Most adults only need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and thus assume the same holds true for their child. However, kids need far more sleep than adults do. When they do not get it, they can have many different problems as a result. A child may not be able to sleep well, may exhibit crankiness, irritability, misbehavior, etc. So, to avoid problems with your child, and to ensure they are getting the proper amount of sleep, it is good to know how much sleep they actually need. The following is a look at how much sleep kids really need:
Between Birth-Six Months, children need sixteen to twenty hours a day. This means their nighttime sleep as well as their naps during the day. These months are the ones where they grow the fastest, and their bodies need the most rest. When a baby is not getting enough sleep, it usually exhibits itself in general crankiness. Your baby is not going to be on any sort of schedule yet, and trying to put them on one will be useless. Instead, just let them sleep when they need it, and not when they don’t.
Children need much more sleep than adults.
Between Six-Twelve Months, children need fourteen to fifteen hours. They usually get this with about ten hours at night, and a couple of two hour naps during the day. They are not going to sleep as much as they did as a brand new infant, but they still need several hours of sleep each day, so depriving them of their naps is not good for their health or their mood. This is when you want to start getting your baby on a schedule. You will want to pay attention to them, and try to get them nap during their sleepiest times of the day. This will help them learn good sleep habits. They may cry at first when you put them down, but it will only be reinforced if you respond to it, and it should only take a few days before they will be able to fall asleep unassisted. Keep them on a schedule and routine, it is far healthier for them, and they will sleep far better in the long run.
Between Ages one and three, children need ten to thirteen hours. This is when life starts to get a little harder. Your child will need to transition from two naps to one, and this can be hard as two naps is too many, but one is often not enough. The key to a happy, well-rested child in this is stage is consistent bedtimes and naps. This is the age when sleep fears start (dark, monsters, etc.), so address them early, and don’t let them fall into bad habits like climbing in bed with you.
Between Ages three through ten, children need tent to twelve hours. At this age it will depend on your child on whether or not they need a nap still. Kids tend to gradually grow out of their naps. Most 3 year olds will still be napping, but by 5 most do not. Your child may continue to nap, but the naps will be shorter. Your child will need to go to bed between 7-9, and will likely wake between 6-8. The only real problems with sleep you will see at this stage is stalling tactics. Avoid these. Have a routine so that they get their drink, snack, and bathroom before bed, and do not have valid excuses to get out of bed.
Between Ages 11-12, children need about ten hours. Teenagers need about nine hours of sleep per night.