menu toggle icon
menu toggle icon
menu toggle icon

7-Month-Old Sleep Schedule

Seven months already! Time flies, doesn’t it? As your baby hits the 7-month mark, you’re likely noticing more changes in their sleep patterns and overall development. This is a pivotal time for sleep schedules as your little one becomes more active and curious during the day and (hopefully!) starts consolidating sleep at night. With the potential for longer stretches of sleep and evolving nap rhythms, navigating your 7-month-old’s sleep schedule requires flexibility.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the typical sleep needs of a 7-month-old, discuss the transition from three naps to two, and share tips on how to help your baby sleep for longer stretches at night. Let’s dive into the world of sleep for your growing baby and help you create a schedule that works for your family’s needs.

A Note on Sleep Schedules:

When considering sleep schedules, be sure to factor in your baby’s adjusted age if they were born earlier than their due date. Remember, sleep needs vary widely among infants. The sleep totals mentioned here are average figures for this age group, but your baby’s requirements might be different, and that’s perfectly fine. The key indicator of adequate sleep is your baby’s overall mood and alertness. If your little one appears well-rested and happy, they’re likely getting the right amount of sleep, even if it doesn’t align precisely with the guidelines provided.

How Much Sleep Does a 7-Month Old Need?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-month-olds get 12-16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. That sleep total includes both naps and nights. Aim for 10-12 hours of nighttime sleep, and 2-3 hours of daytime sleep split between 2-3 naps.

Sample Schedules for a 7-Month-Old

sample sleep schedule for a 7-month-old taking 3 naps per day
sample schedule for a 2-nap day

Keep in mind that the length of each nap can differ. Usually, the earlier naps in the day are lengthier, while the final nap is shorter, often just a brief catnap lasting about 30 minutes. Be sure to cap any single nap at no longer than 2 hours.

Cumulative daytime sleep should ideally total 2-3 hours, but this is just an average. Every child is unique, so if your little one seems content and well-rested with slightly more or less daytime sleep, that’s perfectly okay. It’s not necessary to focus too much on the exact numbers.

How Many Naps Does My 7-Month-Old Need?

Most 7-month-old babies take 2-3 naps each day. Average wake windows for a 7-month-old baby are 2-3.5 hours. Little ones who tend to take longer naps will have longer wake windows, whereas those who take shorter naps tend to have shorter wake windows.

If your little one is still taking more than 3 naps each day, it may be time to increase their awake time between naps to increase sleep pressure and encourage longer naps. Additionally, it’s important to have a regular start time for the day. This can help you set a consistent time for the first nap, and the rest of the day will then follow suit.

The 3-2 Nap Transition

The transition from three to two naps typically occurs between 6-8 months old. Some babies will drop their third nap earlier and some later, but to be ready for a two-nap schedule, your little one will need to be comfortable handling wake windows of 3-3.5 hours at a time.

It’s very normal for the late afternoon nap to be tricky. If you’re noticing resistance and you don’t feel that your little one is ready to handle at least 3 hours of awake time, try facilitating that last nap via contact napping in the carrier or your arms, nursing, or try a motion nap in the car or stroller.

Nap Transition Strategies

Rather than simply dropping the third nap, think of this transition as lengthening the first two naps, along with the wake windows. The goal is to have two naps spaced out enough in the day so that the last wake window ahead of bedtime is not too long. This usually means that the middle wake window is about 3 hours, and your child is getting 2.5-3 hours of daytime sleep split between two naps.

  • Gradually adjust the second wake window: Increase the length of the second wake window in 15-minute increments every 2-3 days until you reach a minimum of 3 hours between naps.
  • Adjust bedtime as needed: Aim for a bedtime no earlier than 6:30 pm. Bedtimes earlier than 6:30pm can contribute to false starts (waking within an hour of going to bed), or early rising.

What's Normal During Nap Transitions?

Schedule fluctuation: Nap transitions can be tricky because it’s not as straightforward as flipping a switch. The transition will happen gradually in most cases, with some days being 3-nap days, and some being 2-nap days.

Early rising and frequent nighttime waking: It’s common for frequent night waking or early rising to happen at this time because daytime sleep may be less than ideal, which can cause your little one to be overtired at bedtime. Do your best to start the day no earlier than 6:00 am, and keep bedtime no earlier than 6:30 pm.

Should My 7-Month-Old Be Sleeping Through the Night?

The aim is for your baby to spend 10-12 hours in their sleep space each night. Most babies start sleeping through the night around the age of 6 to 9 months, though what “sleeping through the night” entails can differ. For some babies, this may be a continuous 7-hour period of sleep without the need for feeding or attending to other needs. For others, it might include longer stretches of sleep interrupted by brief periods of wakefulness.

How To Encourage Longer Stretches of Sleep At Night

Barring any prematurity or weight-gaining issues, by the time a baby reaches 7 months old, their need for nighttime feedings often decreases. This can still vary from one baby to another. However, if your baby is waking up to feed more than twice a night, it’s a good idea to monitor their daytime feeding habits. The goal is for your baby to take most of their feeds during the day, which helps them sleep more soundly at night.

Evaluating whether night feedings are effective for your baby at this stage is important. Typically, a baby who wakes up due to hunger will return to sleep after being fed. However, if night feeds lead to increased wakefulness, possibly from overstimulation or a need to suck to get back to sleep, it may be beneficial to explore other comforting methods. This is especially true for breastfed babies, as they likely associate nursing with sleep, making it harder for them to stay asleep as they transition between sleep cycles.

In such cases, having the non-nursing parent respond to nighttime awakenings can be particularly effective. For instance, if your baby stirs at night, the non-nursing parent can gently reassure them by speaking softly and providing a soothing touch, perhaps with a gentle pat or stroke on their back. Humming a lullaby or softly speaking can also be calming. If these initial methods don’t work, this parent might hold and rock the baby or walk around the room with them.

Offering a feed should be a last resort, allowing the baby to learn other ways of settling back to sleep. This gradual increase in soothing techniques can help determine if each step is sufficient. While feeding remains an option, it isn’t the first solution to every wake-up.

Remember: Consult with your pediatrician before making changes to your baby’s feeding routine.

Would Sleep Training Help?

In addition to the schedule transitions that are common at this age, there are also developmental milestones occurring that can contribute to sleep regression. Not all sleep issues need to be worked on through formal sleep training. There are times when waiting for a while will result in sleep improving. However, if you’re still struggling after 2-3 weeks, or if you’re exhausted and unsure of what to do, sleep training can be a great place to start.

Looking for More Sleep Tips?

If you’d like support and guidance on how to navigate your 7-month-old’s transition from 3 to 2 naps or are in the midst of a sleep regression and need some support in getting sleep on track, The Batelle Sleep Program is a great option to help you on your way toward better sleep for your whole family.


So there you have it, a rundown on your 7-month-old baby’s sleep schedule. As you guide your little one through this nap transition and work towards longer nighttime sleep, be patient and responsive to their individual needs. Whether exploring sleep training or adjusting routines, trust your instincts and know that these steps are part of fostering healthy sleep habits. This journey is not just about better sleep for your baby, but also about the well-being of your entire family. Here’s to peaceful nights and joyful days with your growing baby!

This article was written by Batelle – team of sleep experts, lactation consultants, therapists, doulas, and early education specialists.

You might also like