Some babies sleep for long periods, others have regular short naps.

Your baby will have their own pattern of waking and sleeping and it’s unlikely to be the same as other babies.

Most newborn babies spend more time asleep than awake, total daily sleep can vary from 8 hours to 18 hours. Babies will wake during the night for a feeding. Being too hot or too cold can also disturb their sleep.

As your baby grows, they will need fewer night feeds and be able to sleep for longer stretches. By four months, they could be spending around twice as long sleeping at night as they do during the day. When your baby is between 6 to 12 months, night feeds should no longer be necessary. Some babies will sleep for up to 12 hours at a stretch during the night.

A Bedtime Routine

Getting into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can help avoid problems with your baby's sleep. A routine could consist of having a bath, changing into night clothes, feeding and having a cuddle before putting your baby to bed. Your baby will learn how to fall asleep in their cot if you put them down when they are still awake.

Safer Sleep Advice

What is SIDS?

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby for no obvious reason. We don’t yet know how to completely prevent SIDS. But, it is possible to lower the chances of it happening by following the advice below.

The Importance of Routine in Reducing the Risk of SIDS

It is important to keep the same sleeping routine for your baby. Keep putting them to sleep on their back for every day and night-time sleep. Babies who are usually sleep on their back but sometimes sleep on their front are at a greater risk of SIDS.

Always sleep your baby on their back in a clear cot or sleep space.

Having a cot, crib, travel cot or Moses basket is the most ideal sleeping space for your baby. Babies only need a few basic items for sleep, these are:

  • A firm, flat service
  • Some well-fitted bedding

It is best to avoid:

  • Pillows or duvets
  • Cot bumpers
  • Soft toys
  • Loose bedding- babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their heads covered with loose bedding
  • Pods or nests
  • Sleep positioning products (such as wedges or straps) that will keep your baby in one sleeping position

Place your baby on their back in the ‘feet to foot’ position. Place your baby’s feet to the bottom end of the cot or Moses basket to avoid them wriggling down under the covers. Use a thin blanket no higher than their shoulders, and firmly tucked in under the mattress.

If you do not have a cot or Moses basket, you should try and find another type of firm, flat, safe sleep surface for your baby.


Bedsharing means that baby shares the same bed with an adult for most of the night, and not only to be comforted or fed.

Do NOT bedshare if:

  • Either you or your partner smokes (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom)
  • Either you or your partner has drunk any alcohol or taken drugs. This includes medications that can make you drowsy.
  • Your baby was born premature (before 37 weeks)
  • Your baby was born at a low weight (2.5kg or 5½ lbs or less)
  • Never sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby

For more information on SIDs and safer sleep, visit the Lullaby Trust:

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