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Optimal Three Month Old Sleep Schedule (With Feeds, Naps & Bedtime)

Looking for a good sleep schedule for your 3 month old? Get wake windows, nap lengths, feeds, and bedtime for your baby with this sample 3 month old sleep schedule.

3 month old baby smiling and looking into the corner

Many new parents wonder if and when they should start having a more solid baby sleep schedule.

By schedule, I don’t mean that you religiously look at the clock all the time and only feed your baby at a specific time or try and force your baby’s naps to be unrealistic.

That would be way too stressful and go against your intuition as a mom.

When I talk about a feeding and baby sleep schedule for a 3 month old, I mean paying attention to your baby’s wake windows, putting your baby down for sleep at the optimal time to avoid an overtired baby, and separating your baby’s feeds from sleep by a chunk of time to avoid feeding your baby to sleep.

Around 3 months, your baby’s circadian rhythm is established and they’ve likely worked out their day night confusion. They’ve also “woken up” a bit and can handle more awake time, although they are still very sleepy.

For me, 3 months is a great time to get in a more established routine and sleep schedule. Keep reading to see how much sleep your 3 month old needs, when bedtime should be, and how nap time fits into their day.

To help you better, download my free sleep calculator to see when naptime and bedtime should be based on your baby’s age. Click here to grab it, it’ll be super helpful.

3 Month Old Sample Schedule

3 month old sleep schedule

How Much Sleep Does A 3-Month Old Need?

Your 3 month old baby will need between 14 to 17 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period. It’s not as much as when they were newborns, but that’s still a lot of sleep!

This includes anywhere between 3.5 to 5 hours of daytime sleep during naps, as well as 11 to 12 hours at night.

Remember, at this age sleep begets sleep. If your little one is struggling to go down at bed time, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve slept too much during the day. In fact, the opposite may be true.

mom playing with 3 month old baby

What Are Wake Windows for a 3 Month Old?

When it comes to good sleep, it’s so helpful to have a firm understanding of your baby’s wake windows based on their age. 

Wake windows are especially important when it comes to developing a reliable routine and avoiding a baby who is overtired or overstimulated.

I know it might feel like you just got your baby’s 2 month old wake windows dialed-in, but the reality is that wake windows change frequently in the first year of a baby’s life.

It makes sense—there’s so much growth and development going on!

The typical 3 month old wake window is between 75 to 90 minutes long. That means that most 3 month olds will be able to handle being awake and out of their bassinet or crib for up to 1.5 hours at a time.

Keep in mind that when babies are this age (older than 12 weeks old), wake windows will begin when you get your baby out of the crib. The wake windows will end when you lay them down for sleep again.

mom holding 3 month old baby on her lap

How Many Naps Should A 3 Month Old Take?

Your 3 month old should take between 4 to 5 naps during the day.

If your baby takes a shorter nap, just follow their wake window and squeeze in an extra nap if need be. Contact naps are also beneficial at this age and can help when baby is fighting sleep.

If you find that your baby is taking naps that are only 30 or 45 minutes, or they appear to be fighting naps, you might be tempted to transition them to just three naps.

Don’t attempt the 4-to-3 nap transition just yet. That transition typically happens around 4 to 5 months old.

If your 3 month old has recently learned how to roll onto their tummy, or if they’ve begun to break out of their swaddle when they sleep, it might disrupt their naps a little bit.

Don’t mistake these sleep disruptions as signs that your baby is ready to transition to three naps.

Instead of a nap transition, try to keep offering four or five naps and stick to that nap time routine.

3 month old baby doing tummy time

What Time Should A 3 Month Old Go To Bed?

At this age, I recommend that you try to put your baby down for bed about 12 hours before you’re aiming for a morning wakeup.

This allows time for your baby to self-soothe and drift off, while still leaving enough time during the night to fit in all of the sleep they need, even if they have a couple night wakings.

So, for example, if your baby’s day typically starts around 7:00 a.m., try to aim for a bed time around 7:00 p.m.

Keep your baby’s wake windows in mind with bedtime as well.

Your baby can stay awake for about 75 to 90 minutes at a time, so make bedtime 75 to 90 minutes after they wake up from their last nap.

baby's legs on a blanket

How Often Should A 3 Month Old Be Waking at Night?

There can be a big range of how many times a 3 month old wakes up at night.

Some of it is based on the sleep habits you’ve established and some of it can just be pure luck.

Around this age, you might see that your baby is starting to sleep for longer stretches at night and taking in fewer night feeds.

A big part of this change is your baby’s improved daytime alertness and growing digestive systems. They are able to stay more alert for a full feed during the day, filling their tummies more easily and taking in more calories.

Full tummies make for better and longer sleep.

That means your baby may not wake as often during the night due to hunger. In fact, many 3 month olds will only need to wake up once or twice at night.

If your 3 month old is still waking three or four times at night, that’s perfectly okay. Each baby develops a bit differently.

baby sleeping on mom's chest as mom holds baby

How Many Hours Should A 3 Month Old Be Sleeping at Night?

Most 3 month olds need between 11 to 12 hours of sleep at night. 

That isn’t usually uninterrupted sleep though. It’s normal for your baby to still have a night waking or two at this age.

Sometimes families tell me that their babies aren’t able to get that much sleep at night because it’s taking them too long to fall asleep at bedtime.

If that’s your issue, consider shortening your baby’s last nap of the day to a catnap (45-60 minutes).

On the flip side, some babies’ night sleep is cut short because they are waking up too early in the morning.

If that’s your baby’s problem, you may need to make some adjustments to their nursery, wean off of a sleep prop, and double-check their wake windows.

dad holding 3 month old baby in the air

What is A Good Sleep Routine for A 3 Month Old Baby?

If you haven’t started following an eat play sleep routine, now is the time to start.

Eat play sleep or eat wake sleep means you separate your baby’s feeding times from their nap times, so you aren’t feeding your baby to sleep.

This can be tricky, but can also be a little easier to do around 3 months old now that your baby isn’t constantly falling asleep at the breast or bottle like in his newborn days!

Around 11 to 12 weeks, many babies can handle up to 90 minutes of awake time.

After the newborn period when your baby could only be awake for about 45 to 60 minutes, this feels like so much more time!

Many babies (and mamas) have learned the ropes of breastfeeding and babies can be more efficient at emptying mom’s breast milk while feeding. Feeding time time may decrease slightly in breast and bottle fed babies, simply because babies are quicker at it.

Baby sleep schedule binder mockup image

Eliminate Short Naps with a Predictable Sleep Routine

Take away the stress of figuring out your baby’s sleep needs. With the Baby Sleep Schedule Binder, you’ll get sleeping and feeding schedules that you can implement for every age, even if you currently have no routine in place. Check out the Baby Sleep Schedule Binder here.

Sample 3 Month Old Sleep Schedule

At 3 months old, most babies sleep needs have decreased and they don’t need as much sleep as they did in the newborn days, but they still need quite a bit!

Three month old babies will take 3 to 4 daytime naps for a total of 3.5 to 5 hours of daytime sleep.

This schedule has baby eating every 2.5 hours. Some babies may be able to extend to 3 hours at this point. Make sure to follow your baby’s cues when it comes to feeds and always feed a hungry baby.

7:00 a.m. — Wake Up + nurse or bottle

8:15–10:00 a.m. — Nap Time

10:00 a.m. — Nurse or bottle

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. — Nap

1:00 p.m. — Nurse or bottle

2:30 to 4:00 p.m. — Nap

4:00 p.m. — Nurse or bottle

5:15 to 6/6:15 p.m. — Nap

7:00 p.m. — Start bedtime routine + nurse or bottle

7:30/7:45 p.m. — Bedtime

Night feedings as needed.

If your baby is taking shorter naps, you can do an earlier bedtime to prevent an overtired baby. Move baby’s bedtime up by about 60 minutes on days where naps were perpetually short.

3 month old baby napping on mom's chest

3 Month Old Sleep FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding your 3 month old and sleep.

Q: Should A 3 Month Old Have A Schedule?

I debated a ton if I should try and keep my baby on a sleep and feeding schedule, especially at 3 months old. In the end, I chose to follow a predictable sleep schedule, because I liked having a plan for my day and a solid routine to follow.

This included doing eat play sleep and aiming to put my daughter down at her optimal wake windows.

Those early newborn days are for cuddles and getting used to being a new mom. For me it was way to stressful worrying about a newborn sleep schedule when my daughter was only a few weeks old.

But around 2 to 3 months of age, babies start waking up a little more. Many babies establish a feeding pattern or routine and some moms aren’t as worried about their milk supply or if baby is getting enough to eat. (Many moms still worry or struggle for many months though too!).

Sometimes she wouldn’t sleep through the end of her “scheduled” nap due to the 45-minute intruder and sometimes she needed a feeding before her “scheduled” feeding.

That’s okay!

Short naps can be really common in those early months. Babies this young are still learning how to transition sleep cycles and most babies will start to take longer naps closer to 6 or 7 months old.

If you are a person who likes to plan and have an idea of how your day will go, then I think having your baby on a relaxed schedule is a good idea. Just remember that he is still a baby and won’t always confine to clocks or papered lists.

3 month old sleep schedule

Q: Is There A 3 Month Old Sleep Regression?

While there isn’t a typical sleep regression at 3 months old, you’re approaching one. The 4-month sleep regression might even come for your family a little bit early.

Your baby’s sleep cycle will actually change sometime between 3.5 to 5 months, to more closely resemble an adult sleep pattern. And unfortunately, this change often causes a sleep regression.

Instead of the deep sleep of a newborn (where babies typically sleep through all sorts of noise and bright lights), babies begin to move to a sleep pattern that moves between cycles of deep and light sleep. 

Adults are adept at weaving these cycles together, but babies might wake more frequently as their body moves between cycles.

Q: Can You Sleep Train A 3 Month Old?

Three months old is still a bit too young to begin a sleep training method like The Chair Method or The Ferber Method. However, there are things you can be doing now to support independent sleep habits and prepare for sleep training soon.

One of the best things you can do for your baby’s sleep is to separate feedings from sleep. Now is a great age to begin making adjustments so you can stop nursing them to sleep, if you’re still doing so.

To begin some of the more formal sleep training methods, I recommend you wait until about 4 months old. Before that point, many babies still need to feed in the middle of the night.

You also need to make sure that you are ready to sleep train. It’s a process that requires consistency and buy-in from all of baby’s caretakers to solidify those healthy sleep habits.

Q: What Skills is My 3 Month Old Learning that Could Affect Sleep?

Around 3 months old, many babies start working on their first big developmental milestone—start rolling from their back to their tummy. This new skill can introduce new sleep problems, so make sure you’re prepared for when your baby is rolling in their sleep.

Give them lots of practice for rolling and tummy time during the day and make sure to stop swaddling at the first signs that your baby can roll over.

More Sample Baby Sleep Schedules

Get even more sample baby sleep schedules with these posts:

Newborn Sleep Schedule

1 Month Sleep Schedule

2 Month Old Sleep Schedule

3 Month Old Sleep Schedule

4 Month Old Sleep Schedule

5 Month Old Sleep Schedule

6 Month Old Sleep Schedule

7 Month Old Sleep Schedule

8 Month Old Sleep Schedule

9 Month Old Sleep Schedule

10 Month Old Sleep Schedule

11 Month Old Sleep Schedule

12 Month Old Sleep Schedule