So let’s be realistic – not all baby are like your cousin Linda’s and sleep through from three weeks. Babies are designed to wake up, they feed little and often and are incapable of taking on enough food to last them through eight hours of sleep. This is what you should expect in the early years:-


Newborn babies are used to noise, your body is a loud place! They are used to your smell, you are their safe place which means that their sleep cycles will be shorter. They have no concept of day and night. They may end up sleeping better in your arms or in a sling.

3-4 months

Their circadian rhythms are starting to develop so you may find that they are sleeping longer at night but they will wake up for feeding. They will also nap in the day.

4-5 months

Ah! The dreaded word: regression. This means that they have made a developmental leap which can then impact their sleep. It doesn’t mean your milk isn’t enough or that they are ready for solids. They should still be waking for night feeds and napping too.

6-9 months

The sleep stretches should be longer but they may be waking at night still.

9-12 months

Again another developmental leap so there may be some sleep regression. Part of this is the possible development of separation anxiety so they may wake more for reassurance.

12-18 months

By this age they should be able to stay asleep through the patterns of their circadian rhythm. They may still be napping in the day.