Kids need a good amount of sleep to grow properly and function well in their daily activities. The amount of sleep your kids need changes often as they age.
However, as a parent, it helps to understand how much sleep your kids need at certain ages so that you can ensure they get the rest they require.
When your kids don't get sufficient sleep, they can face issues such as weight loss or gain, behavioral problems, or mental and cognitive issues.
This post contains some general guidelines to help you judge how much sleep your kids need, although there might be some variations depending on personal factors.
Ages of Kids and Required Hours of Sleep
1. Newborn to 1 Month Old
A typical newborn will sleep for between 15 and 18 hours a day, but not in one stretch. Interestingly, newborns only sleep for as much as 2 to 4 hours at a time, which means they get to sleep in several shifts.
Unlike older people, newborns don't pay attention to whether it’s day or night when they sleep, which is why parents have to deal with their newborns’ erratic sleeping patterns.
While this is the case for full-term newborns, there is a difference for premature newborns.
Babies who are born prematurely will likely sleep longer than those who are carried full term. In fact, they spend up to 90% of the entire day asleep, although that also depends on their state of health and how prematurely they were born.
2. 1 to 4 Months Old
Once your kid reaches 6 weeks, they are expected to begin forming a regular sleep pattern that you can probably monitor and predict. They often sleep between 14 and 15 hours daily.
Kids in this age range will often begin to have sleep periods that span between 4 and 6 hours, and these periods will begin to occur more during the evening and less during the day.
3. 4 Months to 1 Year Old
As your infants age from 4 months to 1 year, their sleeping hours reduce from 15 to 12. Sleeping patterns also become more stable, which has to do with the fact that your infant begins to socialize.
At 4 months, your kid could start with three naps daily, which could drop to two naps at 6 months or so. You can even expect your kid to sleep through the night.
Kids could have mid-morning naps that start at 9 a.m. and probably last for only a single hour before an early afternoon nap that happens between noon and 2 p.m., also for an hour or two.
Between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., your kid should have a late afternoon nap. These naps become more regulated as the baby approaches the 1-year mark. Following that is the night rest, which usually varies in length.
4. 1 to 3 Years Old
From the time your kid reaches a year old until about 3 years, their sleep time continues to drop. Between 18 months and 21 months, they will gradually move from three naps a day to one.
Your toddler needs between 12 and 14 hours of sleep, but, when they have a lot of activities, they often get no more than 10 hours.
Until they are 3 years old, your kids still need to nap once a day, and these naps range between 1 hour and 3.5 hours. Toddlers typically retire for the night between 7 and 9 p.m. and wake up between 6 and 8 a.m.
5. 3 to 6 Years Old
Between the ages of 3 and 6, your kid needs 10 to 12 hours of sleep daily. Bedtime for kids within this age range is often similar to when they're between 1 and 3 years old; that is, they would mostly go to sleep between 7 and 9 p.m. and be up between 6 and 8 a.m.
However, while most kids will still have naps at 3, many of them stop napping between the ages of 5 and 6.
6. 7 to 12 Years Old
Your kids are fully active at this point, busy with school, play, and family activities. At this point, your kid needs between 10 and 11 hours of sleep.
You can expect your kid's bedtime to draw nearer to 9 p.m., although there is still a bedtime window of 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., depending on how early or late they retire.
The average kid at this age sleeps between 9 and 12 hours, but the greatest proportion of kids sleep for only 9 hours.
7. 12 to 18 Years Old
At 12 years and older, your kid becomes a teenager and the expected sleep time ranges between 8 and 9 hours. However, some will sleep longer, while others sleep for less depending on daily activities and age-related distractions and pressures.
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