Eat, Sleep, Sleep, Eat: Baby's Evolving Routine

A baby is sitting next to an hourglassYour baby is about 3 months old, and this is usually a time for big changes in eating and sleeping habits. Whether you let baby take the lead, or you’re ready to set a firm schedule, find out what to expect for the next few weeks and months.

Sleep Cycles

Over the next few weeks, your baby’s brain will change the way it handles sleep. He still needs about 16 hours of sleep out of every 24, but the type and frequency will change. There’ll be more periods of light and deep sleep, daytime naps will be different from nighttime sleep, and he may start to wake up more fully between sleep cycles.

Sleep Training (again)

Because he wakes up between sleep cycles, your baby may go back to the old routine of short catnaps during the day and waking up every couple of hours at night. If he’s used to being rocked, reading a story, hearing you sing, etc., to go to sleep at night, he’ll expect that same routine every two hours to go back to sleep. Now is a good time to help him learn to self soothe and settle himself (without you) to get back to sleep. This could involve a pacifier, a sound-activated music player or some other method.

Trying to form a regular nap schedule and bedtime can help a great deal, and if you pay attention to your baby’s sleep cues, you should be able to get him on a schedule relatively easily.

You may need to make adjustments to your household’s routines to accommodate baby’s new sleeping schedule, but it’s probably worth it. When he’s awake, it’s more important than ever to make things interesting. He’s going to spend longer periods of time awake, and he’ll need some stimulation during his waking hours if he’s to be expected to go back to sleep at a reasonable time.


Your baby’s tummy is much larger now than when he was a newborn, so he can hold more milk at a time. This means he should be able to go longer between feedings, and you might be able to drop a night feeding. He’s still not ready for solids, unless your pediatrician suggests giving cereal, so breast milk or formula should still be providing all his nutrition for now.