Inside you’ll find step by step tips for your 3 month old baby sleep schedule and routine so baby will sleep well, eat well, and be cooing all day.
Are you coming out of the haze yet, mama?
Around here, I always found that from birth until baby was around 3 months… I lived in a haze. A newborn haze that felt difficult to survive at times.
Baby turns 3 months.
Honestly, this is a tricky age because baby is more alert and likely sleeping a bit less so some habits start to show that used to work that now, maybe, don’t work any longer.
In this 3 month old baby sleep schedule post...
3 Month Old Baby Sleep Tips & Strategies
Here are some basic things to keep in mind as your baby approaches the 3 month mark.
If you are thinking this is a good time to start establishing some proper routines and working out what’s doing well and isn’t, use our daily baby logs to help.
This is often a really tricky time for one main reason, and that’s the first point.
1. Babies Start Waking Up Now
If you haven’t really worried about your baby sleep habits at all, but baby slept well the first few months.
That often goes bye bye during the third month. Why?
Because babies aren’t as sleepy.
And they aren’t falling asleep as they nurse left and right. The amount of time they sleep is directly related to whether or not they fight sleep. If they have healthy sleep habits and can get to sleep on their own, they’ll sleep.
However, if they have a lot of sleep props, they will start to fight sleep and become fussy and irritable.
- Did baby used to sleep on their own? And did they stop? Look for sleep props.
- Has baby started to wake more at night and take longer day naps? Could be a delayed type of day night confusion.
- Might be time to do some deliberate sleep training.
2. Little Ones Need Routine
The exact routine you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as simply having a routine.
Babies love routine.
Moms might not love it, but your baby totally will.
If your baby is waking up more and struggling to get to sleep, more irritable, and just not quite as calm or peaceful during the day, let’s get on a consistent sleep schedule.
Here’s a sample 3 month old baby sleep schedule
- 5:00 am | An early morning feed (don’t change diaper or unswaddle unless you have to) and just put right back down to bed
- 7:30 am | Wake up and feed, maybe bathe baby (I use this in the sink and it’s amazing)
- 8:30 to 9:45 am | Proper and specific wind down routines and down for a nap
- 10:30 am | Feed baby, snuggle, special tummy time mat
- 11:30 to 11:45 am | Wind down and then go down for a nap
- 1:30 pm | Feed baby, go for walk, carry baby around house to do chores, read to baby or hold baby while you read
- 2:30 to 2:45 pm | Wind down routine then go down for a nap
- 4:30 pm | Feed baby, put in infant seat (this is ours) or on a blanket while you cook, let siblings play with baby
- 5:30 pm | Quick nap
- 6:15 pm | Feed baby if desired (a cluster feed happens when you feed multiple times in a close period). Play with daddy, play with siblings, play on mat, bathe if you didn’t in the morning
- 7:30 pm |Feed baby and put to bed, you can rock gently to drowsy then in the crib, or I find that mine often feed to sleep and sleep the whole night through
- 10:30 pm | Dream feed, the last feed before you go to bed (if they aren’t yet sleeping through the night)
You can change this however drastically to fit your own lifestyle, but find something that works and repeat it.
Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS
Get my cheat sheets (newborn up to elementary aged kids) and find your family’s groove. Use them for nap times, meal times, bedtimes, chore times, play times AND more!
3. Babies Sleep Less, But Still A Lot More Than You Think
Here are some general rules of thumb for baby sleep times.
- Newborn to 2 months: 16-18 hours a day | 7 to 9 naps (one after each feed)
- 2-4 months: 15-17 hours a day | 4 to 5 naps (after each daytime feed)
- 4-6 months: 14-16 hours a day | 4 naps or so (probably dropping the last nap before bedtime)
- 6-9 months: 14-16 hours a day | 3 to 4 naps a day (eventually getting down to 2 naps a day)
- 9 – 12 months: 14-16 hours a day | 2 to 3 naps (eventually getting down to 2)
- 12-18 months: 14-15 hours a day | 2 naps a day (eventually getting down to 1 nap a day)
3 month old babies generally sleep around 15 to 17 hours a day, including nighttime hours.
This equates to about 4 to 5 naps during the day then the nighttime.
That’s a lotta sleep.
To be clear, if your baby currently sleeps less than that, but isn’t fussy… your 3 month old is fine. On the other hand, if your baby currently sleeps less than that and is pretty fussy and unsettled, add in more naps and perhaps an earlier bedtime.
The Top 3 Reasons Babies Don’t Sleep Well (With Solutions!)
Learn the #1 thing to do when baby fights sleep, how to get baby to sleep longer and later, and step-by-step how to change unhelpful habits to healthy ones.
4. Babies Can Feed Less At Night
3 month is a big mark in baby sleep. Many people say your baby can begin sleeping through the night without waking by 12 weeks.
Honestly, this wasn’t my goal.
Two of my five did sleep through the night by 4 months, but the other 3 took a few more months. Maybe they only had the dream feed for a month or two, and then finally they slept fully through, 12 hours.
But, either way, at the 3 month mark, your baby shouldn’t be waking every few hours all night if you play your cards right.
- Make sure you haven’t dropped the dream feed. It’s the feed that, if baby will take a full one, will get them through until a decent morning wake up time.
- Purposefully cluster feed in early evening before bedtime and this will help prevent accidental cluster feeding at night.
- Give full feeds at night feeds. If baby wakes up at 1 am, give a full feed! Then, if light snacking is all baby is interested in, wean the snacking and watch the night wakings disappear. Here’s why you need to give full feeds.
5. Watch What’s Working And Keep Going
Well, the truth is, if baby is happy and not super irritable all the time… then all is well.
➡️ When baby is fighting sleep, you can start some sleep training.
➡️ If baby is unpredictable with his moods and life feels like chaos, start a routine.
➡️ And, if baby is perfect and wonderful and smells good (#duh) then cuddle him all the time.
- 3 to 6 Month Baby Routine That Makes For Happy Babies
- The Fastest Way Through the 4 Month Sleep Regression
- A Tried And True 1 Year Old Sleep Schedule
3 month old FAQ
Typically, breastfed 3-month-olds can go about 3 hours between feedings. Bottle fed babies may go 3.5 hours. The key is not to let baby go much longer than that during the day or they’ll wake up more frequently to feed at night.
Babies’ biological, circadian, and sleep rhythms are changing and maturing and this reaches a head around 4 months. Late 3 month olds often start regressing in their habits, but another thing that happens is that their earlier habits start to Show Up. If babies can’t self-soothe, around this age you begin to notice.
Yes! Routines are always great ideas for babies and mamas. You can begin with a 3 month old sleep schedule, feeding at regular times, and an age appropriate bedtime that helps prevent having an overtired baby.
Many 3-month-olds can sleep long stretches at night. While it’s likely too early to have a baby sleep longer than 8 hours at a time at night, a 5 to 8 hour stretch is very possible if your little one feeds well during the day.