My baby is almost 6 months old; he starts his night sleep at 1:00am and stays asleep until 9:00am, he then feeds and changes diaper and naps again for 2 to 3 hours…is that normal? Sometimes I wake him up for his morning bottle, if I do not, he remains asleep for another hour.

Thank you for sharing your concerns about your baby. Your infant’s preference for a more “owlish” schedule (late bedtime, late waketime) is not common among infants, but it is not a sign of a problem.

While yours is not the typical sleep pattern for a 6-month-old, some parents might be jealous because your child is able to sleep through the night with no interruptions. Most infants your child’s age prefer to go to sleep in the early evening (6:00-7:00pm) and then sleep through the night until 5:30-7:00am. They then stay up for a few hours and take 1 to 3 naps at 2 to 3-hour intervals throughout the remainder of the day. Most infants around 6 months old sleep for 13 to 16 hours which includes nighttime sleep and 2 to 3 naps.

If your infant’s schedule works for you and it is pretty much the same every day, then I do not see a problem. You may consider keeping him awake for a longer period in the morning, giving him 2 to 3 hours of play and social engagement time and then putting him down for his first nap and giving him a second nap in the mid-afternoon about 3 hours after his morning nap.

If, on the other hand, your 6-month-old is consistently sleeping for more than 16 hours every day, is not feeding well, is not engaging socially or meeting other developmental milestones (rolling over, starting to crawl, babbling, smiling and exploring objects) then you should discuss your concerns with your pediatrician and pursue an appointment with a developmental specialist.

table showing normal sleep duration

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Lewin Daniel S. Lewin, PhD, DABSM is a pediatric psychologist, sleep specialist, and licensed clinical psychologist. He is Board Certified in Sleep Medicine and Behavioral Sleep Medicine and is the Associate Director of the Pediatric Sleep Medicine and Director of the Pulmonary Behavioral Medicine Program at Children’s National and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine.

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