As soon as the baby is born, we all want our babies to sleep well. Without really understanding baby's sleep cycle or their natural development stage, it is really difficult to know how to let them sleep well. The chart below explains baby's sleep schedule and what you can expect from your baby's first few years.
Birth to 6 Weeks
Baby's sleep pattern is unpredictable and irregular. Babies sleep a lot throughout the day in bits and pieces.
6 Weeks - 3 Months
Babies are known to sleep longer at night. According to Babywise book, "by five weeks of age, most babies can extend their night-time sleep by 1 hour for each week. The average healthy five-week old can handle a 5 hour stretch at night. A seven week old can handle a 7-hour stretch at night."
However, don't despair if your baby isn't sleeping according to the schedule or isn't sleeping longer hours at night. 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child' book provides this advice: "Infants under three or four months of age, you should try to flow with the child's need for sleep. Don't expect predictable sleep schedules, and don't try to enforce them rigidly. Still, some babies do develop regular sleep / wake rhythms quite early, say at about six to eight weeks. These babies tend to be very mild, cry very little, and sleep for long periods of time "
Takes about 3 naps instead of many brief, irregular ones.
Takes about 2-3 naps during the day and it would be normal to have babies wake up once or twice in the middle of the night.
Takes about 2 naps and around 9 months, late afternoon nap disappears and each nap gets longer. Babies do not need bottle-feeding at night. As the baby takes only two naps a day, they tend to get more tired towards bedtime and it is recommended that you move bedtime 20-30 minutes earlier to accommodate the dropped nap.
Babies take 1-2 naps a day.
18 Months - 3 Years
Babies take one nap a day. On their 3rd birthday, most children (91%) are still napping every day. At age four, about 50% of children nap five days each week, and by age five, about 25% of children are napping about 4 days each week.