At 2 months old, babies are still developing healthy sleep habits and patterns. There is no universally recommended bedtime for all 2 month olds, as each baby has their own unique needs. However, there are some general guidelines and best practices that can help determine an appropriate bedtime routine for your 2 month old.
When do 2 month olds need to sleep?
Babies at 2 months old typically need 14-17 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. This includes both nighttime sleep and naps. Here are some common sleep range guidelines for 2 month olds:
- Daytime naps: 4-5 naps per day ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours each. Total daytime sleep: about 8-10 hours.
- Nighttime sleep: 9-12 hours
Keep in mind that these are averages and your baby’s needs may differ. Pay attention to your baby’s sleepy cues during the day and aim to have them nap according to their desired schedule as much as possible.
What are signs your 2 month old is ready for bed?
Here are some signs your 2 month old is ready for bedtime:
- Rubbing eyes
- Fussy or crying
- Red, glazed eyes
- Pulling on ears
- Decreased activity and alertness
When you start to notice these cues, it’s a good indication your baby is ready to start their bedtime routine. Paying attention to these signs can help make sure your baby is put to bed at an optimal time when they are primed for sleep.
What time of day should a 2 month old bedtime routine start?
Most experts recommend starting a bedtime routine for a 2 month old between 6:00-8:00pm. Aim for the earlier side of this timeframe if your baby needs 12+ hours of overnight sleep. Here are some benefits of an early bedtime routine:
- Sets circadian rhythm – An early, consistent bedtime helps establish the body’s internal clock.
- Longer nighttime sleep – More nighttime hours help babies sleep well and meet sleep needs.
- Better naps – Quality nighttime sleep leads to better daytime naps.
If your baby seems to get a “second wind” and resist sleep too late, gradually move bedtime earlier in 15 minute increments until you find the right timing.
How long should a 2 month old bedtime routine last?
At 2 months old, a bedtime routine should take about 20-30 minutes from start to baby falling asleep. This gives enough time to fit in activities like a bath, massage, pajamas, feeding, rocking, and bedtime stories or songs. Make sure the routine is consistent, peaceful, and enjoyable for baby.
What are the steps of a good 2 month old bedtime routine?
Here are some good steps to include in a bedtime routine for a 2 month old:
- Bath – A warm bath helps baby relax and transition.
- Massage – Gentle touches soothe baby’s body.
- Pajamas – Put on sleeping attire to cue rest time.
- Feed – Offer a feeding to make sure baby is full.
- Rock/Cuddle – Rock or cuddle baby to provide comfort.
- Story – Read or sing a soothing story or lullaby.
- White noise – Turn on white noise to drown out distracting sounds.
- Put down awake – Settle baby in crib awake but sleepy.
Keep this routine consistent from night to night. Avoid stimulating activities like active play right before bed.
What time should a 2 month old actually be asleep?
Most 2 month olds should be placed in their crib asleep between 7:00-9:00pm. It takes the average 2 month old 14-15 minutes to fall asleep. So if you want your baby asleep by 8pm, your bedtime routine would need to start around 7:45pm.
Aim to have baby asleep during the earlier part of this timeframe, as it ensures they are getting enough nighttime sleep. If your baby takes longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep, you may need to start the bedtime routine a bit earlier.
How do I know if my 2 month old is getting enough sleep?
Signs your 2 month old is getting adequate, high-quality sleep:
- Sleeping through the night or only waking 1-2 times to feed
- Taking long naps (45 minutes to 2 hours)
- Falling asleep independently at bedtime within 15 minutes
- Not seeming overly tired, cranky or fussy
If your baby is having short, fitful naps and taking a long time to fall asleep, it could indicate their schedule needs adjustment or an earlier bedtime.
What if my 2 month old fights sleep or has trouble settling?
Some tips if your 2 month old resists sleep or has trouble settling at bedtime:
- Start bedtime routine earlier
- Make sure baby is getting adequate daytime sleep
- Evaluate routine for overstimulation or inconsistency
- Play soft music or white noise
- Swaddle baby to reduce startle reflex
- Let baby fuss for a few minutes before responding
- Try a pacifier to soothe baby
- Consult your pediatrician if sleep issues persist
Should I wake my 2 month old from naps?
At 2 months old, it’s best to let your baby sleep and wake naturally during naps without waking them prematurely. However, you may need to wake your baby if:
- The nap is occurring late in the day, as it could interfere with nighttime sleep.
- The nap is approaching or exceeding 2 hours. This can disrupt the night sleep cycle.
- You need to feed baby or tend to their needs.
If waking your baby, do so gently by rocking, singing, or changing their diaper. Make sure to watch for any signs of tiredness afterwards.
What are the risks of an inconsistent or late bedtime?
Potential risks of an inconsistent or late bedtime for a 2 month old include:
- Overtiredness, leading to fussiness and difficulties sleeping
- Disrupted circadian rhythms and confusion of day/night
- Decreased sleep overall, resulting in growth and developmental issues
- Increased risk of SIDS from baby sleeping at unstable times
- Difficulty sleeping independently later on
- Behavioral problems later in childhood
Establishing an age-appropriate, consistent bedtime routine helps minimize these risks and promotes healthy childhood development.
Sample Bedtime Schedules for a 2 Month Old
Here are two sample bedtime schedules for a 2 month old:
|7:00pm||Start bedtime routine|
|7:15pm||Massage with lotion|
|7:20pm||Put on pajamas|
|7:35pm||Cuddle and read story|
|7:45pm||Put baby in crib awake|
|8:00pm||Baby falls asleep|
|8:00pm||Start bedtime routine|
|8:15pm||Put on pajamas|
|8:35pm||Read bedtime story|
|8:45pm||Swaddle and put in crib|
|9:00pm||Baby falls asleep|
The ideal bedtime for a 2 month old is typically between 6:00-8:00pm, with baby fully asleep between 7:00-9:00pm. Look for tired cues like yawning, fussiness or rubbing eyes to start the 20-30 minute bedtime routine. A consistent schedule helps establish healthy sleep patterns and gives baby the 14-17 hours of sleep they need daily. Be flexible and adjust timing as needed based on your baby’s unique needs.