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.
Sleep Needs in Healthy FT Babies Under 6 Months
9-20 hours – in healthy full term babies 0-8 weeks
9.4-17-18 hours – in healthy full term babies at 3 months of age
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.
You may have spoken to a friend whose baby sleeps 13 hours a day, while yours only sleeps a total of 10 hours (remember: that just might be the norm for your baby right now).
The first part of sleep development happens around that six to eight week mark when your baby will start to show a consolidation in their night sleep. 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 make efforts to get your baby down to sleep once you see those sleepy signs.
It 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 if their nervous system is overloaded. Having predictable routines at this age work well at helping to keep your baby’s world calm and relaxing.