7 month old sleep schedule: bedtime and nap schedule
Headed toward a nap transition? At 7 months old, your baby may be getting ready to shift to two naps, though most continue to need three 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.
IN THIS ARTICLE
How much should a 7 month old sleep?
Ideally, your 7 month old’s sleep schedule will allow for least 14 hours of total sleep in a 24 hour period. 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 night 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 wake time in 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.]
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Top sleep tip for your 7 month old
If your baby has transitioned to two naps and you’re suddenly seeing increased night-waking (or early waking), overtiredness may be to blame. Offer three naps 2 - 3 times per week to help “reset” their overtiredness and get them back on track.
Sleep fact for 7 month old babies
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.
Sample 7 month old sleep schedule
Note: Sleep needs vary by child and this chart should be viewed as an example only.
Naptime schedule for 7 month old
How long should a 7 month old nap?
A 7 month old’s nap schedule should allow for 2 - 3 hours of day sleep. Expect your baby to take 2 - 3 naps each day. Ideally, the first two (or only two) naps of the day will be at least an hour long. For babies taking three naps, the last nap is expected to be a shorter power nap of 30 - 45 minutes long. Most babies need between 2.25 - 3.5 hours of awake time in between naps to be sufficiently tired.
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How many naps for a 7 month old?
Most 7 month old babies need three 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 pressure 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 two 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 night sleep.
When your baby starts to transition to a 2-nap schedule, they’ll likely toggle between some 2-nap days and some 3-nap days until they’re ready to fully drop that third nap.
|Morning rise||7:00 AM|
|1st nap||9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (1.5 hour nap) 2.5 hours of awake time before 1st nap|
|2nd nap||2:15 PM - 3:45 PM (1.5 hour nap) 3.25 hours of awake time before 2nd nap|
|Get ready for sleep||6:45 PM|
|Asleep||7:15 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 nap||12:45 PM - 1:45 PM (1 hour nap) 2.5 hours of awake time before 2nd nap|
|3rd nap||4:15 PM - 4:45 PM (30 minute nap) 2.5 hours of awake time before 3rd nap|
|Get ready for sleep||7:00 PM|
|Asleep||7:30 PM 2.75 hours of awake time before bed|
Bedtime for 7 month old
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 wake windows on the 3-nap schedule, your baby 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 wake 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 night sleep).
What time should a 7 month old go to bed?
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.
7 month old baby sleep FAQ
Q: Can a 7 month old baby sleep through the night?
Many babies this age can sleep through the night without parental assistance. 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 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?
When planning your seven 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 three naps, some babies will vary between two and three-nap days, and some may have made the transition completely to two-nap days.
Q: How much nighttime sleep for a 7 month old?
Aim for 11 - 12 hours of night 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?
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 wake window of the day is the shortest, so expect that they’ll need 2.25 - 2.5 hours of wakefulness before 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?
Target 2 - 3 hours of sleep for your 7 month old’s nap schedule, broken out across two or three naps.
Q: Is there a 7 month old sleep regression?
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.