5 month old sleep schedule: Bedtime and nap schedule
At 5 months old the first two naps of the day should start to lengthen, meaning a transition to a 3-nap schedule for those babies still napping four times a day. Once your baby transitions to 3 naps, their sleep schedule starts to become a whole lot more predictable! Read on to discover what to expect for your 5 month old’s sleep schedule.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
How much should a 5 month old sleep?
At this age, we recommend striving for at least 14.5 hours of total sleep over a 24 hour period, aiming for 11-12 hours at night, and 2.5 - 3.5 hours during the day spread out over 3-4 naps.
[Note: for children who were born early, we go by their adjusted age for sleep development.]
Babies taking 4 naps a day can usually stay awake for 1.5-2.5 hours in between sleep periods, on average. Once they’ve transitioned to 3 naps, we’d expect the wake times for a 5 month old to be a bit longer. Look for 2-3 hours of awake time in those cases. Of course, keep in mind there’s often a nap transition period, where your child may take 3 naps one day, and 4 naps the next.
While it can be frustrating trying to plan out your day, this is temporary! Alternating between 3 and 4 nap days can allow your child to remain well rested as they adjust to staying awake for longer periods.
Top sleep tip for 5 month olds
If you’re interested in helping your baby learn how to fall asleep with less parental help, now’s a great time to start! While your baby may not be able to fall asleep on their own consistently yet, you can certainly introduce a routine that gives them more room to practice falling asleep without you.
Sleep fact for 5 month old babies
It’s common for babies to roll over and get “stuck” on their stomach at this age. If they get frustrated and cry out, it’s okay to give them a few minutes to see if they can either flip back over, or settle back to sleep on their own before you intervene. Be sure to give them plenty of practice time to roll during the day!
Speak with your pediatrician if you’re wondering whether it’s okay for your baby to sleep on their stomach. Many doctors will advise parents to lay their baby on their back at bedtime, but then let their baby sleep in whatever position they move into (as long as the baby is unswaddled, healthy, and the sleep space is safe).
Sample 5 month old sleep schedule
Note: Sleep needs vary by child and this chart should be viewed as an example.
Naptime schedule for 5 month olds
Your baby may have transitioned to 3 naps, or will be doing so soon. Once a baby has dropped the 4th nap, most need 2-3 hours of awake time in between sleep periods in order to be sufficiently tired, but not overtired. Short naps are still very common and appropriate for a 5 month old baby’s sleep schedule, so don’t worry if your baby isn’t there yet when it comes to long, predictable naps.
How long should a 5 month old nap?
Babies this age aren’t always able to link sleep cycles during the day, meaning it’s not uncommon for naps to be 30-45 minutes long. Throughout this month we’d expect the first two naps of the day to start lengthening to 1-1.5 hours. We recommend limiting each individual nap to 1.5-2 hours. When naps are too long, they can interfere with your baby’s ability to consolidate sleep for upcoming naps and during the night.
How many naps for a 5 month old?
The common range is 3-4 for a 5 month old nap schedule. Some babies will still need 4 naps a day at 5 months old, which is okay. Once a baby is able to stay awake for longer periods, they’ll need just 3 naps a day. We find that babies who are able to fall asleep independently at naptime are more likely to be able to link their sleep cycles and comfortably stay awake for longer periods, meaning fewer naps, but longer in duration.
|Morning rise||7:00 AM|
|1st nap||9:00 AM - 10:30 AM (1.5 hours) 2 hours of awake time before 1st nap|
|2nd nap||12:45 PM - 2:15 PM (1.5 hours) 2.25 hours of awake time before 2nd nap|
|3rd nap||4:30 PM - 5:15 PM (45 minutes) 2.25 hours of awake time before 3rd nap|
|Get ready for sleep||7:00 PM|
|Asleep||7:45 PM 2.5 hours of awake time before bed|
|Morning rise||7:00 AM|
|1st nap||8:30 AM - 9:15 AM (45 minutes) 1.5 hours of awake time before 1st nap|
|2nd nap||11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (1 hour) 1.75 hours of awake time before 2nd nap|
|3rd nap||2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (1 hour) 2 hours of awake time before 3rd nap|
|4th nap||5:00 PM - 5:30 PM (30 minutes) 2 hours of being awake before the 4th nap|
|Get ready for sleep||7:00 PM|
|Asleep||7:45 PM 2.25 hours of awake time before bed|
Bedtime for 5 month olds
At this age, we recommend planning bedtime according to wake windows, rather than following a strict bedtime. If your baby takes short naps all day, or skips a nap, bedtime will likely need to be adjusted earlier to limit overtiredness.
What time should a 5 month old go to bed?
Most babies this age are ready for night sleep between 6:00-8:00 PM. However, the ideal bedtime for your baby will vary according to a few factors. We’ll want to consider when your baby wakes for the day, how well they’ve napped, and how much awake time they need before bed. Most 5 month olds need 2-2.5 hours of wakefulness between their last nap and bedtime. However, a baby closer to 6 months old may need closer to 3 hours of awake time before bed.
5 Month Old Baby Sleep FAQ
Q: Can a 5 month old baby sleep through the night?
Some babies this age can sleep through the night without a feeding. Others still need 1-2 feeds during the night. If a baby can fall asleep independently at bedtime, they’ll be more likely to link sleep cycles during the night and lengthen their sleep periods. Since the circadian rhythm isn’t fully developed until 5-6 months of age, some babies will need help falling back to sleep during the night, especially in the early morning hours.
Q: How often do 5 month old babies sleep?
It’s common to need 2-3 hours of awake time for a 5 month old. However, if your baby still takes 4 naps, they may need their first couple of naps after just 1.5-2 hours of awake time.
Q: How much nighttime sleep for a 5 month old?
At this age, we hope to see 11-12 hours of total time in the sleep space at night. While most of that time should be spent sleeping, it’s common for babies to need 1 or 2 feedings at night.
Q: How much awake time for a 5 month old?
5 month olds typically need 2-3 hours of awake time between sleep periods. However, some can only stay awake for 1.5-2 hours in the morning. The shortest period of awake time is generally between morning rise time and the first nap. Expect awake periods to lengthen throughout the day. It seems counterintuitive, but the longest period of wakefulness tends to be before bedtime.
Q: How much daytime sleep for a 5 month old?
We recommend aiming for 2.5-3.5 hours of day sleep over the course of 3-4 naps.
Q: Is there a 5 month old regression?
A baby’s sleep matures by 4 months, and they’ll have more cycles and stages of sleep than they did as a newborn. As a result, it’s common to see increased night wakings and short naps at this age as a result of the “4 month regression.” Additionally, when a baby is mastering a milestone, like rolling, it can cause a disruption in sleep.
Q: Why does my 5 month old only have short naps?
Short naps are common during this stage of baby development, as it can take time for an infant to learn to link sleep cycles during the day. However, you’ll also want to consider whether a parental-led sleep association or hunger is contributing to some of the short naps.
Q: My 5 month old baby knows how to fall asleep on their own, and isn’t waking from hunger, but still takes short naps. What’s the deal?
Your baby may be ready for longer wake periods. Try lengthening the amount of awake time to 2-2.5 hours to see if this helps you lengthen the naps and follow an appropriate five month old sleep schedule.
Q: Is EAT-PLAY-SLEEP an appropriate routine for 5 month olds?
Many pediatric sleep experts will recommend an EAT-PLAY-SLEEP routine for young babies. However, at this age, we often find that an EAT-PLAY-SLEEP routine can contribute to shorter naps. For example, consider a baby who needs to eat every 2.5-3 hours. If the baby is ready for awake periods of 2 hours long, this can lead to baby waking early from a nap due to hunger.
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