How Much Sleep Does a Child Need?

Posted on Mar 16, 2018 |

This National Sleep Foundation info-graphic is one of my favorite resources when it comes to determining how much sleep a child needs at any given age. Instead of using this data to make you feel better about your child’s potential sleep loss, use it to set some goals for healthier habits!

IF you’re in the mindset of wanting to maximize your child’s sleep potential, here are a couple of Sleep Pea tips for using this info-graphic and its data to your advantage:

  • Healthy infants and toddlers CAN get 11-12 hours of sleep at night. The additional hours referenced would apply to naps/daytime sleep. Your child needs those too!
  • In the preschool years, night sleep should – on average – be in the 11-12 hour range. Remember, many kids will begin dropping naps altogether at these ages and need to make up for at least some of that lost sleep at night.
  • When referencing this info-graphic, aim for the high end of “Recommended” and the low end of “May be Appropriate.” For example: With the right routine and habits, a healthy 4-month old can get 15-16 hours of sleep in 24 hours; a healthy school-age child can get 10-11 hours of sleep at night and not wake up groggy and tired in the morning.

Most families I speak with initially report that their child falls in the lower end of the “Recommended” range and even farther left of that. “Is this OK?” they ask. I say, “If it works for you and your child, then you don’t need validation from me!” But then you probably wouldn’t be concerned enough about sleep to be researching it…amIright?

Trust your instincts! If you have a hunch – or even an all-out conviction – that your child isn’t getting enough sleep, they probably aren’t. But they CAN!

If you want to connect with someone about your child’s sleep, I’m here to listen! Reach out when the time feels right and know there is a resource to help you get your questions answered.


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