needs in Healthy Full-Term Babies Under 6 Months:
Sleep needs are still highly variable between babies at this age. Current research has shown that there can be a variation of up to 8-9 hours in a 24 hour period in babies 6 months and under. One study showed a difference of up to 12 hours between babies. Below is a chart that shows the wide range of variability based on a compilation of research in infant sleep in the last 15 years.
Average Wakeful Window for Babies 0 to 6 Months:
As you can see, this range is very broad and shows that there is no typical infant schedule or normal sleep average for babies under 6 months. This is why it is important to not compare your baby to your neighbors, friends, sisters, etc. because it can vary by such a large amount.
Continue to focus on your own baby’s unique sleep needs and patterns. You should be starting to become familiar with their sleep cues by now and should get your baby down to sleep once you see those sleepy signs.
This month also continues to be a critical time of helping your baby to stay calm so that they are able to transition to sleep easily when that sleep pressure rises and they begin to get tired.
Overstimulated babies will find it difficult to settle and have a challenging time transitioning to and staying asleep. Having predictable routines at this age work well at helping to keep your baby’s world calm and relaxing.
3 Month Sleep Patterns
You’ve probably noticed that your baby may be getting into a rhythm with sleep. This is because over the past month, your baby’s circadian rhythm has started to develop. Circadian rhythm is the internal clock that controls our patterns of sleeping and waking.
Hormones control this rhythm and cues from daylight and darkness help to regulate our sleep and awake times. Sleep will continue to organize as your baby grows and develops.