How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?
Most parents I speak to underestimate how much sleep their child requires. In fact, when I tell them the number of hours their children need, they are generally shocked.
This is a very commonly asked question by parents. Most parents I speak to underestimate how much sleep their child requires. In fact, when I tell them the number of hours their children need, they are generally shocked. Even children who fall asleep easily and stay asleep through the night may not always be getting enough sleep. The effects of this may not be immediate. However, the impact of sleep deprivation show up in various forms and it is not always easy later on to understand that the root cause of the problem is sleep deprivation.
Most sleep experts would agree on the following generally recommended number of hours of Total Sleep* (including naps) based on the age of the infants / children.
0 - 3 Months:
16 - 19 hours combined through the day and night
3 - 6 Months:
14 – 16 hours (10 - 11 hours Night Sleep + 4 - 5 hours from 3 Naps)
6 - 14 Months:
14 hours (10 - 12 hours Night Sleep + 2 - 3 hours from 2 Naps)
15 Months - 3 Years
12 - 14 hours (11 - 12 hours Night Sleep + 1.5 - 3 hours from 1 Nap)
3 - 6 Years:
10 - 12 hours
* "Total Sleep" is defined as Total Hours of Sleep which includes night and day time naps.
Many kids start to drop their daytime naps after age 3. It is best to allow your child to gradually drop their afternoon naps when they are ready - but as a parents do make sure your childs total sleep hours is maintained.
However, it is important to recognise that naps and night sleep both have their own distinct roles when it comes to your child's physical and mental development. In general, it is best to make sure your child is not regularly sleeping too little at night and over compensating for it by long naps during the day. This is generally not considered a healthy sleeping habit.