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Baby Sleep Schedule for Your Baby’s First Year

Are you searching for some straight-forward examples of a baby sleep schedule? I’ve got you covered with these sample baby sleep schedules from Newborn through baby’s first birthday!

Straight forward baby sleep schedule

I remember as a new mom thinking I could really use an owner’s manual for my newborn daughter.

How amazing that would be! What if there was a complete, step-by-step guide to troubleshooting any and all problems with your newborn?

I would have settled for a step-by-step baby sleep schedule to start!

There’s so much information out there about baby sleep schedules, but I could never find all of the information I needed all in one place.

And honestly, sometimes I was just way too tired to go hunting for it all.

mom nursing baby

I felt like there were so many times in those early days when my sleep-deprived brain could have really used an at-a-glance schedule to keep our day on track!

That’s why I decided to create my own schedules to use with clients.

As a Pediatric Sleep Consultant, I’ve synthesized all my research, my favorite methods and schedules, my trials and errors, and my clients’ successes into baby sleep schedules that optimize sleep.

The best part is I’ve broken down each baby sleep schedule by age, so you can easily follow them from month to month as your baby grows.

Baby schedule cheat sheets mockup

Get Baby Schedules for Ages Newborn–4 Years Old

Get printable schedules for babies from newborn through 4 years old with my Baby Schedule Cheat Sheets. The Cheat Sheets are 25 pages on baby’s wake windows through their first four years, as well as tips on when to extend their wake windows and how to handle nap transitions. Check them out here!

The following baby sleep schedules are examples you can use or adapt to your baby and lifestyle. I’ve incorporated an eat-play-sleep routine and age-appropriate wake windows, so your baby will get enough activity during the day and optimal sleep during naps and at night.

Wake windows can vary from one baby to the next, but in general most will fall within a similar wake window range based on their age. That’s why I’ve separated out each of these baby sleep schedules by month.

When to start a baby sleep schedule

When Should I Start a Sleep Schedule for My Baby?

One of the biggest questions new parents have about their baby’s sleep is when to implement a more regular schedule.

The short answer is, it’s up to you and it’s never too late!

Those early weeks are a crazy, beautiful time when you can enjoy bonding with your sweet new babe and focus on recovering from labor.

Keep in mind that in the first 8 weeks or so of your baby’s life, the only predictable thing will be that things will be very unpredictable with their schedule.

On average, newborns will only be able to stay awake for about 45-60 minutes at a time. They might even still have their days and nights mixed up!

Newborn baby getting ready for sleep

Should I Use a Sleep Schedule With My Newborn?

It’s not realistic to adhere to a strict schedule in those early newborn days.

Naps can be erratic. Short naps are common and baby is sleepy throughout the day.

Feedings are also frequent and it’s recommended to feed on demand, especially to help establish your milk supply in the beginning.

The biggest thing to be aware of when it comes to a newborn baby schedule is to keep to your newborn’s wake windows. Watch your clock and prioritize getting your baby down for a nap after she’s been awake for 45 to 60 minutes. (I know, it’s barely any time at first!).

3 month old sleep schedule

3 Month Old Sleep Schedule

When your baby hits three months, they’re likely capable of handling up to 90 minutes of awake time. Your 3-month old will also start to become more interactive during their wake windows!

At this age, some babies will still need 1-3 feedings in the middle of the night, but others might sleep for longer stretches of time.

This example 3-month-old schedule uses 3 hours between most feeds, but some babies might do better at 2.5 hours between eating. Adjust to what makes your baby most content!

Short naps are normal at this age and it’s common for your baby to take 30 minute naps throughout the day. Not all babies will take an hour nap or longer.

Baby schedule starts with feeding

Here’s a sample schedule:

7:00 am: Wake Up + nurse or bottle

8:30 to 10:00 am: Nap

10:00 am: Nurse or bottle

11:30 am to 1:00 pm: Nap

1:00 pm: Nurse or bottle

2:30 to 4:00 pm: Nap

4:00 pm: Nurse or bottle

5:00 to 5:30 pm: Catnap

6:30 pm: Start bedtime routine + nurse or bottle

7:00 pm: Bedtime

Night feeds as needed.

4 month old sleep schedule

4 Month Old Sleep Schedule

Four months is one of my personal favorite ages! Babies tend to start developing a personality around this time, and they still have limited mobility.

You may or may not see signs of the four-month sleep regression around this time. If you’ve managed to avoid unhelpful sleep associations, this sleep regression might miss you completely!

I really liked the four month schedule. Naps started to get longer and our baby was able to go a little longer in between feeds.

This sample 4-month-old schedule assumes that your baby is able to do 2-hour wake times and go 3.5 hours in between feeds. Some babies will need to eat sooner, so make sure you’re paying attention to your baby’s hunger cues.

Baby sleep schedule includes nursing or bottle

7:00 am: Wake and nurse or bottle

9:00 to 10:30 am: Nap

10:30 am: Nurse or bottle

12:30 pm to 2:00 pm: Nap

2:00 pm: Nurse or bottle

4:00 to 5:30 pm: Catnap

5:30: Nurse or Snack bottle

7:00 pm: Nurse or bottle/bedtime routine

7:30 pm: Bedtime

Night feeds as needed.

baby going fown in his crib

5 Month Old Sleep Schedule

Your 5-month-old is ready to extend their wake windows once again and will continue to do so until they transition to two naps around the 6-month mark.

A good five month old wake window is between 2 and 2.5 hours in between naps. The first wake window of the day is typically the shortest.

Some parents choose to begin sleep training around the 5-month mark, once the potential 4-month regression has passed and feeding patterns are well established.

closeup of baby asleep

Here’s a sleep and feeding schedule you can try out on your 5-month-old:

7:00 am: Wake up + nurse or bottle

9:00 to 10:30 am: Nap

10:30 am: Nurse or bottle

1:00 to 2:30 pm: Nap

2:30 pm: Nurse or bottle

4:30 to 5:00 pm: Nap

5:00 pm: Nurse or bottle

7:00 pm: Start bedtime routine + nurse or bottle

7:30 pm: Bedtime

6 month old sleep schedule

6 Month Old Sleep Schedule

Thanks to the introduction of solid foods and your baby’s continued growth, wake windows can extend to 3 hours when they’re around 6 months old.

Also around this age, your baby might be ready to drop a nap and go from 3 naps to 2.

Even better, plenty of babies are capable of going without a night feed at this age! That means those stretches of sleep at night can be long and glorious.

6 month sleep schedule introduces solids

As you’re making the adjustment from 3 naps to 2, I’ve found that some days your baby may take two solid naps and some days they may need three naps.

A sample schedule may look like this:

7:00 am: Wake up + nurse or bottle

8:30 am: Solids/breakfast

9:30 to 10:30 am: Nap

10:30 am: Nurse or bottle

12:00 pm: Solids/lunch

1:00 to 2:00 pm: Nap

2:00 pm: Nurse or bottle

4:00-4:30 pm: Catnap

4:30 pm: Nurse or bottle

5:30 pm: Solids/dinner

6:30 pm: Start bedtime routine + nurse or bottle

7:15 pm: Bedtime

Sleep schedule stays consistent for many months

Baby Sleep Schedule 7-11 Months

Once your baby is solidly in the “2 naps per day” camp, you’ll likely be able to maintain a fairly solid sleep schedule for the next few months.

My favorite baby sleep schedule is either 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 or 3 / 3 / 3, which refers to the number of awake time between naps. It’s easy to remember!

By 7 months or so, your baby will likely be able to handle transition to two naps.

baby boy sleeping

Here’s what that can look like for your 7-, 8-, 9-, 10-, or 11-month old:

7:00 am: Wake up + nurse or bottle

8:30 am: Solids/Breakfast

10:00 to 11:30 am: Nap

11:30 am: Nurse or bottle

12:30 pm: Solids/Lunch

2:00 pm: Small nurse or bottle (if needed)

2:30 to 4:00 pm: Nap

4:00 pm: Nurse or bottle

5:30 pm: Solids/Dinner

6:30 pm: Start bedtime routine + nurse or bottle

7:00 pm: Bedtime

Keep in mind that throughout these months, you might run into the 9-month sleep regression. It can actually happen anywhere from 8 to 10 months!

Do your best to stick to the routine, and don’t introduce any bad sleep habits during the regression. It will pass in 2-6 weeks.

12 month old standing upside down

12 Month Old Baby Sleep Schedule

As your baby reaches toddlerhood, they’ll be approaching another shift in their schedule. There’s so much change and growth that happens around their first birthday!

First of all, your baby might give you a gift for their first birthday, in the form of a 12-month sleep regression. How thoughtful of them!

I would encourage you to get through any regression before modifying the sleep schedule again.

Your one-year-old is also on the brink of dropping yet another nap! I try to coach my families not to jump to one nap too early. If you can hold off for another month or more, your busy toddler could benefit from the extra rest.

12 month old baby sleeping with a teddy bear

In fact, your new toddler will be better suited to transition to one nap between 13-18 months.

If your 12-month-old still naps twice a day, you’ll want to make sure that their last nap of the day wraps up at least 3 hours before bedtime.

You might try to extend their last wake window to 3.5 hours in preparation of them eventually dropping their second nap.

12 month olds have a more active schedule

Here’s what that would like for your 12-month-old:

7:00 am: Wake up + nurse or bottle

8:30 am: Solids/Breakfast

10:00 to 11:30 am: Nap

11:30 am: Nurse or bottle

12:30 pm: Solids/Lunch

1:30 pm: Small nurse or bottle (if needed)

2:30 to 4:00 pm: Nap

4:00 pm: Nurse or bottle

5:30 pm: Solids/Dinner

6:30 pm: Start bedtime routine + nurse or bottle

7:30/8:00 pm: Bedtime

I go over all of these first year schedules and even more modifications in my Baby Schedule Cheat Sheets. If you’re looking for more ideas or how to handle schedules from 13 to 36 months, check them out!

Amy Motroni