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Is Your Baby Getting Enough Sleep? How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?

Many people wonder how much sleep their child needs or, if their baby isn’t sleeping well, they often assume they just don’t need the sleep.  The truth of the matter is babies, toddlers and children need sleep and LOTS of it!

Here is a general guideline as to what your child needs:

0-3 months: 16-18 hours per day (up to 6 naps a day in the early days and 4-5 naps around 3 mths)

3-6 months: about 15 hours per day (3  x 1.5+ hour naps and 10-12 hours sleep a night)

6-12 months: about 14 hours per day (2 x 1.5 hour naps and 10-12 hours sleep a night)

12 months and up:  12-13 hours per day (1 x 2 hr nap and 10-12 hours a night)

Keep in mind that each child is different and the amount of sleep can vary based on age and weight.  Also, some babies hang on to 2 naps a day until they are 15 months.  If they are not showing signs of dropping one after 12 months, that is ok!  Let them hang on to the second nap.  If they need it, then hang onto it until around 15 months when they most likely won’t need it any longer.

Around the 4-5 month mark is when you can start to see your baby sleeping through the night (10-12 hours straight).

After 6 months is when you can expect your baby to fall into more of a “routine” in terms of naps and a bedtime.  Prior to that sleep patterns are still developing and take time.

Most children still need one nap a day up until the approximate age of 3.

An early bedtime is encouraged no matter what the age. Ideally it falls between 7 and 8 pm.  This allows the child to get a full night’s sleep.

Sleep is vital for growth and development not to mention sleep = sleep!  Better sleep during the day = better sleep at night!  Don’t let anyone tell you that keeping your baby up late will help him or her sleep longer!  An earlier bedtime usually means a longer night’s sleep.

Sleep well!