Newborn sleep fact sheet

Is my baby tired?

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 is different and it’s important to be flexible at this very early age.  

You can begin to introduce a consistent way of caring for your baby, in the knowledge that you’ll need to keep it loose at this age.  

  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 will adopt the FEED, PLAY, SLEEP approach to avoid their child associating feeding and sleeping in the future. 

+ Others choose to opt for PLAY, FEED and then SLEEP, putting their bubs down on a just-filled tummy.  

+ 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: 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 my baby experiencing the 6 week 'sleep regression'?

Many parents report a ‘sleep regression’ at 6 weeks 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 their sleep habits are changing with them. 

How long do babies sleep for in total?

  • Total sleep varies as every baby is different, but anything from 9 to 19 hours in a 24 hour period is in the very broad ‘normal’ range.   
  • This sleep total can vary from day to day for an individual baby at this age, too. 

What about naps?

  • New babies’ sleep patterns are a bit all over the place, and can vary wildly from baby to baby. Babies may ‘cat nap’ in short bursts of perhaps half an hour or may sleep for longer stretches of up to 3 or 4 hours during the day.   
  • Your baby’s nap habits may change from day to day at this age. This is perfectly normal.
  • New babies often sleep a lot during the day, their little brains not making the distinction between day and night – or naps and nighttime sleep – just yet. 

"Understand how much sleep your baby needs for their age. Lots of babies won’t show you when they are tired or will resist sleep when tired, but they still need to sleep!" - Jo Ryan

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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