What are Vital Day & Night sleep needs from Infancy to Preteen?
You know children need more sleep than adults, but do you wonder how much sleep your infant needs compared to your five-year-old? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve provided a sleep chart outlining the sleep needs of your child from infancy to preteen. In addition, you’ll find very informative tips to help your child get that elusive sleep, saving your sanity in the process.Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Seek the direct advice of your doctor with regards to health related concerns or issues.
Below is a good solid estimate of needed sleep based on age; however, keep in mind that since all children are different, some will deviate from this estimate, needing more or less sleep.
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# of Naps
1 day – 2 months
2 – 4 months
4 – 6 months
6 – 9 months
9 – 12 months
12 – 18 months
18 months – 2 years
2 – 3 years
3 – 5 years
5 – 12 years
Age Appropriate Sleep Tips
Implementing a routine based on a repetition of Eating, Activity, and Sleep can be accomplished by following closely your baby’s signals and the following tips. This can allow Mom & Dad some well-deserved downtime and result in a baby that is calmer, more rested and has the ability to self-soothe.
Newborn to 2 months
- Many babies reach a peak of fussiness at about 6 weeks of age ( or 6 weeks past your expected due date if the baby is a preemie).
- Sleep is usually in 2 to 4-hour stretches within a 24-hour cycle – Wake, Eat, Play, Sleep.
- Twitching during sleep is common – swaddling reduces waking due to reflexive twitching.
2 to 4 months
- Sleep may extend to a 6-hour stretch at night.
- Naps may now follow a regular routine.
- To set the bio-rhythms, plan activities during the day and establish a quiet time when it’s dark.
- Bedtime routines can be a tremendous aid in good sleep.
4 to 6 months
- Sleep may extend from 6 to 12-hour stretches at night – 60% of babies can sleep 8 hours by 6 months, and up to 80% can at 9 months.
- “Sleeping through the night” is categorized as an 8-hour stretch during which baby may wake but will soothe themselves back to sleep.
6 to 12 months
- Separation anxiety can disturb sleep.
- If there is a need to go into your crying baby, avoid getting them out of bed. Try soothing crib-side.
1 to 2 years
- Balking at bedtime may begin. Keeping to a soothing bedtime routine is essential.
- If your baby climbs out of the crib, replace them in their bed unless you want a night-time companion.
- Be sure the crib is set at its lowest setting to deter your gymnast. If you still have a baby scaling crib walls, you may need to consider a toddler bed. Think safety first.
2 to 5 years
- Resisting bedtime is extremely common at this age, as is getting out of their toddler beds, and developing some night time fears.
- Be consistent about enforcing your bedtime rules.
- A night light and/or a snuggle buddy can provide them comfort.
- A child must be tired, quiet, and relaxed in order to sleep soundly.
- A schedule posted in their room helps establish regularity.
- A wake-time clock can help those early risers to stay in bed until a time you’ve determined.
- Reducing TV watching or computer games right before bed can help to keep bedtime routines established.
- Children with dark, cool, quiet (i.e. no TV or computer) tend to sleep better than their counterparts.
For more detailed information, check out these sources:
And if you want more details on sleep and baby routines, I’ve provided additional additional articles.
Additional Articles and Resources
- Here you’ll find out why sleep is vital to health and longevity: 10 Important Facts About Your Baby’s Sleep
- Here you’ll find a feeding & sleep routine with printable chart for newborns: E.A.S.Y. Sleep Training: Day 4 to Week 6
- Here you’ll find a feeding & sleep routine with printable chart young infants: E.A.S.Y. Sleep Training: Week 6 to Month 4
- E.A.S.Y. Sleep Training: Month 4 to Month 6
- E.A.S.Y. Sleep Training: Month 6 to Month 9
P.S. Do you have a good sleep schedule for your child?