You’ve reached the two-month mark with your sweet baby, and both of you have learned so much already. I’d love to show you a 2 month old sleep and feeding schedule and answer the most common questions I get about 8, 9, 10, and 11 week olds.
First, when it comes to sleep and feeding, my motto is “flexible routine, not rigid schedule.” We want to work with babies right where they are developmentally, which means watching your 8, 9, 10, or 11 week old's wake windows and cues rather than trying to follow an exact schedule.
2 Month Old Sleep Schedule and Wake Windowsanchor
What are wake windows for a 2 month old? anchor
A baby’s wake window is simply how long they stay awake between naps. At two months, your baby will need about 60-90 minute wake windows.
When they're closer to 8 weeks, your baby's wake windows might be on the shorter end of that range, but when your baby is 11 weeks, you'll see those wake windows expand to the longer end of the range. We also see that wake windows are often shortest in the morning and grow throughout the day, with the longest wake window before bedtime.
Remember that wake windows are a guide. Sleepy cues will help you best know when your 2 month old baby is ready for sleep. If you’re not sure whether your baby is tired at 60 or 90 minutes, watch for sleepy cues to know when it’s time to put them down for a nap or go to bed.
What is a sample 2 month old sleep schedule?anchor
An example of a sleep and feeding schedule for two month olds could look like this:
Text version of table
|6:30am||Wake and feeding|
Keep in mind: This is just an example of how a day could play out, and you should NOT try to follow it exactly. Instead, know that you’ll adjust your day based on your baby’s wake time, nap lengths, hunger cues, and sleepy cues.
How much total sleep should a 2 month old have? How long should a 2 month old sleep?anchor
At two months old, we’re still following your baby’s lead with how much sleep they need. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Don’t let any one nap go longer than 2 hours.
Aim for wake windows around 60-90 minutes.
Don’t let your baby’s night last any longer than 12-12.5 hours.
When is bedtime for a 2 month old? anchor
There isn't a universal answer to this. Some 2 month old babies do best with a 7:00-8:00 pm bedtime. When kept up past 8:00 pm, these babies start to become fussy and overtired. On the other hand, some 2 month old babies thrive with a nap around 7:00 pm and bedtime between 8:00 and 10:00 pm. It’s all about finding what works for your baby. If you need a bit more guidance, check out my blog on False Start Bedtimes, which can help you choose the best option.
2 Month Old Naps anchor
How many naps are best for a 2 month old? anchor
There isn’t a set number of naps that works best for a 2 month old. Here’s why: during these first months, it’s normal to see naps last anywhere from 20 minutes to 120 minutes. I know, that’s a wide range, but short naps are developmentally appropriate at this age. So while two month old babies typically take 4-6 naps per day, know that the number of naps will vary each day depending on nap lengths.
How long should a 2 month old nap?anchor
There is a wide range of “normal” with a two month old’s naps. Healthy, normal naps can range from 20 minutes to 2 hours. If your baby likes to nap on the longer end, I do recommend you wake your 2 month old after 2 hours.
I know you've probably heard that you should never wake a sleeping baby, but this is a time when I’ll encourage you to go ahead and do it. Babies need that important awake time to ensure they get the number of calories they need during the day, to help them with day-night confusion, and to work towards longer stretches of sleep at night.
Why is my 2 month old taking short naps?anchor
Many 2 month old babies are simply not developmentally ready to consistently take long naps. But there are some other culprits of short naps for 2 month olds, like:
Not being tired enough
Waking themselves during active sleep
2 Month Old Development and Milestonesanchor
What are developmental milestones for a 2 month old?anchor
It’s exciting as a parent to watch your baby learn new things! Please keep in mind that milestones aren’t deadlines your baby has to meet. Milestones are based on ranges, and every baby is different. If your sister’s baby started smiling at 8 weeks, but your baby hasn’t, there is no need to panic. That first beautiful smile could be days away! If you have any concerns about your baby hitting their milestones, make sure to speak with your pediatrician.
At two months old, your baby may start to:
Move their head back and forth more easily while laying on their back
Hold their head up for about 2 seconds during tummy time
Cry to ask for attention
Smile at the sound of your voice or voices of other familiar caregivers
Make “pre-talking” noises like squealing and gurgling
Try to grab their feet or stare at their hands
What are some 2 month old baby activities?anchor
Now that your baby’s wake windows are a bit longer, there's more time for play. At 2 months old, everything can be play – making funny faces at your 8 week old, going for a walk with your 9 week old, or looking at board books with your 10 week old. There's no need for complicated activities!
Why is my 2 month old so fussy?anchor
It can be so normal to see an increase in fussing and crying around 6-8 weeks. Maybe you're wondering if you have a colicky baby.
If you’re noticing your 2 month old baby is often fussy in the late afternoon or early evening, you might be experiencing the witching hour. Read my blog on the Witching Hour for Babies to learn more about it and how to work through it.
If your 2 month old seems fussy all the time, rarely content, you might be seeing a sign of a physical need. The three most common culprits we see around two months are overtiredness, hunger, or discomfort like reflux. Pay close attention to your baby's cues and follow up with your baby's doctor if you're seeing a constantly fussy baby.
2 Month Old Sleep Strugglesanchor
Is there a 2 month old sleep regression? Is there an 8 week, 9 week, 10 week, or 11 week regression?anchor
Sleep regressions are simply a progression in development that makes sleep tricky for a short period. At two months old, your baby is constantly learning about the world around them, and sometimes this can make sleep difficult.
If you’re dealing with sleep struggles around 8, 9, 10 or 11 weeks, ask yourself:
Is your 2 month old getting full feedings or only snacking during the day? If your baby isn’t getting all of their daytime calories, this could be why they’re waking more during the night.
Is your 2 month old actually awake or are they going through a period of active sleep? Babies experience REM sleep differently than we do, and what appears to be an awake baby could just be a sign of active sleep.
Why does my 2 month old fight sleep? anchor
When babies fight sleep, this is usually a result of being overtired or overstimulated. Watch those wake windows (60-90 minutes) and sleepy cues to make sure your baby is going down for a nap or bedtime when sleepy.
If you’re still struggling with getting your baby to sleep, my First Five Months Bundle lays everything out with all my best tips and leads you step-by-step towards sleep success. I can help you lay a healthy foundation for great sleep without any crying.
My 2 month old is sleeping a lot. Should I be concerned?anchor
Typically, babies don’t sleep more than they need to during a 24 hour period. Some two month olds may still be experiencing day-night confusion, which usually resolves during this month. Check out my tips for helping your sleepy baby. BUT, if your baby is much sleepier than normal, difficult to wake, seems lethargic, or you have any other concerns, I want you to talk with your doctor.
2 Month Old Feedinganchor
How much should a 2 month old eat? anchor
At 2 months, we want to offer full feedings every 2-3 hours according to hunger cues. Here are some cues you may see when your baby is full (Note: you might not see all of these each time.):
Hands are relaxed and open, not curled into fists.
When lifted, their arm drops heavily instead of your baby pulling it back towards their body.
Your baby is content at the end of a feeding and able to go 2-3 hours before the next feeding.
Important Note: The amount of calories a 2 month old needs varies from baby to baby. The best indicator that your baby is on track with eating is that they’re following their personal growth curve. If you have concerns about whether your baby is getting enough calories during the day, please discuss this with your pediatrician.
How long should a 2 month old sleep at night without eating? anchor
It depends. Some 2 month olds still wake to eat about every 3 hours throughout the night, while others can go quite a bit longer. How long your baby can go without eating at night depends on a few factors: their individual growth and development, strategies for healthy sleep, and time to practice.
For babies who are staying on their growth curve and eating every 2-3 hours all day long, most doctors will agree that you can typically allow one longer stretch of sleep in the night. That one stretch shouldn’t go longer than their age in weeks plus one. So, if your baby is 8 weeks old, we would wake them up for a feeding 9 hours from the start of their last feeding if they’re still sleeping at that point. Of course, if your doctor says you need to wake your baby more frequently for night feedings, please do!
Now, if you’re not seeing a long stretch of nighttime sleep with your 2 month old, it could simply be because your baby isn’t developmentally ready. However, you can practice healthy sleep strategies that will help you work towards more consolidated sleep. If you’re not sure where to begin with your sleep strategies, please know that I can help: my First Five Months Bundle will walk you step-by-step through a no-cry approach to laying a solid sleep foundation with your newborn.
2 Month Old Sleep FAQ anchor
Dressing your baby for comfortable sleep often depends on the temperature of your home. For warmer homes, a swaddle and diaper may be all your baby needs. While in a cooler home, they may need a diaper, footie pajamas, and swaddle. We don’t want your baby to get too warm since overheating is dangerous, but if it’s too cold, your baby won’t sleep well.
Yes! Pacifiers have so many benefits for babies: They’re a great tool for sleep and may even reduce the risk of SIDS. My Newborns Sleeping with Pacifiers blog is all about how to introduce pacifiers, concerns about using them if you’re breastfeeding, and what to do if your baby becomes dependent on them for sleep.
Newborns should not be placed on their tummies to sleep. Babies need to be laid on their backs to sleep for the first twelve months. Once a baby can roll themselves from back to belly, most pediatricians agree it’s safe for them to sleep on their stomachs (as long as they’re not swaddled). But you want to always lay your baby on their back first and allow them to roll over on their own. Keep in mind that tummy sleep is never safe for a swaddled baby. While most 2 month olds are not yet showing signs of rolling, if your baby is, it’s time to come out of the swaddle.
To start, aim to practice one nap each day in the crib. Follow your baby’s sleepy cues and wake windows so your baby goes down for a nap or bedtime before getting cranky. To help cue your baby that it’s time to get ready for sleep, follow a nap or bedtime routine for your 8, 9, 10, or 11 week old. Give your baby and yourself grace; getting your 2 month old to sleep in a crib or bassinet takes patience and practice.
Every baby is different. Some babies begin to sleep through the night as early as 10-12 weeks, but others may not sleep through the night until much older. If you’re not getting any good stretches of sleep at night, check out my First Five Months Bundle. It will help you navigate newborn sleep, work on longer stretches of night sleep, and give you the tools you need to create a healthy sleep foundation with no crying involved. I want you to love the newborn stage!
Formal sleep training is not developmentally appropriate at two months old. Please know that my newborn class does not include any sleep training. Instead, I’ll show you how to work on laying that healthy sleep foundation and getting longer stretches of sleep at night all while meeting your baby right where they are developmentally with no crying involved.