All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > Growth & Development > Sleep > Sleep and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
Sleep and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old

Lea este articulo

Just when you think that getting more shut-eye is a far-off dream, your baby will begin to sleep longer stretches at night. Baby's sleep cycle is getting closer to yours, and he or she is able to hold more milk in the tummy.

But don't assume you'll be hitting the snooze button just yet. At this stage, "sleeping through the night" is considered to be a stretch of only 5 or 6 hours.

How Long Will My Baby Sleep?

Since babies this age are more awake, alert, and aware of their surroundings during daylight hours, they're more likely to be tired at night and sleep. But the range of normal is still very wide.

By 3 months of age, babies tend to sleep about 14 hours a day. Many will have settled into a daily sleep routine of two or three naps during the day, followed by "sleeping through the night" stretch after a late-night feeding.

Again, not all infants keep to the same timetable. If you have questions or concerns, check with your doctor.

How Should Babies Sleep?

Follow these safety precautions with your little one:

safe sleep infant illustration

Although many cultures endorse bed-sharing, there is a risk that the baby can suffocate or strangle, and multiple studies show that there's a higher incidence of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in households where the baby slept in the parents' bed. This is especially true for babies of mothers who smoke. A safer option is to room-share and have a separate crib or bassinet in the room with you. You can enjoy many of the benefits of bed-sharing (making feeding easier, getting back to sleep faster, etc.) without the risks.

Helping Your Baby Sleep

If you haven't already, start a bedtime routine that will be familiar and relaxing for your baby. Bathing, reading, and singing can soothe babies and signal an end to the day. Be consistent and your baby will soon associate these steps with sleeping.

If you rock your baby to sleep before bedtime, your little one may expect to be rocked to sleep after nighttime awakenings. Instead, try putting your baby into a crib or bassinet while drowsy but still awake. This way your baby will learn to fall asleep on his or her own.

Although it may be hard at first, some experts suggest this is also the age to start letting your baby fuss for a few minutes when he or she wakes during the night. Your baby may simply be in a phase of light slumber, even though you think he or she is wide awake. Some babies squirm, whine, and even cry in their sleep before falling back to sleep on their own.

Unless you suspect that your baby is hungry or ill, try to see what happens if you leave your baby alone. It will help you all in the long run if your baby can develop the skill of going back to sleep without your help.

If your baby wakes during the period that you want him or her to sleep, keep activity to a minimum. Change or feed your baby in the dark, and don't play with the baby. Your little one will start to get the message that you're a bore during the night, so he or she might as well just go back to sleep. It can also help to keep your electronics and mobile devices off and to keep lighting low during night awakenings.

If your baby is waking early for a morning feeding, some small changes may allow a slight shift in schedule. You might try waking your baby for the late-night feeding at a time that suits your sleep schedule. For instance, if your baby sleeps after a 7 p.m. feeding and wakes up at 2 a.m. to eat, try waking the baby to feed at 11 p.m. and then put him or her down to sleep until an early-morning feeding at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. It may take a few nights to establish this routine, but being consistent will improve your chances of success.

When to Call the Doctor

If your baby's sleep habits concern you, speak with your doctor, who can reassure you or get to the root of a physical problem that may have no other symptoms besides crankiness or sleeplessness.

Either way, the doctor can help get you on the right track — the one that leads to more quality sleep for your baby and for you.

Reviewed by: Rupal Christine Gupta, MD
Date reviewed: November 2014

Related Articles
P    Bed-Sharing
P    Breastfeeding FAQs: Sleep - Yours and Your Baby's
P    Choosing Safe Baby Products: Cribs
P    Communication and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
P    Feeding Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
P    Growth and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
P    How Can I Be Sure My Baby Stays on Her Back While She Sleeps?
P    Is Bed-Sharing OK for My Baby?
P    Movement, Coordination, and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
P    Pregnancy & Newborn Center
P    Sleep and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old
P    Sleep and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old
P    Sleep and Your 8- to 12-Month-Old
P    The Senses and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com

Related Information

Sleep Lab
External Links
Health Library
Related Pages

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved