How much sleep should my child be getting?

It’s a rough transition from the sweet little newborn who sleeps 16 hours a day to the stubborn toddler who resists bedtime, wailing “But I’m not tired!”

Regardless of what your two-year-old might want to believe, healthy sleep makes happy children. And you’ll be better able to gear your children towards healthy sleep habits once you have a good idea as to how much sleep they actually need.

The amount of sleep a child needs varies depending on his or her age:

  • A 4 to 12-month-old needs approximately 14 to 15 hours of sleep per day.
  • A 1 to 3-year-old needs approximately 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day.
  • A 3 to 6-year-old needs approximately 10 to 12 hours of sleep per day.
  • A 7 to 12-year-old needs approximately 10 to 11 hours of sleep per day.
  • A 13 to 18-year-old needs approximately 8 to 9 hours of sleep per day.

These hours (particularly with infants) will not necessarily happen in a row or only at night. However, consistency in sleep patterns is also important. By establishing a regular, predictable sleep schedule with and for your child, you are helping him or her develop healthy sleep habits.

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