7 month old sleep schedule: Bedtime and nap schedule

Updated Feb 23, 2024
7 month old nap schedule

Headed toward a nap transition? At 7 months old, your baby may be getting ready to shift to 2 naps, although most continue to need 3 naps for another month or so. We’ll provide you with sample schedules and everything you need to know about your 7 month old’s sleep at this stage of development.

Editor’s note

The recommendations listed below represent the average amount of sleep typically needed at this age. However, please note there is a range of normal as some children have lower or higher sleep needs. Your child’s schedule may vary, and that is normal.


IN THIS ARTICLE:

How much should a 7 month old sleep?

Sample 7 month old sleep schedule

Naptime schedule for 7 month old

Bedtime for a 7 month old

7 month old baby sleep FAQ


Ideally, your 7 month old’s sleep schedule will allow for about 14 hours of total sleep in a 24-hour period, which is in line with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s recommendations [1] for this age group.

Remember that the amount of sleep needed by babies can vary, and what is considered normal and healthy has a range. Don't fret about the numbers. The suggested hours are just a rough estimate, and it's equally important to monitor your child's mood and energy levels to make sure they are getting enough sleep.

We recommend aiming for 11 - 12 hours at night and 2.5 - 3 hours during the day, split over three naps. However, you may find that your baby’s nighttime sleep gets a bit shorter until they completely drop the third nap in the next month or two. This happens when a baby needs more awake time between sleep periods but isn’t quite ready to drop a nap — resulting in a later bedtime and shorter night’s slumber. 

[Note: for children who were born early, we go by their adjusted age for sleep development.]

Huckleberry 7 Month Old Baby Nap and Sleep Schedule

Note: Sleep needs vary by child, and this chart should be viewed as an example only.

7 month baby sleep schedule

A typical 7 month old’s nap schedule should allow for 2 - 3 hours of daytime sleep. Expect your baby to take 2 - 3 naps each day. Ideally, the first 2 (or only 2) naps of the day will be at least an hour long. For babies taking 3 naps, the last one is expected to be a shorter power nap of 30 - 45 minutes. Most 7 month old's wake windows are around 2.25 - 3.5 hours so baby is sufficiently tired before sleeping again.

Most 7 month old babies need 3 naps a day. However, it’s common to see nap resistance at this age, as babies continue to need longer wake times in order to build sufficient sleep pressure (this homeostatic sleep pressure [2] helps ensure that a baby is tired enough to sleep well).

This tends to result in a lot of skipped third naps. As a result, your 7 month old’s nap schedule may not be as predictable as you would like.

Some babies will begin to transition to 2 naps on the earlier side. We find that babies with strong independent sleeping skills tend to drop naps earlier. If this describes your baby, you’ll want to be on the lookout for signs of the next nap transition, which include a pattern of shorter naps, skipped naps, and/or less than 10 hours of nighttime sleep.

When your baby starts transitioning to a 2-nap schedule, they’ll likely toggle between some 2-nap days and some 3-nap days until they’re ready to drop that third nap fully.

Morning rise7:00 AM
1st nap9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (1.5 hour nap); 2.5 hours of awake time before 1st nap
2nd nap2:15 PM - 3:45 PM (1.5 hour nap); 3.25 hours of awake time before 2nd nap
Get ready for sleep6:45 PM
Asleep7:15 PM; 3.5 hours of awake time before bed

Morning rise 7:00 AM
1st nap 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM (1 hour nap); 2.25 hours of awake time before 1st nap
2nd nap12:45 PM - 1:45 PM (1 hour nap); 2.5 hours of awake time before 2nd nap
3rd nap4:15 PM - 4:45 PM (30 minute nap); 2.5 hours of awake time before 3rd nap
Get ready for sleep7:00 PM
Asleep7:30 PM; 2.75 hours of awake time before bed

  • Pay attention to wake windows. The shortest 7 month old wake window is typically in the morning and a little over 2 hours. The next wake window(s) between naps will increase over the course of the baby's day. The longest 7 month old's wake window is generally the one right before bed and might be around 2.75 - 3.5 hours, depending on if they took 2 or 3 naps.

  • Create predictable bedtime and nap routines. A consistent sleep routine can help signal that it's time for sleep. In addition to making sure your baby is well fed with a clean diaper, your nighttime routine might include taking a bath, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music. The nap routine is typically a shorter version of the bedtime routine. 

  • Offer 3 naps a few times per week. If your baby has transitioned to 2 naps and you’re suddenly seeing increased night waking (or early morning wakings), overtiredness may be to blame. Offer 3 naps two to three times per week to help “reset” their overtiredness and get them back on track.

  • Teach sleep independence. Babies who are able to fall asleep without external help (such as patting, rocking, or feeding to sleep) can use those same skills to link sleep cycles during the night and after a short nap. In other words, babies who fall asleep on their own are more likely to sleep longer stretches.

  • Keep the bedroom dark. Your 7 month old is probably very curious about the world, and this curiosity can make settling to sleep a challenge. A really dark bedroom can mean longer naps and later wakeups, especially when it’s light outside. If the room is too light, they can become distracted by their surroundings and fully awaken, while a dark room encourages them to link sleep cycles and fall back to sleep.

The third nap can be really hard to get at this age, despite a parent’s best efforts. Instead of trying to stretch a tired baby to their regular bedtime, offer an earlier bedtime to help offset their overtiredness.

Contrary to common belief, there isn't evidence to suggest that every baby experiences a predefined sleep regression at a specific age.

However, we do notice distinct patterns within particular age ranges that can disrupt sleep for many children. While these are often referred to as "regressions," they are better understood as expected shifts in sleep patterns. We commonly see sleep challenges between 7 - 10 months, which is popular referred to as the "8 month old sleep regression".

Ideally, your 7 month old will be getting 11 - 12 hours of sleep at night, so bedtime should be 12 - 13 hours after waking in the morning. That said, if your baby needs longer awake windows on the 3-nap schedule, they may only be able to sleep for 10 - 11 hours at night. In those cases, bedtime will be 13 - 14 after waking for the day.

Keep in mind that the timing of the last nap will impact bedtime as well. Since your baby needs at least 2.5 hours of awake time before bed, you’ll want to consider the timing of the last nap when planning bedtime. In some cases, it’s better to offer an earlier bedtime instead of a very late third nap (as that can diminish nighttime sleep).

It’s common for babies to go to bed between 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM. However, the best bedtime for your baby depends on their morning rise time and the time their last nap ended.

  • Most 7 month old babies will need around 14 hours of total sleep over a 24-hour period: 11 - 12 hours of sleep at night and 2.5 - 3 hours of daytime sleep.

  • It's common for 7 month olds to continue napping 3 times a day, though some will drop to 2 naps on the earlier side. There might be a transition period where they toggle between some 2-nap days and some 3-nap days until they’re ready to drop that third nap fully.

  • Most 7 month old's wake windows are around 2.25 - 3.5 hours so baby is sufficiently tired before sleeping again.

7 month old baby sleep FAQ

Q: Can a 7 month old baby sleep through the night?

A:

Many babies this age can sleep through the night [3] without parental assistance. They do wake occasionally, but these self-soothers know how to get back to sleep on their own [4]. If a baby has strong independent sleeping skills and gets enough milk/formula throughout the day, they’re more likely to sleep from bedtime straight through until morning without calling out for you. However, it’s not uncommon to still see night wakings at this age, especially if your baby sleeps better with one to two night feedings.

Q: How often do 7 month old babies sleep?

A:

When planning your 7 month old’s sleep schedule, you’ll want to keep awake times between 2.25 - 3.5 hours long. While most babies continue to need 3 naps, some babies will vary between 2- and 3-nap days, and others may have transitioned completely to 2 naps.

Q: How much nighttime sleep for a 7 month old?

A:

Aim for 11 - 12 hours of nighttime sleep for your 7 month old. Note, however, that a few babies this age on 3-nap schedules may only be able to sleep for 10 - 11 hours a night until they drop a nap and transition to a 2-nap schedule (usually between 8 - 9 months).

Q: How much awake time for a 7 month old?

A:

Awake times for a 7 month old tend to be between 2.25 - 3.5 hours long, depending on the length and quantity of their naps. Generally, the first awake window of the day is the shortest, so expect that they’ll need 2.25 - 2.5 hours of wakefulness before taking their first nap. As the day progresses, your baby will be able to stay awake for longer periods, resulting in the longest window of awake time before bed lasting between 2.75 - 3.5 hours. When a baby starts to need close to 3 hours of awake time before the 3rd nap, it’s typically better to drop that nap and transition to a 2-nap schedule.

Q: How much daytime sleep for a 7 month old?

A:

Target 2 - 3 hours of sleep for your 7 month old’s nap schedule, broken out across 2 or 3 naps.

Q: Is there a 7 month old sleep regression?

A:

Between 7 - 9 months old, we often see a change in sleep habits, and some babies experience a sleep regression. Your baby’s development and growth will lead to a nap transition and the mastering of milestones, which often impact sleep. It’s common for routines to become disrupted when your infant pops up into a standing or sitting position in the crib instead of laying down peacefully at sleep times.

Note: The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from your doctor, pediatrician, or medical professional. If you have questions or concerns, you should contact a medical professional.

4 Sources

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  1. Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations: A Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine https://aasm.org/resources/pdf/pediatricsleepdurationconsensus.pdf

  2. Sleep Med. (2017). Exploring the nap paradox: are mid-day sleep bouts a friend or foe? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5598771/

  3. Nat Sci Sleep (2020). Longitudinal Study of Infant Sleep Development: Early Predictors of Sleep Regulation Across the First Year https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7667498/

  4. Sleep Med Rev (2011). The consolidation of infants' nocturnal sleep across the first year of life. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21051245/