Like all areas of your baby's development, their sleep cycles are somewhat predictable and will have a pattern to them. The need for baby sleep is highest when they're first born, then gradually declines as they get older. It's important that they get every bit of sleep they need and you should see your doctor immediately if your baby experiences prolonged sleeplessness.
The following will give you a general guideline of sleep patterns to expect from your child in the up-coming years:
From the newborn stage, until the end of the first month your infant will sleep anywhere from 16 – 20 every day. Obviously in this stage baby sleep and waking to feed will take up most of their time.
From 6 weeks of age, up until the 4 month mark baby will likely sleep 15-16 hours every day. You'll find that your baby spends more time using their hands and will start to smile in the few hours they're awake.
The 4 month to 6 month stage will normally have your baby sleep much less. 9-12 hours is most common and they will start to become more curious of their surroundings, while starting to crawl. Normally their awake time will be broken up by a few short naps.
When baby is 6 to 9 months of age, they will likely sleep a little bit more than the previous months. They will be growing in length and burning a lot more energy with all the crawling and playing (11-12 hours is normal at this stage in their development). Again, you can expect their waking time to be broken up by a short nap or two.
From 9 to 13 months baby sleep will stay around 11-12 hours, broken up by naps, with lots of activity in their little bodies – walking and starting to form words.
From thirteen months onward, your toddler will sleep on average around 10 hours per night and most toddlers gravitate away from napping. From 5 years old and up it's normal for sleep to decrease down to 8 or 9 hours a night until adulthood.