One thing we struggled with immensely was sleep. Infant sleep is an interesting topic because some people are wholehearted believers in sleep training and some strongly oppose it. We didn’t sleep train, but once we got our daughter into a routine, things did get better. Of course, as with anything related to baby, this guide to naps is not a solid schedule, but should provide you with an idea of what to expect at certain ages and how many/how long naps should be throughout the day. I’m going to lay out approximately how many naps baby should take, duration of daytime sleep, wake windows, and frequency of feedings.

A Guide To Naps: Schedule By Age

Newborn-6 Weeks

Number of Naps: Varies (on average 4-5)
Daytime Sleep: Varies
Total Daily Sleep: 16-20 hours
Wake Windows: 30-90 minutes
Average Nap Duration: 15 minutes-3 hours
Feeding Schedule: Every 2-3 hours

Newborn stage is difficult because baby isn’t aware of day and night. They are still working out any kinks related to feeding, physical development, and any GI issues like reflux that may cause them discomfort. Nap schedules are not important at this age, as long as baby is getting fed routinely and they are getting adequate sleep. 

sleeping swaddled newborn
2-3 Months

Number of Naps: 4
Daytime Sleep: Varies
Total Daily Sleep: 15-17 hours
Wake Windows: 30-90 minutes
Average Nap Duration: 30 minutes-3 hours
Feeding Schedule: Every 2-3 hours
Goal Bedtime: 8 PM

At the 2-3 month time, your little one is still in the ‘fourth trimester’ age where sleep is still rather sporadic and naps are not consistent. At this point you can expect about 4 naps a day, but you should read baby’s sleepy cues. Are they rubbing their eyes or yawning? Other signs are crying, fluttering eyelids, and baby isn’t interested in feeding. 

Tips: Try keeping nap time location as consistent as possible. At this age, they start to gain some awareness so keeping consistent with location should help improve naps. Also ensuring that the space is dark enough, we recommend black out curtains. White noise or light calming music is also very helpful for baby sleep. Keeping the temperature comfortable is important, as well as making sure baby is wearing the right clothing. Jammies and a sleep sack or swaddle are appropriate at this age. 

Sleeping Baby activities, tummy time
4-6 Months

Number of Naps: 3-4
Daytime Sleep: 3-3.5 hours
Total Daily Sleep: 15-17 hours
Wake Windows: 2.5-3 hours
Average Nap Duration: About 90 minutes
Feeding Schedule: Every 2.5-3.5 hours; don’t wake at night for feedings unless instructed by your doctor
Goal Bedtime: 7-8 PM

At this age baby’s internal clock is starting to work. This means that they should start sleeping longer stretches at night and get into a more routine nap schedule during the day. That said, keep consistent with naps (location, sounds, temperature, dark). In this age, babies generally experience the dreaded ‘sleep regression’. This is caused by baby experiencing different sleep stages similar to those of adults. The active sleep stage consists of a startle reflex that can easily wake baby up. Generally it lasts 2-3 weeks before they get sleeping figured out again. 

Tips: At the 5 months mark, most babies are ready to drop to 3 naps. Their nighttime sleep at this age should be around 10-11 hours. If you are battling sleep regression, you may want to let baby nap in the stroller, car seat (only in the car where it is safe and at proper angle), being rocked, or nursed to sleep. 

Active Happy Healthy Baby
6-10 Months

Number of Naps: 2-3
Daytime Sleep: 2-3.5 hours
Total Daily Sleep: 13-15 hours
Wake Windows: 3-4 hours
Average Nap Duration: 1-2 hours
Feeding Schedule: Every 2.5-3.5 hours; don’t wake at night for feedings unless instructed by your doctor
Goal Bedtime: 7-8PM

You’ve now hit a stage where baby can (loosely speaking) sleep through the night. Baby should sleep about 11-12 hours at night, and 3-3.5 during the day. This age comes with many milestones that can disrupt sleep, including scooting, crawling, and pulling up on things. The crib rails are perfect practicing areas for this so don’t be surprised if baby fights naps or has too much energy to lay down.

Tips: At this age, many experts recommend sleep training to get baby to sleep longer stretches and improve nap schedules during the day. Baby will also be more aware of their surroundings and thus you should keep naps as consistent as possible (without sticking to such a rigid schedule that you lose it!).

Baby learning to walk
10-14 months

Number of Naps: 2
Daytime Sleep: 3 hours
Total Daily Sleep: 13-15 hours
Wake Windows: 3-4 hours
Average Nap Duration: 1-2 hours
Feeding Schedule: Every 2.5-3.5 hours
Goal Bedtime: 6:30-8PM

This is a time where motor skill development is very active. Many babies are learning to walk which is something they want to practice. Try to put your baby down drowsy at this point or they’ll likely fight their naps. Also make sure baby is tired enough and isn’t being stimulated by light or other sounds while trying to put them down. 

Tips: Make sure baby has plenty of time to practice those new skills when they are in a ‘wake window’. Also make sure they are plenty tired for their nap, not to be mistaken for over-tired. Baby should be showing tired cues such as rubbing eyes, yawn, fussiness. Sleep training is also a recommended option at this point for babies that deal with separation anxiety or fussiness. 

baby walking
14 months-2+ years

Number of Naps: 1
Daytime Sleep: 2-3 hours
Total Daily Sleep: 13-15 hours
Wake Windows: 4-6 hours
Average Nap Duration: 2-3 hours
Feeding Schedule: Every 2.5-3.5 hours

Baby is generally ready to drop to 1 nap a day between 13-18 months of age. You’ll know your baby is ready to drop to one nap when they fight naps 3-4 days a week, they have a hard time falling asleep at nap time, and the second nap is pushing bedtime back. Generally before 13 months of age baby is not ready to have their second nap cut, even if they seem to be fighting it. 

Tips: If baby seems to fight their second nap and it’s before 13 months or their first nap is 2+ hours, try cutting the duration of the first nap first. If this doesn’t help, then it’s likely that baby is ready to drop to one nap. Remove stimulus from their room when putting them down, including toys from the crib. Keep it dark and turn on white noise. 

A Guide To Naps: A summary

First off, if you can see I include a goal bedtime. This is because many infants have a natural lull in their energy around this time. That said, not everyone has schedules that accommodate this schedule and that’s okay. We did more of a 9:30-10:30 PM bedtime, but I stayed home so that allowed wake times between 8-9:30AM. The biggest focus is making sure baby gets enough sleep!

There are a number of mentions of sleep training in this post. While sleep training is recommended by many, it’s not recommended by all. I’ve seen many groups that support it as well as oppose it. The decision is up to you and your best judgement as a parent. Of course, make sure your little one is getting enough sleep. There are a number of sleep training methods out there, from cry it out ‘CIO’ to staying in the room. One method I’ve seen has been very successful is the Taking Cara Babies course. Research and choose what is best for you! If you need assistance putting together a bedtime routine, check out this post.

I’d love to hear what your biggest struggle is or if any of these tips will be tried in your house! A guide to naps was really helpful to me and our daughter’s sleep schedule, so I hope it will help some of you too! Thanks for reading.


Privacy Preference Center