The following is a brief look at how much sleep kids need, and why, as well as a look at some of the challenges you may face with your child during these ages when it comes to sleep:
Between Birth-Six Months, children need 16-20 hours.
An infant is going to sleep off and on all day, and will not know the difference between day and night, and it is not the time to teach them. They will fuss, and cry because they are a baby, and you will add to it if you don’t allow them the proper rest they need. So, try to let them wake and sleep on their own, never wake them up.
Between Six-Twelve Months, children need 14-15 hours.
This is the time when babies no longer need food at night, so it is a good time to start them on a sleep schedule. Pay attention to their habits, and put them down for naps during the times they exhibit the most tiredness. Usually at this stage a baby will need three naps a day, and will sleep for a good 8 hours a night. Be consistent with their bedtimes, and allow them to sleep as long as they will. You want to teach them to fall asleep on their own, so you will not want to give in to crying, etc. it should only take them a few days to learn to get themselves to sleep.
Between Ages 1-3, children need 10-13 hours
This is the age when fears of the dark, monsters, shadows, etc. develop. Do not indulge these fears, or you will have a child who always needs a night light, a snuggle to sleep, and will crawl into your bed each night. During this age your child will likely start out sleeping ten hours at night and taking two naps during the day, or one longer nap. As they get older they may transition from two to one naps. This is okay, just remember they are growing up and need less sleep.
Between Ages 3-10, children need 10-12 hours
Most three-year olds still take naps, but they will be down to one a day, and it will not likely be a very long nap. As they get older, they will grow out of that completely. So, during this stage, the most important thing you can do is get your kids to bed on time. They will become the masters of the stalling bedtime tactics, and you can’t give in to that. They will need to go to bed between seven and nine pm, and you can plan on them waking between six and eight in the morning.
Between Ages 11-12, children need about ten hours
They do not take naps, and they think they should be allowed to stay up late. Put them to bed by nine, and once again, do not give in to stall tactics.
Teenagers need about nine hours of sleep per night.