How Many Hours of Sleep Do Kids Need?

How many hours of sleep do kids need? That is an important question for parents to consider. It is a number that changes as children grow older. It may be easy for parents to take it for granted that their child will naturally sleep as much as they need. Nonetheless, sleep needs and patterns change from infancy to childhood. Parents play an important role in facilitating healthy sleep patterns and a consistent schedule.

Adequate sleep is also imperative for physical and mental growth. On top of that, sleep cues aren’t always obvious. Here are some helpful tips so that you can determine how many hours of sleep do kids need at various ages. We will also break down the necessary night time sleeping hours and nap hours.

baby girl sleeps in bed with stuffed bunny in her arms

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Newborns Need?

While sleep may seem chaotic for babies, there is a method to the madness. Infants 0-3 months old require about 14-17 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. While some may sleep a little more or less than that, they should still stay within the range of 11-19 hours. Babies have small stomachs, and their sleep rotates around their eating schedule instead of night and day. It will take them awhile before their bodies are capable of sleeping longer stretches of time.

Tracking sleep helps at this age since they sleep in short bursts of no more than 2-4 hours. If you notice they are sleeping too much or too little, it is important to talk to their pediatrician to rule out sleep disorders or health concerns. Learning to understand sleep cues also helps avoid over-stimulation and over tiredness.

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Babies Need?

Babies from 4-11 months should sleep 12-15 hours in a 24-hour period. However, they shouldn’t stay dormant less than 10 hours and no more than 18 hours. At this age, their sleep should fall into more of a predictable schedule with about 3 naps a day. Sometime after 6 months, they will likely drop to 2 naps a day. Nonetheless, timing differs between children. In fact, in the earlier months, four naps a day isn’t uncommon, and naps can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Babies generally become capable of sleeping through the night at this stage. However, developmental milestones can disrupt sleep for small stretches of time. In this phase, babies are still spending more time asleep than awake. Parents can help their children develop good sleep habits in this phase by creating bedtime routines and putting their baby to bed drowsy but awake.

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Kids Need when They Are Toddlers?

Sometime after their first birthday, your child will drop to 1 nap a day, but will still need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. These sleep needs (and a daily nap) are still important throughout their toddler years. As they grow older, their naps will shorten, but they will generally need to hold onto this nap throughout their second and third years.

Increased mobility and nightmares can cause sleep disruptions at this age, along with their desire to be independent. Consistent bedtimes, sleep environment, and routines help toddlers stay on track. Parents can also talk with their toddlers about what is expected of them at bedtime.

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Preschoolers Need?

 

While most 3-year-olds still take a nap, by the time they are 5, most children will have dropped that last nap. At this age, children need an average of 10 to 13 hours of sleep. Nonetheless, that amount can still range from 8-14 hours. Children in this age range are still prone to sleep disruptions caused by nightmares or overactive imaginations.

 

 

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Kids Need When They Are School Age?

 

School and social commitments tend to play more of an influence on sleep at this age. However, it is important to still aim for your child to get about 9-11 hours of sleep per night. Adequate sleep continues to be key for facilitating a child’s physical and mental development.

Electronics and caffeine are factors that compete with sleep. Watching TV close to bed is linked with disrupted sleep. If you know the answer to “How many hours of sleep do kids need?” yet your kids don’t hold fast to it, the guilty part might be their routine. Therefore, try to interrupt any screen time before bed. At this age, avoiding stimulation close to bedtime will help kids to sleep well.

 

 

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Teenagers Need?

teenager boy sleeps in bed with awaken puppy yawning in his arms

 

While we don’t often think about the sleep needs of teenagers, they are still physically and mentally developing. As a result, adequate sleep is still important. Teenagers from the ages of 12 to 18 should be getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night. In fact, up until the age of 25, it is still important for them to continue getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.

 

Teenagers have a lot of competition for their time and are prone to skip sleep to compensate. However, it’s important for parents to continue to encourage healthy sleep patterns that will serve them well into their adult years. They may seem like they can function well on little sleep, but that doesn’t mean skipping sleep is beneficial.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Parents who ask “How many hours of sleep do kids need?” are on the right track. Sleep is very important at every age, and parents can help their children tremendously by setting up schedules and routines to ensure their children get enough rest. Every developmental phase comes with its own sleep disruptors. However, consistency in nighttime routines, maintaining a dark sleep environment and avoiding electronics in the bedroom help ensure proper rest.

 

It’s natural to push bedtime later as children grow older. However, it is still important to ensure that it isn’t too late so that at each phase children have enough time to get all the sleep they need before waking up for the next day.

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