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How Long Should Babies Sleep

Put your knowledge of sleep for babies to the test with this quickfire quiz. Make a note of your answers as you go, then check how many you got right at the end. 

4 mins to read Jan 29, 2021

What’s your baby-sleep IQ?

Sleep solutions

  1. Complete the sentence: If my baby sleeps for fewer than __ hours in a day, his risk of health problems increases.


  1. 5 hours
  2. 7 hours
  3. 10 hours
  4. 12 hours



  1. Complete the sentence: Sleep problems occur in __ of babies and toddlers
  1. 5-10%
  2. 10-20%
  3. 20-30%
  4. 30-40%



  1. True or false? Having a TV or other electronics in your baby’s room can cause him to sleep less.
  1. True
  2. False



  1. Which of the following are possible benefits of your baby having a consistent sleep routine?
  1. Less crying
  2. Fewer sleep problems (day and night)
  3. More sleep
  4. All of the above



  1. True or false? At eight to ten months old, breastfed babies tend to wake up more frequently at night than formula-fed babies.
  1. True
  2. False



Congratulations on finishing the sleep quiz! Here are the correct answers. How did you do?

  1. d) Sleeping for fewer than 12 hours has been associated with unhealthy growth in babies and young children. This minimum of 12 hours is the total sleep time in 24 hours and can be split between nighttime sleep and daytime naps. Your baby needs a lot more sleep than you because he’s growing and developing every day. Children with sleeping problems tend to have more issues with behavioural problems and attention disorders.
  2. c) Between 20% and 30% of babies and toddlers have problems sleeping. These can usually be overcome by creating a soothing, regular sleep routine. It’s best to put your baby to bed at the same time every night, and to include some soothing methods, such as a warm bath, gentle massage, quiet lullaby, or relaxing book, in his routine.
  3. a) True! TV exposure (even if your baby’s not really watching) has been shown to have a poor effect on sleep. Even more so when a TV or other screen is in a baby’s bedroom. Make bedtimes screen-free times to help you little one sleep for longer.
  4. d) All of the above. Recent research has revealed that babies whose parents create sleep routines experience fewer sleep problems, both during the day and at night. These babies also sleep for longer periods of time and cry less frequently. What’s more, they have fewer visits to a doctor.
  5. b) False! Research shows that it doesn’t matter whether a baby has formula or breast milk, they will wake about the same number of times each night. However, waking at night does not always mean your little one needs to be fed, and is not influenced by the type of milk they receive during the day.



Count up how many you got right to rate your baby-sleep IQ



5 out of 5

Impressive knowledge! You know a lot about the importance of sleep for babies. Are you putting the theory into practice and helping your baby get enough sleep to develop healthily? Challenge yourself to share these six fascinating facts with six friends over the next six days. And don’t forget to invite them to take the quiz too!


3-4 out of 5

Not bad, but room for improvement. Make a note of the questions you got wrong then come back in a few days to take the quiz again. Most importantly, check that you’re putting the theory into practice and helping your baby get enough sleep to develop healthily.


1-2 out of 5

Oops! Make a note of the questions you got wrong and try taking the quiz again. Think about your baby’s bedtime routine, how much sleep he’s getting, and what you can do to help him get enough sleep to develop healthily.



(Accessed December 21 2017)


Brown A, Harries V. Infant sleep and night feeding patterns during later infancy: association with breastfeeding frequency, daytime complementary food intake, and infant weight. Breastfeed Med 2015; 10(5):246-52.


Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM et al. National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. Sleep Health 2015; 1(1):40-43.


Mindell JA, Meltzer LJ, Carskadon MA, Chervin RD. Developmental aspects of sleep hygiene: findings from the 2004 National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll. Sleep Med 2009; 10(7):771-9.


Nevarez MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinmann KP et al. Associations of early life risk factors with infant sleep duration. Acad Pediatr 2010; 10(3):187-93.


Thompson DA, Christakis DA. The association between television viewing and irregular sleep schedules among children less than 3 years of age. Pediatrics 2005; 116(4): 851-6.