Sample Sleep and Feeding Schedules from Birth to 3 Years

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Sleep and Feeding Schedules

By far, one of the most popular topics on The Baby Sleep Site® blog is the topic of scheduling. While not all parents are Type-A people who want meals and naps happening at exactly the same time each day, in my experience, just about ALL parents would like at least some predictability from one day to the next, and a schedule can really help with that.

But how do you get your child on a healthy eating and sleeping schedule? And how will your child’s schedule need to change as your child grows?

How To Get Your Child On A Schedule

First, let’s take a look at some general tips you can use to get your child on an age-appropriate schedule:

Newborn-3 Months: Babies this young generally aren’t ready for a predictable schedule. If you push for a clock-based schedule too soon, you run the risk of keeping your baby awake too long between some naps, and that can lead to overtiredness. You can begin to work towards some predictability by setting one or two fixed points in your baby’s day, but avoid trying for too many. Similarly, you can begin to work on helping your baby fall asleep without sleep associations, by putting her down slightly awake for one or possibly two naps.

4 Months: Your 4 month old baby will have limited ability to be on a true by-the-clock schedule (and you don’t want to try too hard for a schedule at this age, anyway, thanks to the 4 month sleep regression). Your best way to add predictability and structure to your day is to follow more of a routine that’s independent of the clock (like an eat-play-sleep routine), rather than a by-the-clock schedule.

5-7 Months: Around 5, 6 or 7 months old, some babies can begin to get on more of a clock schedule. 6 months in particular is a good age to start working towards a predictable schedule, as this is when your baby’s sleep will start to consolidate, and naps may start to lengthen. However, it’s still a good idea to keep a good bit of flexibility built into your baby’s schedule. To put your 5, 6, or 7 month old on a schedule, you want to move slowly in extending their awake period until your baby can comfortably get to your target nap or sleep schedule. For tips on what ideal wake times look like, between naps, check out our baby nap chart.

8-10 Months: Your 8, 9, or 10 month old can often be on a more regular and predictable schedule, but remember this age group is prone to the 8-9-10 month old sleep regression, which can wreck even the best sleep schedules. To put your 8, 9 or 10 month old on a schedule, you’ll want to extend the awake period, just like your 5 or 6 month old, but you may be able to go a bit faster than you would during the 5-7 month stage.

11-12 Months: Your 11 or 12 month old will likely have gotten on their own schedule, even if you didn’t mean for it to happen. Most babies will begin to fall into a fairly regular pattern, even if it’s not identical every day. However, you may need to provide a little nudge; you may also need to correct whatever “natural” schedule your toddler has adopted if it isn’t practical. To put your baby/toddler on a nap sleep schedule, take one for a test drive to see how your little one responds. Different babies need different schedules.

Toddler: Of all age groups, a toddler’s schedule is often one of the easiest to achieve. As long as your toddler is napping independently and can nap long enough, your toddler will fall into a predictable schedule. You can set the schedule based on the clock and, generally, will get a good night’s sleep and a good nap out of him. Granted, over-tiredness can still lead to shorter naps or night-waking or your baby waking too early, but if you follow a standard 5 hours awake before and after the nap, most toddlers should do pretty well.

Sample Schedules: 4 months – 3 Years of Age

These schedules assume a morning wake-up time of 7 a.m. To create a custom schedule that uses a different morning wake-time AND that includes feeding times, you can become a member of The Baby Sleep Site® and enjoy unlimited access to our Member-Only Schedule Maker.

4 Month Baby
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 8:30 AM
Second Nap: 11:30 AM
Third Nap: 2:00 PM
Fourth Nap: 4:30 PM
Bedtime: 7:00 PM

5 Month Baby
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 8:30 AM
Second Nap: 11:30 AM
Third Nap: 2:30 PM
Fourth Nap: 5:00 PM
Bedtime: 7:30 PM

6 Month Baby
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 9:00 AM
Second Nap: 12:30 PM
Third Nap: 4:00 PM
Bedtime: 7:00 PM

7 Month Baby
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 9:00 AM
Second Nap: 1:00 PM
Third Nap: 4:30 PM
Bedtime: 7:30 PM

8-9 Month Baby
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 9:30 AM
Second Nap: 2:00 PM
Bedtime: 7:00 PM

10 Month Baby
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 10:00 AM
Second Nap: 2:00 PM
Bedtime: 7:00 PM

11 Month Baby
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 10:00 AM
Second Nap: 2:30 PM
Bedtime: 7:30 PM

12 Month Baby
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 10:00 AM
Second Nap: 2:30 PM
Bedtime: 8:00 PM

13-15 Month Toddler
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 10:30 AM
Second Nap: 3:00 PM
Bedtime: 8:00 PM

16 Month – 3 Year Toddler
Wake Up: 7:00 AM
First Nap: 12:00 PM
Bedtime: 7:00 PM

Remember, a by-the-clock schedule may not be possible before your baby is 6-7 months old, so don’t rush it. It’s better to ensure your baby gets plenty of sleep and then try for a more predictable schedule as she gets older. For more scheduling and nap tips, download our free guide, 7 Common Napping Mistakes.

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If you found these sample sleep and feeding schedules helpful, please share them on Pinterest!

If you long to get your baby or toddler on a predictable schedule, today is your lucky day! This post will give you sample sleep and feeding schedules from birth to 3 years, as well as links to fabulous resources to help you deal with sleep regressions and get your child on a consistent nap schedule. Good luck!

And if you’re looking for more sleep tips and tricks, please follow our Sleeping Children board on Pinterest where I share all kinds of awesome advice!

Nicole
Nicole
Nicole Johnson is the President of The Baby Sleep Site®, which was founded in 2008. The Baby Sleep Site is the internet's leading resource on baby and toddler sleep with over 1 million visitors each month. Nicole and her team offer professional, sound support that works. Maybe they can help you, too!