The ideal wake, nap, & sleep schedule for a baby

Sleep Expert Kim West, LCSW-C, shares advice for parents on the best sleep and nap schedule for babies in order to help them meet sleep needs and sleep well
The Best Wake, Sleep, and Nap Schedule for Babies
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The ideal wake, nap, & sleep schedule for a baby

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Here is the ideal sleep schedule for a baby. So 6-8 months old, they really need about 3-3 ½ hours of sleep during the day over the course of 3 naps, 11 hours at night. So let's say they go to bed at 7-7:30. That's the typical window, again every baby's different. But that's really a nice average. And then they sleep through with a feeding, without a feeding, depending on your baby. And they wake up somewhere between 6 and 7:30, which is really an average wake up for the day window. And then they have their morning nap about an hour and half, two hours after wake up in the morning. So maybe it's somewhere between 8 and 9:30, depending on when they woke up. You really don't want a morning nap before 8 a.m. And then the next nap happens 2-3 hours after the next nap. So asleep within 3 hours. So if they woke up at 10, they're going to bed within 12 and 1 o'clock in the afternoon. And then if they have a decent nap, maybe an hour and half hopefully in the afternoon, that's still going to be a long window to bedroom So they're going to need a third little, what I call a bonus nap, something to help them get to 7 o'clock without falling apart and running on vapor. So even if that third little bonus nap has to be in the carrier or in a stroller, or if you're picking up other kids in the car, it's okay. It's okay. As long as they have that so they can make it to bedroom. That's the typical schedule for a 6-8 month old.

Sleep Expert Kim West, LCSW-C, shares advice for parents on the best sleep and nap schedule for babies in order to help them meet sleep needs and sleep well

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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