Baby sleep fact sheet 16 to 24 weeks

Is my baby tired?

At this age a baby may grow tired after between 1 and 3 hours of awake time. 

Some signs of a tired baby include:rubbing eyes, avoiding eye contact, fussing, yawning, clingy, sucking on fingers or hands, touching ears, crying, difficulty focusing, frowning, arching back.

A simple baby sleep routine

Every baby sleeps differently, so it’s important to note that not every child will slot into the same routine. 

All parents can begin to introduce a consistent overall way of caring for their baby throughout the day, regardless of the length of their sleep/wake cycles. 

  1. When your baby wakes up: Try the FEED, PLAY, SLEEP routine 
  2. Offer them a feed – breast or bottle 
  3. Change their nappy / clothes 
  4. Talk to, play with or read to your baby  
  5. Watch for tired signs 
  6. Swaddle and put baby to bed when they are drowsy 

+ Many families adopt this daytime FEED, PLAY, SLEEP approach to avoid their child associating sleeping with feeding in the future. This is to help encourage the baby to settle to sleep without needing hands-on parenting. 

+ Other families opt for PLAY, FEED and then SLEEP, putting their bubs down on a just-filled tummy right after a feed. 

+ At night time, attend to your baby with a minimum of conversation and eye contact, and help them settle back to sleep in the way that feels right for you. This might involve: swaddling, giving a dummy, patting, feeding to sleep, co-sleeping*, rocking or walking. 

+ Keep in mind that all babies respond to routines differently. So if you've tried this one without much success, one of our sleep experts can work with you one-on-one to tweak your baby's routine, so you can both get some more sleep.

*Please refer to our safe sleep guidelines. 

Is this a ‘sleep regression’?

  • Many parents report a ‘sleep regression’ where a baby who had begun to settle into a routine begins to sleep terribly.  
  • This shift is related to developmental growth – your baby is changing, and her sleep habits are changing with her. Think of it as transition rather than a regression – and know that she will continue to change as she grows. 

How long do babies sleep for in total?  

This will vary from baby to baby, with them having between 10 and 18 hours of sleep in each 24-hour period. 

What about naps? 

  • Babies continue to nap during the day at this age.  
  • Three naps a day is typical transitioning down to 2 as babies grow. 
  • Naps may last for between 1 and 2 hours – but can be longer. 
  • Fewer day naps often result in longer night sleeps. 

"The first thing, which is the most frightening piece of information when bringing a baby home, is that they’re born to feed, not to sleep" - Chris Minogue, mothercraft nurse

Sign up for our 7 Days of Baby Sleep newsletter now

Need more help getting baby to sleep better?

Need some specific advice from a sleep expert who's going to help you tackle your particular sleep challenges? You can book a one-on-one session with a sleep expert to help you (and bub) get a good night's sleep.

Not sure what you need? Email us at and we can explain how the expert consultations work.

Meet our sleep experts

Chris Minogue early childhood nurse

Chris Minogue

Chris Minogue is a much-loved mothercraft nurse with over 30 years of experience in providing care and support for parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. Chris is the author of Bringing Baby Home.
Book with Chris

Jo Ryan sleep expert

Jo Ryan

Jo Ryan was a Registered Nurse for nearly 20 years, with much of that time spent working in paediatrics. As well as being a Registered Nurse, Jo has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Public Health and has recently completely a year of Infant Mental Health Advanced Training.  Jo’s is also the author of BabyBliss, Australia’s must-have guide to sleeping, settling and establishing routines for your baby.
Book with Jo

Karina Lane

Karina Lane is a mum of four, postnatal doula, parenting educator, psychology graduate and parenting coach. She has helped hundreds of mums and dads resolve their sleep issues and enjoy parenting with less stress and more magic. Karina is known for her message of gentle, responsive (and realistic!) parenting.
Book with Karina

Want to know more?

About Sleep School

Sleep School combines qualified experts, the latest research and real-life experience to help parents develop a sleep routine that suits their baby, their lifestyle and their own unique approach to parenting.

Covering everything from sleep regression and cat-napping, to wakeful nights and cluster feeding, Sleep School’s one-on-one baby sleep consultations can untangle these challenges — and many others — to arm tired parents with strategies designed to turn things around.

Sleep School provides answers, information, support, and compassionate, practical advice during one of life’s biggest transformations - becoming a parent.

Terms and conditions
Please read our terms and conditions to understand our cancellation policy and privacy policy.

Do you need more help?
If you have questions or would like assistance to book a session with one of our experts, please contact us at