We all know that sleep is essential, but how much sleep does my child actually need? From tiny babies through to their teenage years, sleep is essential to recover and recuperate before another busy day. Not only is it essential that kids need to recover after a busy day, sleep also sets the stage for continued growth throughout childhood and affects behaviour, growth, brain development and the balancing of emotions.
As every child is different it is impossible to say exactly how much sleep each child needs. However, typically the younger the child, the more sleep they require. It’s normal as a parent to doubt whether or not your child is getting the right amount of sleep each night, especially after talking to other parents in the playground, but it is important to remember that every child is different.
Here’s a guide to how much sleep your child should be getting each night, but remember it is just a guide.
Babies need the most sleep out of all ages, ranging between 14-17 hours per day. This sleep is spread throughout the day so may include 2 naps and an evening sleep. Whether they’re napping in their car seat on journeys out, sleeping in their cot bed during the night or napping in the living room during the day, all of their sleeping adds up. The only downside to this much sleep is that parents often have to develop a new sleep schedule to match their baby which can often be a shock to the system.
As napping decreases throughout the day, reducing from 2 daily naps down to 1-afternoon nap so too does their average daily sleep total. Toddlers typically have approximately 12 hours of sleep on a daily basis. So you might not get your mid-morning peace and quiet whilst your toddler naps, but you will be able to enjoy sleeping uninterrupted through the night to make up for it.
As your kids continue to grow and develop, during the day naps get even shorter or your little ones may stop napping on a regular basis entirely. Kids aged 3-6 typically require 10-12 hours of sleep each night in order to recover after a busy day.
In this age bracket, it is important to consider investing in a new bed to improve their comfort and to ensure they suitably fit their bed. Whether it’s a toddler bed or a full-sized single mattress, pick a bed they’ll love getting into each night.
With school taking up a big chunk of kids days now, kids now on average require 10-11hours of sleep each night. As this school-age bracket includes a wider set of ages, the individual needs of any child in this group can vary from child to child. Younger school-age children typically need more sleep than those who are approaching secondary school.
Parents of kids aged 7-12 may also want to consider investing in a mid sleeper or high sleeper bed to incorporate more storage and practical space in their bedrooms. Kids absolutely love them and it helps them take pride in their bedroom and own space.