How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need?

Sleep is the building block upon which the proper growth of young children is hugely dependent. The exponential growth that infants go through shapes the brain’s formation, physical structure, emotional and behavioral advancement of future adults. Breastfeeding and adequate sleep are the two components that propel a child towards those developments I’ve just mentioned. So, it is essential that the babies, the kids, and the teenagers can have their complete quota of sleep determined through numerous studies done by pediatricians, sleep scientists, physicians, and researchers of the relevant field.

Parents these days are aware of the above scenario. They take necessary steps to ensure that their children, regardless of the age range, get adequate amounts of sleep. After much discussion and studying results of research, a panel of sleep experts of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) agreed upon the optimal amount of sleep needed by the kids of different ages. Let’s have a look at the table below summarizing their prescribed amount of sleep:

Babies in different agesAge RangeRecommended Hours of Sleep
New Born0-3 months old14-17 hours
Infant4-11 months old12-15 hours
Toddler1-2 years old11-14 hours
Pre-School3-5 years old10-13 hours 
School-Age6-13 years old9-11 hours

The amounts of total sleep include naps taken daytime. The experts also mentioned that the parents shouldn’t be worried about the fluctuations by an hour or two. A healthy amount of sleep can vary among children due to different sorts of reasons. Parents can use the suggested numbers as the primary target while also being aware of the differences among children.

How Much Sleep Do Babies

 

0-3 Months Old: 14 – 17 Hours per Day:

Newborn infants usually sleep about 14 to 17 hours a day. They do not sleep for hours at a stretch; rather, they do it in a short bout of 2-4 hours. Premature babies don’t follow this regimen, and they sleep longer. On the other hand, colicky babies are often found sleeping much less than average infants.

The newborns don’t possess any sort of internal clock to be signaled about day or night. They also don’t have the circadian rhythm developed as yet. That’s why their sleep pattern doesn’t follow any form – for them; it doesn’t matter if its day or night – they just can carry on sleeping.

4-11 Months Old: 12 – 15 Hours per Day:

A normal-looking pattern will emerge when the babies get to 6 weeks of age. And when the babies get nearer four months of age, they almost get rid of the day-night confusion. During this period, the longest they can sleep for is about four to six hours.

During this time, 13 to 14 hours of sleep are the ideal amount of time for the babies to sleep. But most parents know that babies of this age-range will get about 12 hours of daily sleep. At the start of this time frame, babies typically get three naps, and when they are six months old, their nap frequency drops to two. At the end of this time frame, their biological rhythm starts maturing. 

That’s why parents should be careful so that the babies can be practiced into having a healthy sleep habit. This is also when the babies become more social in their own unique way and start having adult-Esque sleeping patterns. And they begin developing the ability to sleep through the night when they are nearly a year old.

1-2 Years Old: 11 – 14 Hours per Day:

When your baby gets past the year mark and is about 18-21 months of age, they will probably get rid of the morning and early evening naps, and they will sleep only once a day. Though it is advised that toddlers need around 14 hours of sleep every day, they usually get 12-13 hours of sleep. The children over 21 still require taking one nap a day, and it can last from one hour to three and a half hours.

They usually hit the sack between 7 pm and 9 pm and get up as early as 6 am. 

3-5 Years Old: 10 – 13 Hours per Day:

For the children within 3-5 years range, the schedule for going to bed and waking up remains pretty much the same as their earlier stage. Their usual sleep time starts at 7 pm, and they fall asleep at 9 pm most of the time. Most babies still take naps at the age of 3, but this changes when they reach 5. Naptime starts gradually becoming shorter. 

6-13 Years Old: 9 – 11 Hours per Day:

This tender age is when the babies become more active with school, social, and family necessities. Now is the time when bedtime starts getting late. Most 12-13 years old can’t go to bed before 9 pm. But actually, there exists a varied range of sleep times for this range of children – it can start as early as 7.30 pm to as late as 10 pm. It’s best if these children can get at least 9-10 hours of sleep every day.

Now that we have some understanding about how much sleep they need and how many hours they actually sleep, let’s get to know some other intricacies about ‘baby sleep’:

Is There Anything You Can Do If Your Child Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep?

A study found out that around 25% of American children either have sleeping disorders or daytime drowsiness. These issues cause problems not only for babies but for preteens and teens as well. To be honest, sleeping disorders can be a multifaceted problem. Still, as parents, the first thing you should consider doing is to maintain sleep hygiene strictly.

 The children should have a bedroom that is quiet, peaceful, and comfortable. You can also invest in the best of your ability to get the best mattress and the best pillow for your child. If your child is older and has started using loft beds, bunk beds, or bean beds, make sure you give them the best bunk bed mattress you can afford. It also goes a long way to improve sleeping quality if you can structure a consistent sleep schedule. The baby room must be free from every form of gadgets that can distract their minds

After getting obvious in order, parents should discuss the issue with their pediatrician if the problem remains and starts becoming severe or persistent.  

Why Is Sleeping So Important For The Babies?

I know what you are thinking- would that I could be back to that age – spending half the time sleeping and the other half eating and playing with the parents. The truth is the earlier phase signifies substantial growth, and sleeping facilitates that growth. 

Sleep expedites the brain to grow to its full potential by creating networks and employing actions that promote the ability to think and learn and shape behavioral advancements. Proper nutrition is critical, but without adequate sleep, a baby cannot be developed physically. To be more significant and adopt better motor skills, sleep is a must.

Is Napping Normal For The Babies?

It is very common and, at the same time, a very pleasing sight to watch the babies taking naps peacefully. Through naps, babies complete some portions of their total sleeping quota that is appropriate for their ages. Newborns usually nap for at least 3 to 4 hours in the daytime. Their daily total of nap times gets lower as they get older. The sleep scientists unequivocally have mentioned numerous times that napping is not only natural but also plays a significant role in developing the baby physically and mentally.

How Much Sleep Kids Need

From What Age Babies Begin Sleeping Through the Night?

It is somewhat paradoxical that newborns and infants can’t spend the night without waking up even when they spend most of their time sleeping. It is widely accepted that babies integrate the nighttime sleep regimen to complete their necessary quota of proper sleep when they are six months old. So, you might be expecting that your six months old will now stop waking you up when you go to the deepest level of sleep.

The truth is – you mightn’t be that lucky. The research shows that desirable milestones for babies can and will vary profoundly. Usually, parents worry if the babies don’t start sleeping consecutively long hours at night when they are six months old. But pediatricians and sleep scientists point out that as long as the baby is fulfilling the total number of hours, it is doing just fine. Having said that, please remember that there are steps that you can take if you want to improve your baby’s long stretches of sleep at night.

How Much Sleep Do Premature Babies Need?

Premature babies usually need even more sleep than average babies. Very often, premature babies are found to sleep around 90% of their time. The precise time that a premature newborn will spend sleeping often depends on how early it was born and their overall health. In the first 12 months, these babies sleep like infants, but they get more total sleep, often with light and irregular sleep patterns.

I sincerely hope you have found what prompted you to read this piece. Only then my efforts can be seen as fruitful. 

Please feel free to leave comments so that my next article can be more helpful.

As always, Thank you so very much for reading.

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