When children get the sleep they need, they are able to grow, learn and develop properly as they age. Although often far lesser considered, sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise for a child. Rest varies by individual, and these patterns change as throughout early childhood and throughout an entire lifetime.
Daily Sleep Requirements by Age:
- Newborns (0-3 months) | Daily Sleep Range: 14 -17 hours daily
- Infants (4-11 months) | Daily Sleep Range: 12 -15 hours daily
- Toddlers (1-2 years) | Daily Sleep Range: 11-14 hours daily
- Preschoolers (3-5 years) | Sleep range: 10 -13 hours daily
- School Age Children (6-13 years) | Sleep range: 9 -11 hours daily
- Teenagers (14-17 years) | Sleep range: 8-10 hours daily
Read more here for additional detailed information on sleep requirements and how much sleep children need.
Did you know these fun sleep facts:
Babies have shorter sleep cycles, moving from light sleep (REM) to deep sleep (NREM) every 50-60 minutes.
Sleep has a direct link to a childs’ development and growth impacting a healthy weight, mental performance, emotional regulation and improved focus.
There is no use in avoiding naps and daytime sleep to make your child sleep better or longer at night – a child who is well-rested will sleep more than one who isn’t.
Babies also exhibit spontaneous smiles in their sleep.
Lay your baby on their back. Have the newborns sleep environment nearby your own with limited noise and light disruptions. Avoid over bundling and overheating your newborn.
At around 16 weeks young, babies begin to develop a patterned sleep/wake routine. Infants thrive on consistency, be sure to create order and familiarity in your surrounding rest time rituals.
Dreams and nightmares can feel heightened in a growing toddlers mind. While asleep they may have a difficult time distinguishing these moments from reality. If your toddler doesn’t have a comfort item, consider getting a stuffed animal or blanket to help provide a sense of security.
Your preschooler will begin to feel the distractions of an active mind. When unable to fall asleep they will call out or get up from bed after lights out. Try not to encourage this act. If you do, a pattern may persist.
School Age Children
School-aged children begin to fight tiredness as their interests grow and hobbies develop. Limit the use of digital devices an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from electronics makes it harder to settle down.
What grows up, must lie down.
Once your young one outgrows the crib, be certain to upgrade to quality sleep essentials. A soft yet supportive pillow and a zoned layered mattress can go a long way in promoting restful ZZZs for years to come.