How Much Sleep Your Kids Should Get

As a parent, nothing is more important than ensuring your child gets the rest they need to grow and thrive. That’s why our expert guidance and sleep schedule, broken down by age group, can help you discover how much sleep your kids should get, so you can rest easy knowing your little one is well-rested and ready to take on the world.

Being a parent can make sleeping difficult, and not just in terms of quantity. With work, school, and a child who is always growing and changing, it can be hard to remember how much sleep your child needs.

These are general guidelines for how much sleep your newborn or child should be getting, but keep in mind that every child is unique and may require more or less.

Newborn to 2 Months

We will tell you right now that there is no normalcy to the sleep habits of a newborn. Although your infant will be sleeping long amounts (14-17 hours per 24), it is unlikely that all of those hours will be continuous and may not even happen at night.

Because their brains are still developing, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) doesn’t even measure newborn sleep, so there is no known sleep pattern in newborns, and all infants are different.

The good news is that if your baby sleeps well, you don’t have to worry, but the bad news is that it’s possible but not guaranteed. Your baby’s brain will continue to mature and improve their ability to sleep, so there is still plenty of time to create healthy sleep routines.

How much sleep to expect?

Babies usually nap every two to four hours, only waking up once every two to three hours to eat. Even during the night, you should continue to feed your newborn at regular intervals. This is especially important during the newborn stage, when every feeding contributes to the baby’s growth and development. You should consult your child’s pediatrician if your infant does not wake up for feedings.

Helpful tips for a more restful night’s sleep.

This age group of infants often shows signs of restlessness and agitation during sleeping. Uncontrollable reflexes force them to twitch their limbs, grin, and make sucking noises.

Babies don’t automatically know how to put themselves to sleep, so you should use techniques like pacifiers, swaddling, rocking, and breastfeeding to assist your little one in drifting off to dreamland. Don’t worry about overdoing it when rocking a baby to sleep; there’s no such thing as spoiling a newborn.

2 to 4 Months

There is a period of adjustment between the sleep patterns of a newborn and those of an older infant, and this period occurs between the ages of two and four months. Until about the fourth month, your baby’s brain isn’t fully developed enough to start settling into recognized sleep patterns, so their sleep habits will likely still be all over the place. Remember that the AASM doesn’t begin recording baby sleep patterns until they’re 4 months old, so sleep ways before then can be highly variable.

How much sleep to expect?

Infants at this age sometimes go for six-hour periods without waking up, and they also begin to nap more regularly during the day.

Helpful tips for a more restful night’s sleep.

Play with your baby and let them spend time in the sun throughout the day, but only do something exciting near bedtime if you want to establish a regular sleep schedule.

Setting up a pre-bedtime sleep pattern (including a bath, feeding, and story time) might help your baby be ready for longer stretches of sleep during the night.

4 to 6 Months

At around the 4-month mark, doctors typically anticipate a more regular and predictable sleep pattern for their patients’ infants. Babies need anywhere from 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours starting at 4 months (and remember, this is not an exact science, so your baby may need a bit extra time!).

How much sleep to expect?

Infants of this age typically begin weaning off of midnight feedings and can now sleep for six to twelve-hour stretches without waking up.

Helpful tips for a more restful night’s sleep.

Do not rush your infant into good sleep patterns; your baby may take a while to learn to sleep. Babies sleep patterns also tend to stabilize over time, albeit not always linearly. According to studies, up to 80% of babies can sleep through the night by the age of 9.

Every infant wakes up at some point during the night, but children who “sleep through the night” have figured out how to fall asleep on their own. Although sleep training can begin at this age, it may take some time or multiple attempts before the child responds positively. Please don’t give up hope, and keep in mind that every baby is unique.

6 to 12 Months

A baby who was sleeping well before may have sleep regressions for a short amount of time. When these occur, it’s a positive sign since it implies your baby’s brain is developing rapidly during those times of rapid growth and development. Unfortunately, they are not always easy to get around in. Consistency in nighttime habits is the best course of action.

How much sleep to expect?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) suggests that infants this age sleep 12-16 hours daily. It includes sleep at night and naps during the day.

Helpful tips for a more restful night’s sleep.

Checking in on a fussing infant is fine, but during sleep training, you should strive to limit your visits and resist the urge to pick up or feed your child. One technique is to hum a lullaby while rubbing your baby’s back, and then leave the room after a few minutes.

Due to separation anxiety, some infants may no longer be able to sleep through the night. Because you are still present in your baby’s mind, even though they cannot see you, they may wake up more agitated than usual. Babies this age can be taught to sleep through the night without needing to be fed at night, so you can focus on getting them to sleep when it’s time for bed.

12 to 36 Months

Innocent childhood. Your baby will either become physically exhausted from all of their newfound activity and start sleeping better, or they may become overstimulated and choose to play rather than rest.

Maintain the same healthy sleep routines you’ve used up to this point; don’t allow your child to miss naps or stay up longer, even if they claim they aren’t tired, and give them plenty of leisure away from screens.

How much sleep to expect?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) suggests that 1- to 2-year-olds sleep 11–14 hours daily.

Helpful tips for a more restful night’s sleep.

Battles at bedtime might arise from a toddler’s inability to settle down and relax after a day of trying out their newfound independence. In the evenings, try to keep things as peaceful as possible by doing things like reading stories and taking baths.

Your child will need to move to a regular bed after he or she masters the skill of climbing out of the crib. Now that they have more independence, they could even want to snuggle with you in bed. Bringing them back to their own room is the best option if you want to avoid starting a co-sleeping arrangement because this is a difficult habit to break.

2 to 5 Years Old

Bedtime resistance, getting out of big-kid beds when they wake up at night, and developing nighttime phobias are all common sleep issues among toddlers and preschoolers.

How much sleep to expect?

Some toddlers will begin weaning themselves off naps earlier, while others will continue to benefit from them well into their preschool years. This can cause a period of overlap and transition between the ages of two and three. Nonetheless, the AASM suggests that young children (3–5 years old) get 10–13 hours of sleep every day.

Helpful tips for a more restful night’s sleep.

Be constant in your enforcement of a set bedtime and sleep schedule, and do your best to ensure your children fully comprehend and adhere to the guidelines you set forth.

If your child is terrified of the dark or often has bad dreams, give them a nightlight or a stuffed animal to cuddle with.

If your child still isn’t sleeping through the night or is waking up many times, it’s time to take them to the pediatrician. There may be a treatable cause for sleep disruption.

5 to 12 Years Old

Bedtime is often delayed due to homework, a busy social calendar, or time spent in front of the internet or TV. Your child’s physical and emotional well-being and future success and health depend on the quality of sleep they get throughout this period.

How much sleep to expect?

For children aged 6 to 12, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) suggests a nightly sleep duration of 9 to 12 hours. At this point, naps are usually unnecessary.

Helpful tips for a more restful night’s sleep.

To improve sleep quality, try limiting your consumption of caffeinated drinks and electronic devices in the hours before bed.

Youngsters who sleep in rooms that are dark, cool, and quiet (with no TV or computer) tend to sleep better than those whose bedrooms are full of stimulation.

Meaningful articles you might like: Here’s a 5 Minute Trick To Get Your Crying Baby Back to Sleep, Safe Sleep For Your Baby Means Peace of Mind for You, The ABCs of Putting Babies to Sleep Safely