No matter how many times I read it, it’s surprising to me how much sleep babies need! Here’s a refresher:
0-2 months = 10.5 to 18 hours of sleep. Sleeping patterns are sporadic and nearly impossible to predict.
2-12 months = 14 to 15 hours of sleep. Work towards establishing regular morning and afternoon naps (a duration of 1-2 hours is typical), plus a healthy bedtime between 8 pm to 9 pm. Most children will sleep a full 12 hours at night. Plan your child’s bedtime to allow for 12 hours of sleep on most days, keeping your waking time in mind.
1-3 years = 12 to 14 hours of sleep. Most one-year-olds will transition to one afternoon nap with a duration of 1-2 hours. At 2 or 3, children typically reject napping or no longer seem to be able to nap. When this happens, consider moving that bedtime up to 7 pm, so that they’re still getting a full 12 hours of sleep each night.
3-5 years = 11 to 13 hours of sleep. By this time, few children are napping. Keep a consistent bedtime routine and hour to help your child develop healthy sleep patterns.
If your baby doesn’t get enough sleep, it can cause increased crankiness and difficulty in falling asleep. It can also hamper your child’s ability to develop to his or her potential intellectually, emotionally and physically. The body does most of its growing during sleep, and sleep is so important for proper brain function.
One last thing – and this is important – ensuring that your child gets enough sleep is important for you too! Quiet moments during naps or in the late evening, after the children have gone to bed, create precious opportunities for you to accomplish tasks, relish some mommy time, and/or reconnect with your spouse. As much as we love nourishing our children, let’s not neglect ourselves.