Home / Baby Sleep Needs / Baby and Toddler Bedtimes By Age – An Easy Reference Chart from The Baby Sleep Site®
Last updated: by Emily DeJeu
As many people know, it is important to have a consistent bedtime for your baby or toddler. That, plus a good bedtime routine, is generally the first step in working towards sleeping through the night, and towards creating a predictable daily sleep and feeding schedule.
But what are the best bedtimes by age, exactly? A bedtime that’s too early may result in early-morning waking and short naps, but a too-late bedtime may make your baby overtired, which can lead to a whole host of sleep problems at night. Therefore, the best bedtimes by age depend on your unique baby’s sleep needs and development.
Not to worry, parents – as usual, we have the information you need! We’ve even organized it for you and everything – and we’ve made it printable! Stick this on your baby’s bedroom wall, put a copy in your diaper bag to reference when you’re traveling, hand it out to friends at your morning moms’ group – you get the idea! Scroll down to find out how you can get a printable PDF version of this chart.
Average Baby and Toddler Bedtimes By Age
|Age||Total Sleep||Avg. Wake Time*||Bedtime||Notes|
|Newborn||15-18 hours||Varies||N/A||Newborns need to eat frequently and will wake round the clock to feed, so a fixed bedtime is obsolete at this age. Watch your baby’s sleep cues closely, and put down for sleep at the first signs of tiredness.|
|1-4 Months||14-15 hours||Varies for 1-2 month olds; 3-4 month olds average 1-2 hours between naps||8-11 p.m.||User the later bedtime for younger babies. By 3 or 4 months, you can gradually shift to using the earlier bedtime, as your baby (hopefully!) starts to sleep for one longer stretch at night.|
|4-8 Months||14-15 hours||Average wake time is 2-3 hours||6-7:30 p.m.||Most babies are ready for a predictable schedule by about 6 months. Regular naps emerge at this time (4 naps at first, and then gradually moves to 3 naps). Use the earlier bedtime during the transition from 4 naps to 3, to ward off over tiredness.|
|8-10 Months||12-15 hours||Average awake time is about 3 hours||6-7 p.m.||Most babies are taking 2 naps at this age. This is also prime time for the 8/9/10 month sleep regression! Use the earlier betimes if the regression has your baby napping less or waking more at night, and becoming overtired.|
|10-15 Months||12-14 hours||Average awake time is 3-4 hours||6-8 p.m.||Stick with 2 naps, if possible; most babies aren’t ready to transition to one nap until 15-18 months. If your baby goes through the 12 month nap regression, use the earlier bedtime to make up for lost nap sleep.|
|15 Months-3 Years||12-14 hours||Average awake time is about 5 hours||6-8 p.m.||Your toddler will transition to needing just one afternoon nap by about 18 months. That nap should be about 2-2.5 hours in length. Use the earlier bedtime during the transition from 2 naps to 1, and during the 18 month and 2 year sleep regressions, to make up for any lost sleep. By 2 years of age, you should start using 7:00 as your earliest bedtime; the 6:00 bedtime is more appropriate for younger toddlers.|
|3-5 Years||11-13 hours||Average awake time is about 12 hours, if toddler/preschooler is no longer napping||7-8:30 p.m.||Most children give up the afternoon nap at this stage. Substitute an afternoon rest time in for the nap time. Try to time bedtime so that you allow for roughly 12 hours of night sleep, for children who are no longer napping. Use the later bedtime for children who are still transitioning away from the afternoon nap.|
*Average Wake Time refers to the amount of time your baby or toddler is able to comfortably stay awake during the day, between naps.
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37 thoughts on “Baby and Toddler Bedtimes By Age – An Easy Reference Chart from The Baby Sleep Site<sup>®</sup>”
Hi! We really love your site and the approaches you take 🙂 A question about bedtime and consistency. Our 8 month old’s bedtime is generally either 6ish or 7ish, switching back and forth nearly every day or two, depending on how her second nap goes. (Some days great, 1hr30, and some days it’s one 35-min sleep cycle). This switching back and forth seems to affects her morning wake up time – it’s like she’s on a 23 hour clock, and each day everything gets pushed earlier and earlier until one day there’s a 530am wake up, feeding, and back to bed til 7 and then everything is later again. Any advice on what to do about this? Keeping a set bedtime would be hard on the days she takes a bad second nap, as 4+ hours is too long a last wake time. Thanks for any tips!
Hi @Allison –
Thanks for writing, and we’re SO happy to hear that you love our site!!! Sorry to hear that some mornings include a 5:30am wake up time. Having an inconsistent schedule can be so rough, as can those 5:30 wake up times!! It sounds like you’re working hard to find the right schedule for all of you, and that you’ve done your sleep homework! A great way to get these specific schedule questions answered by an expert would be to join our VIP Members Area! Our VIP Members Area gives you access to all of our e-Books as well as audio tele-seminar recordings, case studies, and do-it-yourself tutorials, including a workbook designed to help you create your own sleep plan.
My favorite feature, and the one I think you’ll love is the access to our weekly “members only” expert chat sessions, where one of our sleep consultants will answer your specific questions live via chatroom! You can also write a message on any of the pages within the VIP Area, and a Sleep Consultant will reply!
I think this would be a great fit for you Allison, and the VIP subscription is available in varying lengths/sizes to fit every budget. Members also receive 20% off of all personalized sleep consultation services, should you find that you would like more personalized assistance at any time.
You can read more about our VIP Members Area here:
Thank you again for being a loyal reader Allison!
Our baby is 6 months old. We’ve been told to keep him in his crib once he’s down for the night and not to feed him until after midnight. We think our son is actually hungry (he only wakes 2xs per night and it is to feed) and aren’t sure it’s a good idea to withhold food. What do you think of this?(Video) Learn to Talk with Ms Rachel | Baby Learning Videos | Toddler Speech | Christmas | First Words
Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site as a resource! I’d be happy to help with your question. Although occasional 6 month-olds can sleep through the night without eating, it’s far more common for babies this age to need to eat 1-2 times overnight. We have a night feedings by age chart you can see here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/baby-night-feedings-age-chart/
And we also have an article on how to tell is a night feeding is necessary or not, which I hope will help you, here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/baby-night-feedings-when-necessary/
Please let us know if you have any questions!
My son .he is 1 years and seven month am confused he sleep late like 23:00 and waking up @02:15 or 03:00 in the morning ..Its been two weeks now .I am thinking to take him to the Doctor .Is it normal or what else?
@Lucy Kalinda, thank you for writing to us. Would you mind providing a few more details so I can better answer your question? Are you saying he goes to bed late (23:00) and wakes up for feedings just a few hours later, or wakes up for the day? How is the rest of his schedule with naps? Here is a link to a sample toddler schedule to give you an idea of what the goal would be to achieve: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/toddler-schedule/
I hope this helps but let us know more details and we’ll be happy to help further.
My grandkids – now 4, 5, and almost 2, never had a designated nap time or bedtime. Naps just didn’t/don’t happen, and bedtime is/was when everyone fell asleep. Could be 10, 11, 12, or later. The older ones never used their cribs, “she’ll cry if I put her in her crib”, “he throws up if he’s in the crib and I don’t want to be cleaning the carpeting every day”. So they slept with mom and/or dad, all together in a double bed. Dad works nights so when he gets home he usually just heads for the couch as it’s hard to sleep in a double bed with mom and two little ones. The baby was started in its crib around 9 months to a year; prior to that mom wanted to co-sleep, and dad was worried about that so took the couch.
Wake up time is whenever people wake up – no schedule, no routine. Play, romp, tv, snack, romp, tv, snack, play, eat, get in car seats when parents need to go out for appointments and errands, stay in car seats while one parent does the errand or goes into the appointment and the other sits in the front of the vehicle. Back home after hours in car seats, play, snack, tv, fast food, tv, snack, play, eventually everyone goes to bed but night-working Dad.
Now old enough for preschool and kindergarten; tired, tantrums, bad behavior, missing readiness skills.
Baby/Toddler is pleasant, very independent and likes to do things itself, but lack of routine and structured interaction.
What to do, other than Mary Poppins AKA SuperNanny?
Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site as a resource! I’m sorry to hear your grandkids are having some trouble with overtiredness. We have worked with families who keep a very loose schedule/routine, and it can work for certain personalities fine, so if your daughter and her family are happy with it, just focusing on having an early-enough bedtime for the kids might be enough. If she’s unhappy and just is not sure where to start adjusting, I’d recommend our article on how to put a child on a schedule here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/baby-toddler-schedule-how-to/
A schedule is always a great first step, and after that’s implemented, she could work on transitioning out of co-sleeping, getting kids sleeping through the night on their own, etc at her own pace.
If she needs more support, this is definitely something a sleep consultant could help her with, too. A consultant could look at your daughter’s sleep situation and goals, and create a step-by-step plan she can work on at her own pace. You can read more about consultations here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-sleep-consulting-services/
I hope this helps, but please let us know if you have any questions. Good luck!
Very good post. I absolutely love this website.
Keep writing!(Video) Bedtime Routine - Bedtime Stories for Toddlers - Preschool Videos - Toddler Learning Video Songs
Thank you, please keep reading!
What about a toddler with sensory processing disorder/possible ASD? She literally has never followed any of these recommendations for bedtimes and will not go to sleep easy at all, bc she has trouble calming her mind down and seems to need to stay awake longer than the times listed. Would someone be able to help me with a schedule?
Its been 2am the past week ?
Hi @Christina Norris, thank you for writing to us, I’m sorry to hear you are struggling with your daughter’s sleep. Yes, children with sensory processing disorders or ASD may need a different approach. We do have an article you may like reading through on how ASD can affect sleep if you are interested: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/how-autism-spectrum-disorders-affect-sleep/
If you would like help with tactics and a schedule, we would love to help you. Our sleep consultants are well versed in sleep training and have worked with many families with similar situations to yours. If you are interested in getting a plan you feel comfortable with and that will work (and we will tweak it and work with you on anything that’s not working!) then you can read more about our Personalized Consultations, which I think you would really benefit from, here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-sleep-consulting-services/
If you have questions about how it all works or what package would be best for your situation, please email us directly anytime at [emailprotected] and we can help you with the next steps. I hope this helps!
My daughter is 9 months and at daycare she takes one long nap from about 10am-2pm give or take. She then is in bed between 6:30pm and 7pm. We have to get her up at 5:45am to get ready for the day on weekdays. So I have a few dilemma’s here. First I know she is not old enough for one nap, but she will not take a second nap when we get home around 4-4:30pm. I can’t really wait and put her down closer to 5 as she will then be up much later. My question is should she be in bed earlier due to the fact that she is awake from 2pm on and the fact that she has to be up at 5:45am? I am thinking maybe we should be putting her in bed closer to 6 then? It is so confusing and I hate to screw up LO’s schedule but of course with both parents working we need to work it around our schedule. I feel like the one nap has messed up her night sleep. She wakes frequently most nights and needs to be comforted, not hungry or needing a diaper change or anything.
Thank you for your comment on The Baby Sleep Site! I’m sorry to hear that your daycare’s schedule is disrupting your child’s sleep. The majority of 9 month-olds do need those two naps spread out during the day, so even if she’s getting enough day sleep during care, the structure of her sleep may be causing those night wakings, like you mentioned. I’m not a sleep consultant and unfortunately can’t help too much with your questions about how to adjust her schedule, just because they are so specific and she’s so little, but this is definitely something one of the sleep consultants could help with, either with a consultation, or via our Members Area. I do wonder if there’s any way around the one giant midday nap – is your daycare willing to work with you at all, especially since she’s under a year? It’s hard to believe every baby they care for can handle that schedule!
HI. My baby is 4 months. It says that the bed time is 6pm- 7pm. But it’s impossible for because we get home from work at 7:30pm and tje earliest we can put her to bed is 9pm. Does it affect her sleep? She still wakes up many times at night.
Thank you for your comment on The Baby Sleep Site! Generally, as long as your baby is getting enough sleep, and the sleep is spaced correctly, you can adjust the schedule forward or back as fits your family. Some babies do better with a later schedule than others, though, so it does depend a little bit on your daughter’s personality 🙂 We have a custom schedule generator that might help you get a sense of what a later bedtime might do to the rest of the schedule here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-schedule-maker/
I hope it will help!
Wow this site is a great help. I was always following this schedule without even knowing It was recommended! I just created a nap schedule based on her sleep cues
So glad to hear it’s been helpful for you, Anna! We really appreciate you being a loyal reader!
My 7-week-old is impossible to put down at night. I have tried starting her bedtime at different times, most recently at 9 pm. I can’t get her down until at least 11:00. Burping her seems to be the hardest part. It takes forever and if I give up on but keep her upright for a little before putting her down, she wakes up spitting up. I don’t remember it being this hard with my first two! I try not to pick her up once she’s down, but if she’s inconsolable I do. She will sometimes take the pacifier and other times spits it out.
@Julie – Thank you for reading and for sharing. Burping and bedtime at this age can be super frustrating! Please be sure to speak with her healthcare provider about potential reflux and different positioning for burping her, which may be more helpful or quicker. An 11pm bedtime is actually not uncommon for this age as a newborn’s “bedtime” generally falls pretty late or closer to the time you or I would go to bed. Read more about their schedules here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/newborn-sleep-feeding-schedule/ Hang in there, Julie!
My 18 month old wakes up at 5:30am every morning…no matter if she goes to sleep at 6/7/8 5:30am….so obviously I put her to bed on the early side to make up for it, but what is an appropriate nap time? (one nap that last about an hour and a half) all of the toddler schedules I read online are based off babies that start the day at 7am….
Hi @Amanda – Thank you for writing to us. Try out our free custom schedule maker. It is perfect for figuring out a good schedule for early risers or (late wakers)! Here is the link: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-custom-sleep-schedule
Good luck Amanda!
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