How Many Naps A Day Does A Baby Or Toddler Need?

Baby nap time is, in fact, a breather for every mom. Just like moms, naps are important for babies as it is essential for their healthy development. Daytime sleep is vital for their physical and mental growth. It also keeps them rejuvenated, avoiding cranky moods.

Wondering whether your baby’s sleep pattern is good enough? New moms are often worried about the amount of sleep their kids requires. Well, there is no one-size-fits-all rule for nap times. The daytime nap of babies varies. Even though there is no standard rule, you can make use of this age-by-age guideline. This will give you an idea of average daily nap needs of your baby.


Birth – 6 Months

A newborn baby’s sleep schedule is very unpredictable. They do not have a regular sleep cycle. Your baby sleeps round-the-clock during this period. A newborn needs about 14-18 total hours of sleep per day. You will soon realize that there is no real difference between day and nighttime sleep. He/she wakes up only for feeding and diaper change. Some moms will have to struggle to keep them awake while breastfeeding.

However, by 4 months you may see a change in pattern. Daytime naps will be limited to 3-4 times a day and it may last about 30 minutes to 2 hours each.


6-12 Months

At this age, babies cut down their nap time. By this time, they slowly learn to explore the world around them. They usually sleep about 14 hours total for the day.

Most babies will be comfortable with 2-3 naps a day – once in the morning and once in the early afternoon. The duration of the sleep is different for different kids. It may last 20 minutes for some babies while for others it may be for a few hours.


1 to 3 years

Toddlers become more active as they grow up. An afternoon nap of 1 to 3 hours is all that they need. However, kids below 2 years of age may take two naps a day. That’s normal. However, ensure that these naps do not happen too close to bedtime. Because they will find it difficult to fall asleep at night.

3 to 5 years

An afternoon nap is essential to keep them refreshed for the rest of the day. But, as they reach 4 you will have a tough time convincing them for an afternoon nap. Make sure that they get an average about 10 to 11 hours at night.


Establishing a good sleep routine is vital in developing healthy sleep habits in kids. As far as a newborn is concerned you don’t have to do much homework. Your little love sleeps off if nothing irritates or troubles him/her.

As they grow up, if you set up a nap routine, you will find it easier to keep your kid in good moods. Watch for sleeping cues in your kids. Sometimes they may rub their eyes or become fussy. Try to set the same ambiance when they near their nap time. A dark and quiet environment will be perfect. This will facilitate a smooth transition to sleep.


However, you may find it tough to manage a strict schedule with toddlers. They love to spend time playing and never want to miss out on a minute of the action. Even though they are tired, sleeping will be the last thing on their mind. Instead of forcing your child to sleep, encourage him/her to spend some quiet time. Sometimes quiet time will lead to nap time. If he/she still resists daytime naps, set him an early bedtime.

Many parents entertain the idea that by reducing daytime nap, their kids will have a proper bedtime. But, this is a misconception. If your kid is well-rested, it will guarantee him/her a good night sleep. At the same time, overtired kids take time to settle down at night. And they may end up with a disturbed sleep.