5-8 Weeks Old Average Sleep & Schedule
At this point you may feel like you are finally coming up for air (and you also very well may not feel this way!). With my son, 8 weeks is when I finally felt some sort of routine forming and felt more comfortable leaving the house or attempting household chores/cooking a meal, etc. 8 weeks old is also when a more solid routine formed around his sleep, so let’s talk about what the average sleep looks like for babies between 5-8 weeks old. Please keep in mind this is an average and every baby is different (and can be wildly different at that).
Average-ish Sleep Schedule
Total sleep for a 5-8 week old is between 15.5 hours to 17 hours. Typically there is 8.5 - 10 hours at night and 6-7 hours in the day spread out over three to four naps. Some babies (not mine, I’ll tell you that) will only wake once a night to be fed, some two times, and if your baby is like mine, they may still be waking multiple times throughout the night. The goal near the end of this age is to try and have nighttime sleep become more organized in the sense that your baby may begin sleeping longer and deeper. Your baby might even be doing 4-5 hour stretches at night (lucky you!).
Average-ish Feeding Habits
Do keep in mind that, at this age, a breastfed baby might still need to eat every 2-2.5 hours but some may go as long as 3. Normal range is anything from 8-12 feedings in 24 hours. Formula-fed babies typically take an average of 4 ounces per feeding every 3-4 hours. If you have any concerns surrounding your baby’s eating habits, I highly suggest hiring/seeing a lactation consultant - ours helped us so much!
Around 8 weeks is when you can start establishing a bedtime routine. Please see my blog on bedtime routines for an easy how-to guide in creating your routine.
At 6 weeks you can start attempting to put your baby down drowsy, but awake, but it’s very normal if they still need to be nursed or rocked to sleep at this age. I had no idea what I was doing when my baby was this age; I rocked/nursed him to sleep still and now he is an incredible sleeper, so if the drowsy, but awake technique doesn’t work for you at this age - don’t stress!
If you are attempting the drowsy, but awake method, you can aid their sleep by placing them in the crib/bassinet, sitting by their side and patting them, shughing them, picking them up to calm them, and placing back down to try again. It’s important to stay by their side and comfort them as they fall asleep.
The good news is: don’t worry about scheduled naps yet. Daytime sleep at this age won’t be organized yet. My piece of advice is to enjoy the flexibility of a baby that sleeps on the go while you can!
Also keep in mind that late afternoon/early evening fussiness (a.k.a. The witching hour) begins now and lasts til around 12 weeks.
These weeks are really hard, but they do fly by! If you need help with a customized plan for your little one, feel free to reach out and I am happy to help.
The information in this blog regarding sleep averages and routine tips is derived from Kim West’s book “Goodnight Sleep Tight Workbook” and the incredibly informed course in which I studied.