Most babies from birth up to six months sleep a total of 15 to 17 hours a day, and, including nighttime sleep and naps. But when your 3-month-old baby seems to be asleep for long hours, you start to get worried and ask yourself “Is it normal for a 3-month-old sleeping too much?”
In most cases, there is no reason to worry because a lot of sleep is what he needed for the first few months of his life for his rapid growth and development. The tabulation below will help you define how many hours of sleep does a baby need for different ages or if he is really sleeping “too much”.
How much nap time sleep is too much?
Sleeping preferences vary between babies depending on their needs. Some babies may sleep longer than the other, and some may take one long nap while others prefer two or three short naps.
Baby sleep chart
Duration of Naps (HOUR)
Time Between Naps (HOUR)
Sleep at Night (HOUR)
Total Sleep per Day (HOUR)
Birth – 6 Weeks
6 Weeks – 3 Months
18 Months – 3 Years
So if your 3-month old baby takes 3-4 naps per day, you have nothing to worry because it is completely normal. When and how your baby will take a nap depends on his preference. He may prefer one 1.5 hours nap in the morning and 1.5 hours in the afternoon, or take four short naps in the morning and afternoon.
A newborn sleeping pattern is unpredictable (Birth to 3 months)
Babies’ brain and body have lots of development to do, which is why babies tend to sleep more than adults especially during the first years of their lives. When babies sleep, they spend more time in light sleep or REM (rapid eye movement), which is essential for their brain development.
A newborn baby sleep 15-16 hours per day, but only half of this sleep were spent on REM sleep. As they age or become adult, they spend fewer hours sleeping including time spent in REM sleep.
Some babies can fall deeply asleep easily while others spend 15-20 minutes squirming, tossing and turn on their bed before they get into deep sleep. Some babies can be put down drowsy yet still awake, while some babies need to be rocked or nursed to sleep. Learn about what transitioning technique will work on your baby as this will affect his sleeping pattern.
Your 3-month old baby is probably working on his sleeping pattern. He may be sleeping a lot now, but it may change during the succeeding months. What you can do for now, is to help him with his sleeping schedule so both of you can have a sound and good night sleep.
Setting up sleeping pattern for your baby
All babies are unique so as their sleeping pattern. It is best to observe your baby for you to know what sleep training will work for him. In case your 3-month old baby does not have a sleeping pattern yet, you may want to consider these simple steps.
1. Check for signs of sleepiness
Your baby will let you know when he is tired and ready to sleep by showing these signs
- Rubbing eyes
- Looking away from you
Do not wait for your baby to be “overtired” as he will become fussy or cranky so chances are it will be hard for him to sleep. Once you see signs of sleepiness from your baby, put him to bed and soothe him to sleep. Watch this video to know more about “Recognizing Baby Tired Signs”
2. Differentiate day-night sleep cycle
The earlier you start setting day-night sleep cycle, the better. Help your baby know the difference between day and night, and let him become aware that daytime is “playtime” and night-time is “sleeping time”.
What you can probably do is to make daytime “animated” or with happy and fun activities like singing nursery rhymes or reading books out loud. When night comes, you can put on a lullaby and try to speak to him in a soft voice. You can also try putting on a dim light so he will know that it is time to sleep.
3. Develop bedtime routine
You can also help your baby with his sleeping pattern by establishing a bedtime routine. You can start by giving your baby a bath before going to bed, then read him stories or sing lullabies.
At first, it may seem to be ineffective but consistency is the key so stick with your routine every night. Routine provide a sense of security for baby as he will learn to anticipate what the next step will be.
Looking for a lullaby for your baby? You may want to check out this audio CD, Bedtime Mozart: Classical Lullabies for Babies
4. Establish his body clock
You can help your baby establish his body clock by giving him the right cues. When and how you put him to sleep, his sleeping environment will all affect his sleeping pattern. It is important to establish his body clock that is appropriate for his age and development.
For example, an appropriate night time sleep for a 3-month old is 8-13 hours of sleep from around 8-10 p.m. while 3-4 naps during the day with 1-1 hour and 45 minutes nap time interval.
Get Yourself Some Rest
All mothers fret about their babies, and there is nothing wrong with it. It is okay for you to worry about your 3-month old baby getting a lot of sleep but now you know that generally it is unlikely to be a cause for concern.
Unless of course, you notice your baby literally sleeps continuously, not even to eat, and then you have a reason to be worried. Do not hesitate to call a medical expert if this is the case.
Take advantage now while your baby is sleeping a lot and get yourself a lot of sleep and rest, too! If you have not done any of the tips on setting up a sleeping pattern for your baby, now is the best time to work on it. Do you have any other concerns about baby’s sleep? Feel free to leave a comment.