A restful night’s sleep impacts mental and physical development in all of us. For children, sleep is especially important because of how quickly their bodies are growing and how rapidly their brain is developing in order to learn new skills. When children receive the proper amount of sleep, the risk of developing learning problems are lower and better overall wellness is improved.
Newborns (0-3 months)
Newborns sleep approximately 10.5 to 18 hours per day on an irregular schedule. It is common for newborns to twitch or smile while they sleep. Common signs of fatigue in newborns include fussiness, crying, and rubbing of their eyes. Watch for signs of fatigue, so you can help your children fall asleep before a problem occurs.
Infants (4-11 months)
Infants sleep approximately 9 to 12 hours during the night and typically take 30-minute to 2-hour naps. As signs of fatigue increase and infants become drowsy, it is a good time to put them to bed to develop their self-soothing skill, which enables them to fall asleep independently at bedtime. During the infant stage, you can start regular daytime and bedtime schedules, create an enjoyable bedtime routine, and encourage children to fall asleep independently.
Toddlers (1-2 years)
Toddlers sleep approximately 11 to 14 hours in a 24-hour period. At this stage, it is typical to experience bedtime problems. Increased motor, cognitive and social abilities can interfere with sleep. Toddlers may be able to get out of bed or have night terrors due to a growing imagination. To help your toddler experience a restful sleep, maintain consistent daytime/nighttime routines and create a comfortable environment that may include a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Preschoolers sleep approximately 11 to 13 hours in a 24-hour period. Similar to toddlers, bedtime can be a challenge due to increased imagination and the desire to be independent. It is best to maintain consistent daytime/nighttime schedules, and encourage a bedtime routine that ends in the room where the preschooler sleeps.
School-agers (6-13 years)
Children ages 6 to 13 need approximately 9 to 11 hours of sleep. School-aged children may become involved in extra-curricular activities, have a growing interest in digital devices, and expanded palate that includes caffeinated beverages. Caregivers need to be strict in order to promote a healthy sleep environment. It is important to reduce electronic distractions as bedtime approaches, keep TV and computers out of the bedroom, avoid caffeine before bedtime, and continue to maintain regular daytime and nighttime routines.