Sleep and Children: How Many Hours Does Your Child Need?

 In Pediatric Healthcare

Sleep patterns vary based on the child’s age; some kids need more sleep than others. Parents want to know the recommended hours of sleep based on the child’s age.
If your child seems tired during the day, moody, or overactive, he/she may not be getting enough sleep. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider if you are concerned about your child’s sleep.

Sleep needs vary from one person to another, there are some very reasonable, science-based guidelines to help you determine whether your child is getting the sleep he or she needs to grow, learn, and play.

Normal sleep patterns:

Infants (up to 1 year of age)
Newborn sleep about 16 hours a day, spread across the day with 3 to 4 hours of nap between feeding.  By 1st birthday infants sleep around 13 hours per day. 1 in 5 infants does not sleep through the night by 1st birthday.

Toddlers (ages 1 to 2)
Sleep of 11 to 13 hours per day including morning nap and an afternoon nap is normal for toddlers.
18 to 21 months toddlers nap only once a day.

Preschoolers (ages 3 to 5)
Sleep of 10 to 12 hours per day including a mid-day nap is common for preschoolers.

School-aged Children (ages 6 to 12)
Elementary kids take 15 to 20 mins before they sleep, and they usually sleep for 9 to 11 hours.

Teens (ages 13 to 17)
Per night Teens need 9 to 10 hours of sleep. They take 20 to 30 mins while they fall asleep. Some teens tend to wake for long hours and catch up on sleep over the weekend.

Healthy sleep habit:

  • Outdoor activities like walking, playing in sunlight every day
  • Keeping kids active during the day
  • Sticking to the regular bedtime routine every day
  • Quite time of an hour and a half before bedtime
  • No screen time before bedtime at least an hour and a half for young children and teens.
  • Avoid plenty of fluid for preschoolers before bedtime to stop bedwetting
  • Nightmares are common among toddlers, preschoolers, and school-going kids. Handling nightmares calmy is important for a good night’s sleep. Reassure them dreams are not real and make them feel OK. Help the child understand bad dreams are common for everyone and are not real.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine like, cola or sports drink for 5 hours before bedtime


Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.


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