Our 3 month old breastfed baby can sleep for 3-5 hours overnight. The problem is nap-time.

He always wakes up like a clock after only 40-50 minutes if sleep. Is there anyway to get him to sleep for longer stretches of time, ideally up to 90 minutes?

His two older brothers were able to do so when they were his age, but I know each baby is different.

Thank you for any insight!

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    I'm sure this sounds like a stupid question, but why do you want him to spend more time sleeping during the day? Is he cranky or showing evidence that it's not enough sleep for him? Aug 8, 2022 at 6:50

3 Answers 3


This is probably the length of his sleep cycle, babies have much shorter sleep cycles than adults and about 30-45 mins sounds right. One thing is to try going and lightly stirring baby 5-10 mins early, like stroking their face - just enough to make them move a little. Which might help them move to the next sleep cycle. Or you could try "contact napping", basically having baby sleep on you. Though that might be a bit difficult with two older children.

Otherwise, you'll have to work with more frequent short naps. Over time baby will change a lot and sleep better (and sometimes worse). You'll get a big sleep change in about a months time probably just as you think you've solved this nap issue.


As the other answer has already pointed, the length of the baby's sleeping cycle is somewhere under 50 minutes (unlike about an hour and a half for an adult). Thus, any baby wakes up after about this period of time, but then falls back to sleep. This may repeat several times, until there is something that prevents child from falling back to sleep - e.g., because they are hungry or because there are noises that perturb them.

So my suggestion would be to look into what might make the child uncomfortable... although I wouldn't go as far as to try to erase the distinction between the night and the day (e.g., by making them sleep in a dark room), since at 3 months they are already aware of alternation of night and day, and it is important not to confuse them about it.


I currently have a 3 month old baby that takes at least two 90 minute naps every day in addition to several smaller naps. My baby also sleeps through the night.

If you can afford to purchase, rent, or borrow a Snoo, it is worth it. Our friends lent us one and it definitely helps. As other comments noted, some babies sleep cycles can be smaller, so maybe we've just been lucky.

The other major factor that has helped us is using a dedicated sleep tracker app that also helps schedule his naps throughout the day. The app is called 'Huckleberry' and it has done a great job telling us when to put him down, wake him up, etc. I strongly recommend using this if you don't already.

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