7 week old sleep schedule: Bedtime and nap schedule

Updated Jul 10, 2024
7 week sleep schedule header

At 7 weeks you may find that sleep is still a bit unpredictable for your newborn. This is normal! While day/night confusion [1] is likely improving at this age, most babies won’t have a more regular 24-hour cycle of sleeping and eating until closer to 3 - 4 months

In the article, we’ll give you the lowdown on naps and bedtime at 7 weeks, give you a sneak peek of what you may expect when your baby is 2 months, and help you understand how to determine if your little one is currently getting enough sleep. 

Editor's Note

The recommendations listed in this article represent the average amount of sleep typically needed at this age. However, please note there is a wide range of normal as some children have lower or higher sleep needs. Also note for children who were born early, we go by their adjusted age for sleep development.


IN THIS ARTICLE: 

How much should a 7 week old sleep?

Naptime schedule for 7 weeks

Bedtime for 7 week olds

7 week old baby sleep FAQ


There’s a wide range of normal when it comes to babies and sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, newborns usually sleep for about 16 - 17 hours per day. [2] However, at 7 weeks sleep is still likely pretty unpredictable. Naps may be long or short throughout the day — and that may change from day to day. It’s expected that newborns will continue to wake overnight for feedings and comfort. Babies typically aren’t on a regular 24-hour cycle of sleep and eating until closer to 3 - 4 months old

In the first few weeks of life, newborns can typically comfortably stay awake for around 30 - 90 minutes. Now that your child is nearing the 2-month mark, their wake windows may be a little longer. Most 2 month old babies can comfortably stay awake for 45 minutes - 1.75 hours, so we wouldn’t be too surprised if your baby starts to have slightly longer periods of awake time before needing more sleep. 

Note that it’s important to gauge your baby’s overall mood and energy levels when evaluating if they’re getting enough rest every day. There’s a broad spectrum when it comes to what’s healthy and normal for baby sleep and every child is different. 

Now may be a good time to implement a consistent bedtime routine for your little one, if you haven’t already. Around 8 weeks [3] is when day-night circadian rhythm appears and nighttime sleep may be a little more established. In other words, expect to start seeing a clearer separation between day and night sleep coming up. Instead of sleep being evenly distributed around the clock, you can expect a defined bedtime to start emerging, along with significantly more sleep at night than during the day. You’re almost there! Doing the same steps every night before bed (and even a condensed version before naps) can help signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep. 

At 7 weeks, a bedtime routine doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, it may include a breast milk or formula feed, diaper change, putting pajamas on, snuggles, then it’s time for sleep. Other activities you could add include: bathtime, reading a book, singing a song, swaddling (or a sleep sack), etc. Aim to do the same routine every time, in the same order. Even if you don’t have time to complete the full routine sometimes, it’s often better to do a condensed version instead of skipping it altogether. 

At 7 weeks your baby’s longest stretch of sleep in a 24-hour period may begin around 9:00 or 10:00 PM — or sometimes later.  This is typical for newborns because their internal clock isn’t fully developed yet so “bedtime” is typically influenced by your their morning rise time as well as the number of naps they took that day. While you may be eager to get some shuteye of your own at night, know that late bedtimes are normal for newborns and babies are usually ready to go to bed earlier at around 3 - 4 months. 

Naps are going to still be pretty unpredictable at 7 weeks, though it’s common to see 5 - 6 hours of daytime sleep spread over 4 - 5 naps around 2 months old. However, babies don’t have predictable or organized sleep cycles [4] just yet so you may see some naps that are 30 minutes while others may be 2 hours. We recommend limiting each individual nap to no more than 2 hours in order to help regulate their schedule and help ensure there are enough feedings during the day. It can be helpful to focus on sleep totals over a 24-hour period, instead of aiming for a certain number or length when it comes to naps at this age. 

You can also use wake windows and sleepy cues to help figure out when your baby may be ready to sleep again. At 7 weeks, your little one may be able to stay awake slightly longer now. Usually 1 month olds can comfortably stay awake for 30 - 90 minutes, while 2 month olds may be able to comfortably stay awake for 45 minutes - 1.75 hours. At 7 weeks, your little one may fit somewhere in those estimates, but keep in mind every baby is different and has different sleep needs. 

Also, monitor your child’s sleepy cues when you think naptime may be approaching. If they’re rubbing their eyes, staring off into space, yawning, or starting to become fussy, these can be signs that your baby is ready to snooze. However,  these signs can be fleeting and easy to miss. We suggest offering a nap if they’ve been awake for around 1.25 hours and haven’t shown sleepy signs.

Babies aren’t born with predictable or organized sleep cycles, [4]  which means sleep is still likely all over the place at this point. At 7 weeks, we don’t recommend trying to follow a specific sleep schedule as newborn sleep is generally controlled by sleep pressure and hunger. Some naps may be long while others may be quite short. However, as your little one nears 2 months, you may more regularly see around 4 - 5 naps totaling around 5 - 6 hours of daytime sleep. 

Your baby’s longest stretch of sleep in a 24-hour period may start late — around 9:00 - 10:00 PM, or even later — since sleep schedules are still so irregular at this age. They may be ready for an earlier bedtime at around  3 - 4 months as they grow out of their irregular newborn sleep patterns and settle into a little more of a regular sleep and eating cycle.   

In the meantime, it may be tempting to keep your little one up for longer stretches during the day at this age in hopes of an earlier bedtime, however, this can lead to overtiredness. When your newborn is too tired, it can make it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Instead, aim to help your child stay well rested throughout the day and the earlier bedtime and more predictable schedule will come! 

7 week old baby sleep FAQ

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

A:

At 7 weeks, we still expect babies to wake during the night for feedings and comfort. However, your little one may be able to sleep some longer stretches at night as they get closer to 2 months old. Check with your child’s healthcare provider to determine how many nighttime feedings your child may need at this age.

Q: How often do 7 week old babies sleep?

A:

We recommend paying attention to your baby’s wake windows and sleepy cues to help figure out when to offer sleep. As your little one gets closer to 2 months old, they may be able to comfortably stay awake for around 45 minutes - 1.75 hours. Typically wake windows get longer as the day progresses, with their shortest wake window before their first nap of the day and the longest stretch of awake time before bedtime.

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

A:

Your child may spend 9 - 12 hours in their sleep space overnight, though we wouldn’t expect them to sleep for this entire stretch. At 7 weeks we’d still expect some overnight wakings for feedings and comfort.

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

A:

By around 2 months of age, wake windows may range from 45 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. However, keep in mind that every baby is different and your little one’s activity level will also help determine when they need to snooze. Newborns can tire quickly from an active tummy time session or an exciting walk outside, for example, and may be ready for sleep again sooner than you’d expected. It can be helpful to evaluate your child’s sleepy cues (rubbing their eyes, staring off into the distance, etc.) and keep an eye on the clock when determining when to offer sleep again.

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

A:

It’s common to see around 5 - 6 hours of daytime sleep spread out over 4 - 5 naps at this age. However, we expect sleep habits to remain unpredictable at 7 weeks since the circadian rhythm isn’t fully developed yet. We recommend looking at the amount of overall sleep in a 24-hour period in addition to keeping an eye on your baby’s mood and energy levels to determine if they’re getting enough sleep.

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. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2009). Reversing Day-Night Reversal. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Reversing-Day-Night-Reversal.aspx

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics (2024). Safe Sleep Tips for Sleep-Deprived Parents. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/safe-sleep-tips-for-sleep-deprived-parents.aspx

  3. Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition. (2015). Getting rhythm: how do babies do it? https://fn.bmj.com/content/100/1/F50.long

  4. National Library of Medicine (2022). Development of the circadian system in early life: maternal and environmental factors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9109407/