Home / Family Articles / How Long Should Babies Nap During The day?

How Long Should Babies Nap During The day?

How Long Should Babies Nap During The day?

Written by:

It’s a well-known fact that for the first few weeks of their lives babies do little except feed and sleep. But even as they grow, daytime naps remain important for babies and young toddlers.

Getting too much or too little sleep during the day will have a knock-on effect and stop your baby from sleeping well at night. It’s a myth that denying babies daytime naps will help them sleep through the night. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. Babies and toddlers are likely to become overtired and the resulting crankiness will make it difficult for them to settle in the evening and more prone to waking during the night. On the other hand, too much daytime sleep can make it difficult to get a baby to settle in the evening. The trick is to strike a balance between how long your baby naps during the day and how much sleep they get at night.

Number of naps

Newborn babies don’t have nap times as such. They tend to sleep for two to four hours at a time, day and night. Because of this you don’t need to worry too much about getting into a pattern or routine at this stage. From around six weeks babies usually sleep less often for longer, typically having between two and four naps every day. From around three months babies’ naps start to become a little more predictable and so you can start to plan them. By around nine to 12 months, most babies will be down to just one morning and one afternoon nap per day, dropping the morning nap by the time they are around 18 months. Many toddlers will continue napping in the afternoon until they are around three years old.

Nap times

How Long Should Babies Nap During The day?Many parents and children find it useful to get into a routine of napping at certain times of day. A schedule like this allows parents to plan for the day ahead and also lets baby know when it’s time for a snooze. Schedule naps to coincide with your baby’s natural sleep cycles and create a routine that helps her wind down. Pay attention to signs of tiredness, which can include rubbing eyes, getting fussy or a change in mood.

How long should babies nap for?

All babies are different and while one child might be happy with just a couple of hours’ sleep during the day another might need substantially more. As a general guide, it’s recommended that children get the following amount of daytime sleep:

0 – 4 weeks                5 hours

4 – 8 weeks                4 – 4.5 hours

8 – 12 weeks              3.5 hours

3 – 6 months              3 hours

6 – 12 months                        2.5 – 3 hours

12 – 15 months         2.5 hours

18 – 24 months         2 hours

2 – 2.5 years              1 – 2 hours

2.5 – 3 years               0 – 1 hour

Naps are important for babies and toddlers as they allow them time to process what they’ve learned as well as giving them the energy needed to get to the end of the day. Most babies will naturally sleep for as long as they need so don’t worry if your baby has a little less daytime sleep than is recommended, as long as she is happy and healthy there’s nothing to worry about.






About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

View all posts by