A Quick Guide to Sleep, Awake and Feed times for 3 Months Old Babies.

Posted by Tara Mitchell on

I have prepared a Quick Guide to establish a sleep routine for a 3 month old baby.
  • 3 month olds often have 4 - 5 naps per day.
  • Morning wake up between 5:30-8am
  • Milk feed on waking
  • Play - including short periods of tummy time as your little one tolerates.

Nap One:

  • Around 1hr after initially waking.
  • This sleep should be more than one sleep cycle. So over 1.5 hours
  • On waking, offer solids and milk or vice versa. You may even want to add a snack after their milk if they didn’t have a large amount of solids first up. Example Solids; Play ; Milk ; Play ; Snack ; Play,

Nap Two:

  • Around 1hr15m after waking.
  • This nap is generally still a long sleep at this age (more than 1 hour) however if your little one is starting to do a lengthy first nap (closer to 2 hours) and this nap is heading towards a catnap that is ok.
  • On waking - offer a milk feed and then play.

Nap Three:

  • Around 1hr15m-1hr30m after waking. This nap may be a single or a lengthier nap.
  • On waking - offer a milk feed and then play.

Nap Four:

  • Around 1hr 30m after waking.
  • Again, this nap is ok to be only one sleep cycle.
  • On waking, hold off on a milk feed. Instead, you could: - Play , Milk feed (40mins prior to bedtime), Bath, Book/song, Bed or - You can feed straight after last nap, then play, feed again (40 minutes before bedtime, Bath, Book/song, Bed.
  • Awake time between 4th nap (last nap) of the day and bedtime should be approx. 1hr 15m with the earliest bedtime should be 5:45pm and latest to be 7:30pm.

Night Feeds.

It is appropriate for a 3 month old to be having 1 - 2 x night feeds. I would ensure the 1st is after 11pm to discourage further night waking occurring and the 2nd (if required), to be a minimum of 4hrs later. By 3.5 - 4 months my clients who self settle only require one night feed.

Staying Awake on Feeds.

Babies around 3 months old often have a hard time staying wide awake on feeds. Their milk feed should be at the beginning of the awake period to minimize the chance of them getting too drowsy or falling asleep on the feed - which will often leads to ‘snack feeding and snack sleeping’. Try to engage your 3 month old as much as possible during their feed - talking, touching etc. The more alert they are, the better feed they will take and the bigger their appetite for sleep will be when their next sleep period is due.

Sleeping in their own cots.

Try to offer your 3 month old the majority of their sleep in their own cot/bassinet, rather than on your chest. I agree that newborn cuddles are undoubtably the best, but offering your little one sleep in their own sleep space as much as possible will assist in building their confidence in teaching them to fall asleep independently.

Something to Finish on.

  • On waking from the last nap of the day I would offer a small snack, then around 1.5 hours before bedtime I would give dinner.
  • 45 min before bed is due a milk feed. Some may offer milk on waking from last nap then dinner then milk again in the bedtime routine, this is also totally ok. 3-4 milk feeds per day is generally a standard amount at this age.
  • Awake time prior to bed is 3.5 - 4 hours, latest bedtime around 7:30pm. Earliest 5:45pm
Bedtime routine
  • Bottle or Breastfeed (40- 45 min before bed). I do this to seperate the feed to sleep association.
  • Bath, PJ’s, book or song, smooches, into bed.
If you would like personalised help with getting your little one into a sound sleep routine, please reach out. We can work face to face with local clients in the Perth area and have successfully worked with clients nationally and internationally via Skype and phone, with just as much success, and we would love to help you. Contact us to make an appointment for a chat here or, take a look at the packages we offer.

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