Babywise Milestones

Babywise Milestones you can expect in the first two years when you follow On Becoming Babywise. When to expect sleeping through the night, naps dropped, a four hour schedule, and other milestones.

Mom hugging baby

In this post, I list the different “milestones” you can reach through using On Becoming Babywise. I list this with the caution that many of these are averages. To create an average, you add together a lot of numbers. The average is a number that was created out of smaller and larger numbers. That means your baby might fall on the larger size of average. Do not be discouraged if that is the case nor think something is wrong. Remember, you are the parent. Look at the averages and assess where your baby falls in the spectrum of expectations. She may be higher and she may be lower.

I also want to remind you that these are numbers based on babies who did Babywise from birth. If you started late, you might be behind on some for a while (see my Starting Babywise Late Guide for more on this). I started late with my oldest, Brayden. I was behind with Brayden until he was 6 months old (we started at 9 weeks).

Also, if you don’t follow all Babywise principles, you might not receive all Babywise benefits. You are the parent, so you get to decide what to do, but don’t expect all benefits unless you practice all principles.

On to the milestones.

Babywise Milestones for the First Two Years


This is called the stabilization period. I found that to be so true with Kaitlyn. One night when she was 8-9 weeks old, I told my husband that she seemed to just be in her niche, and that it seemed she was just stabilized. Then it hit me that the time period had already been dubbed as stabilization. Also, many things need to be followed closely in this period, such as feeding intervals and number of feedings.

  • Feed every 2.5-3 hours
  • Have 8-10 feedings in a 24 hour period
  • Do not let baby sleep more than 5 hours if you are breastfeeding until 5 weeks of age
  • There will be about 6-8 naps a day, depending on the number of feedings
  • Naps will be 1-1.5 hours long
  • Between weeks 5-8, your baby might be ready to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours
  • Between weeks 5-8, your baby might be able to go down to 7 feedings in a 24 hour period (but only after she starts sleeping 7-8 hours at night)
  • By 8 weeks old, your baby most likely will be sleeping 7-8 hours consistently
  • 15% of babies don’t start sleeping 7-8 hours until they are 10-12 weeks old
  • After 8 weeks old, your baby might be able to move to 6 feedings in 24 hours

WEEKS 9-15

  • Baby can gradually move to 9-10 hours of continuous sleep if breastfed, 11 hours if bottlefed
  • Remember that 15% of BW babies don’t start sleeping 7-8 hours until they are 10-12 weeks old
  • Baby’s naps should be about 1.5 hours long
  • Most babies drop the late night feeding in this period (aka Dreamfeed)
  • Between weeks 12-15, your baby might be able to move to a combination 3-4 hour schedule
  • Starting at 13 weeks, your baby should be at 5-7 feedings a day
  • This is also the age where many babies begin their early morning talking (waking in 5 or 6 AM hour). This can last longer than one month. See page 132 in Babywise for more information.

WEEKS 16-24

  • 4-6 liquid feedings a day
  • Baby moves to 10-12 hours at night
  • Baby will need 3 naps of 1.5-2 hours in length–but remember that some will take a 45 minute nap for the 3rd, and that is just fine

WEEKS 25-52 (6 months to 1 year)

  • Feedings stay pretty close to the same as they are at 24 weeks (6 months), assuming you were eating 4-5 times a day
  • You want 4-5 nursings
  • By the end of this time period, you move to 3 feedings, with the exception of 4th and maybe 5th nursings to maintain milk supply
  • Naps are 1.5-2.5 hours long
  • By 6 months, Babywise says most babies can drop that third nap. Babywise II says a 6 month old will need 2 naps and a catnap (short nap). I have found Babywise II to be more accurate for my children
  • Both Babywise II and Toddlerwise say that by 8 months, most babies will be able to drop that 3rd nap (catnap). Remember, you are the parent. If you have a big sleeper and she is still sleeping well at night, you don’t need to eliminate that nap. At nearly 10 months old, Kaitlyn still needs it some nights
  • Once the third nap is dropped, waketime increases, and often the length of the other two naps increase also. Instead, you might increase nighttime sleep if baby wasn’t sleeping 12 hours. Decide what is best for your baby

16-20 MONTHS

  • Babywise says the morning nap will be dropped between 16-20 months old. Babywise II says between 18-20 months old the morning nap will be dropped
  • Toddlerwise describes our nap change experience better. Between 16-18 months old, the two naps get shorter. I believe Brayden was 15 months old when it began for him. Then between 18-20 months, you transition to one longer afternoon nap. We made the move at 17 months old.
  • Toddlerwise says that the crib to bed transition typically happens between the ages of 18-24 months old.

Hopefully this quick reference can aid you when you want to know what you can expect your baby to be ready for in the near future.

For a free printable of Babywise Milestones, see my post Your Babywise Baby First Year Overview.

Get the whole series here

On Becoming Pottywise
On Becoming Teenwise
On Becoming Preteenwise
On Becoming Childwise
On Becoming Preschoolwise
On Becoming Toddlerwise
On Becoming Pre-Toddlerwise
On Becoming Babywise Book 2
On Becoming Babywise
On Becoming Pottywise
On Becoming Teenwise
On Becoming Preteenwise
On Becoming Childwise
On Becoming Preschoolwise
On Becoming Toddlerwise
On Becoming Pre-Toddlerwise
On Becoming Babywise Book 2
On Becoming Babywise

Related Babywise Posts:

Babywise Milestones you can expect in the first two years when you follow On Becoming Babywise. When to expect sleeping through the night, naps dropped, a four hour schedule, and other milestones.

Reader Babywise Questions:

  • Amber said…
    Questions – At 16 – 24 wks, are inly supposed to take 3 naps or can they take more? Am I forcing her to nap when she shouldn’t be? Thanks – Brooklynsmama
    February 9, 2008 11:30 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    If she still needs more naps, by all means let her take them. If she is resistent to the 4th nap, you can drop it. You just don’t take a nap between the 4ish and 7ish feedings. Kaitlyn was around 4 months old when we dropped the 4th nap, but she was still on a 3 hour schedule.
    February 9, 2008 2:04 PM
  • Anila’s Mom 😉 said…
    Hi!Its me again…I have yet another question…”Between weeks 5-8, your baby might be ready to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours”How do I KNOW that she is ready to go the 3.5 cycle? Right now, she is definitely NOT taking regular naps/waketime but it takes A LOT of effort to actually get her up to eat every 3 (some feedings she takes the full feeding and some I really have to coax her). She is 5 weeks old…Thanks again for the help!
    August 29, 2008 4:22 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    See this post: When to Move to a 4 hour Schedule . The principles would apply. I would say you are just having a hard time waking a newborn, not that she is ready to extend her feeding times.
    September 4, 2008 11:22 AM
  • Doubly Blessed said…
    Although I feel quite ridiculous for this, I’m very confused by the BW scheduling. I have 10 week old twins, and we’ve been trying BW for about 4 weeks now. Currently, our a.m. waketime is 5:15 so that my husband can help me feed babies (and spend time w/ them) before going to work. They eat every 3 (8:15, 11:15, 2:15, 5:15, and 8:15). The problem is, this gives them less than 10 hours to sleep at night. (Plus, they’re still waking at about 2 a.m. for a feeding.) Should I be waking them later in the morning? If so, would I have to go to 2.5 hours in order to get enough feedings in each day? I also don’t understand how the math works with waketime and nap time. If they eat at 8:15 a.m. and stay awake until 9:15, and they should nap for 1-1.5 hours, then they’ll be awake between 10:15 and 10:45. Do I leave them in bed until 11:15 when it’s time to eat? Or do I get them up and have waketime before the feeding? I’ve read the book, believe it or not, but I’m still not clear on all of this.
    September 8, 2008 2:25 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Doubly Blessed, Most people have a waketime somewhre around 7-8. I totally understand the reason for you doing that the way you are (for help feeding them), but I would caution against doing it long-term unless you want them to wake at 5:15 long term. At that age, they don’t need 10 hours of sleep yet. It is a gradual move that happens over weeks 9-15, and if they were early, then it will put them later. If you still want to continue waking at 5:15, you will need to move bedtime up so it starts 10 hours before that, and eventually possibly up to 12 hours before.The other part just does not add up. You are not crazy or missing anything. The math just doesn’t add up yet.
    September 12, 2008 11:34 AM
  • bando966 said…
    Hello! Love all this information. In looking through your blog I can’t find any information regarding a concern I have. Would like to get your recommendation, opinion or feedback…My son is 5 weeks old and have had him on a 3 hour BW schedule since the first week. His routine at night is to wake naturally at 4:30am, take a full feeding and then up again at 6:30am or 7am for his schduled early morning time, which he wakes naturally as well. During the daytime, we have to wake him about 50% of the time to nurse on the 3 hour schedule. We have his waketime for about 1.5 hours (including nursing)then down for 1-1.5 hours.My question is the one feeding we want to drop, of course is the middle of the night feeding, however is the one he always wakes for. As we continue, he is waking for his early morning feeding earlier, about 15-30 minutes. Will they ultimately blend together? Should I let him CIO? What are the best tricks to get him to through the night? (His Late Evening feeding is about 1am) It seems he can take and leave several feedings, but not this one! It’s always 4:30am on the nose!7am-EM10am-MM1pm-A4pm-MA7pm-LA10pm-EE1am-LE4:30-MN (naturally)If there is another post on here that I can refernece, please direct. Look forward to your feedback! Thanks!
    November 3, 2008 8:59 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    bando966, it might be sort of a habit, but I wouldn’t try to break it at 5 (or now 6) weeks. At this age, you stop waking him at 1 am and let him go from 10 to whenever he wakes naturally, if you haven’t done so yet. See also this post for ideas on the 4:30 feeding, but again I wouldn’t try to break it yet 5-6 AM Night Wakings
    November 10, 2008 3:34 PM
  • Kathryn said…
    hello, thanks so much for taking the time to create this blog- it is so helpful. I have so many questions, and am happy to say I have already found lots of info here.My 8 Week old baby is doing really well so far on BW, she is like a little clock.I have two questions that may seem basic Right now my daughter is 8 weeks she is on a 3 hour feed schedule all day until bedtime which tends to be around 10 pm, then sleeps about 6 hours and has a middle of the night feed , then wakes 2-3 hours later ( tends to be about 6 am) . i want “wake time” to be 7 am so she is sometimes up before then, but I try not to feed until 7 am so I can program her first feed of the day.My two questions: According to BW she is to be sttn , soon, do I need to do anything differently to make this happen? Am I on the right track with my method to change her wake time? So far it is not working : ) Any info woudl be greatly appreciated.
    November 6, 2008 7:48 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Kathryn, it sounds like you are on the right track for STTN. Realize most babies seem to STTN later than the 7-8 week mark, so if your baby does, she is normal :)See this post about that 6 AM waketime:  5-6 AM Night Wakings
    November 10, 2008 3:36 PM

Reader Thanks

  • sofistikated1 said…
    very helpful (having the keynotes listed by age)! Thanks!
    February 11, 2008 11:38 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    You bet! I created this post on-request from a blog reader. The thanks goes to her!
    February 11, 2008 1:21 PM