Ever heard of the phrase ‘sleep like a baby’? Well, now it is time to find why many say so.

Babies are expected to sleep for long hours. When asked as to why they do so, an expert commented, “Could you imagine what it would be if the baby did not sleep for long in the mother’s womb?”

Then again, as the baby gets older, she tends to sleep lesser than before. In short, the more active your baby becomes, the lesser she sleeps.

How do you know if your baby is sleepy?

Your baby is likely to be on the verge of sleeping off if she shows the following signs:

  • Rubbing her eyes
  • Yawning
  • Looking away
  • Fussing

Putting your baby to sleep – best practices

Here are a few ways to ensure that your baby sleeps for long hours in a most peaceful and content manner:

  1. Follow a sleep-time routine for your baby.
  2. Make sure that your baby does not fall asleep while eating or when she is in your arms. If she does fall asleep in your arms, she is likely to grow accustomed to it. This would make it difficult for the parents when she grows up and has outgrown the length of your arms. Instead, it would be wise to rock your baby to calm her down and place her on a bed before she falls asleep.
  3. Ensure that your baby sleeps on her back (i.e the supine) position. This is said to be the safest position. Remember that your baby is likely to choke in case she is seen sleeping on your stomach.

Worried that your baby is not sleeping as much as she should?

These facts could help throw some light about the ideal hours of sleep required for your baby:


Age: 1-4 weeks

Total numbers of hours of sleep per day: 15 – 16 hours

Up to the age of four weeks, your baby will sleep in smaller ‘slots’ for a minimum period of two hours and a maximum period of four hours. This is because the sleeping patterns of a neonate or a new born baby are not related to daylight and nighttime cycles.


Age: 1-4 months

Total numbers of hours of sleep per day: 14 – 15 hours

Between the ages of one month and four months, your baby’s sleep patterns tend to become more regular. She would probably sleep for a period of three to four hours and a maximum span of six hours in the evening. She would no longer be confused between day and night.


Age: 4-12 months

Total numbers of hours of sleep per day: 14 – 15 hours

For the next six months, i.e till your baby turns a year old, her sleeping patterns would be more adult-like. She would probably take two naps by the age of six months and would soon be capable of sleeping through the night.


Age: 1-2.5 years

Total numbers of hours of sleep per day: 12 – 14 hours

By the time your baby enters the age bracket of a year and 2.5 years, your baby will not only have adult-like sleeping patterns but will no longer need her morning and early evening naps. She would consider napping only if she wanted to give her parents a break!

Are these sleeping patterns subject to change?

Yes, your baby is likely to wake up more often at night due to certain factors – be it the weather, an unsatisfactory intake of breastmilk, and the likes.

Studies have shown that infant receiving breastmilk were more likely to wake-up at night throughout the first year. This is primarily due to the fact that breastmilk leaves the stomach more rapidly than formula feeds. Thus, your baby would become hungry sooner than expected. This could account for the shorter periods of sleep.

If your baby does not sleep for as long as they are expected to, consult your baby’s pediatrician.