While every child is different, experts recommend a certain amount of sleep daily according to your child’s age.
While some children perform better on less sleep than others, determining the amount of sleep your child needs according to their age gives parents a rough idea of how much shut-eye children should be getting. Let’s take a look at what experts recommend.
Newborns: 15 – 16 hours each day
Newborns normally sleep 15 to 18 hours daily, but only for two to four hours at a time. Premature infants may sleep longer, but colicky infants may sleep less.
Because babies lack an internal biological clock or circadian rhythm, their sleep patterns are unrelated to the day-night cycle. The good news is that by around six weeks of age, you may see more regular sleep habits forming.
Babies aged 4 to 12 months: 14 – 15 hours per day
While up to 15 hours of sleep is optimum, most babies up to 11 months old only get about 12 hours of sleep daily.
Babies normally take three naps daily before reducing to two at about six months of age, when they can sleep through the night (or sooner). The midmorning snooze often begins at 9 a.m. and lasts around one hour. The early afternoon snooze lasts an hour or two and begins between noon and 2 p.m. And the late afternoon snooze might begin anywhere between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and can last up to an hour.
Children aged 1-3 years: 12 – 14 hours each day
As your child approaches 18-21 months of age, they will likely forgo their morning and early evening naps and just nap once a day. While children require up to 14 hours of sleep daily, they often only receive about ten.
Most toddlers between the ages of 21 and 36 months still require one nap per day, which can last anywhere from one to three hours. They usually go to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. and get up between 6 and 8 a.m.
Children aged 3-6 years: 10 – 12 hours each day
Children of this age normally go to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. and get up between 6 and 8 a.m. Most children are still napping at the age of three, but not at the age of five. Naps get shorter as time goes on. New sleep issues seldom appear after the age of three.
Children aged 7 to 12: 10 – 11 hours each day
With social, school, and family activities, bedtimes steadily increase later and later at these ages, with most 12-year-olds retiring to bed at about 9 p.m. There is still a large variety of bedtimes available, ranging from 7:30 to 10 p.m., as well as total sleep times available, ranging from 9 to 12 hours, albeit the average is still about 9 hours.
Children aged 12 to 18: 8 – 9 hours each day
Sleep is still as important to tweens and teens’ health and well-being as it was when they were younger. It has been shown that many children may require more sleep than in past years. However, for many teens, societal pressures work against obtaining enough and good quality sleep.