How much sleep does my child need?

06/03/2012 at 2:26 pm | Posted in Night Nanny, Sleep, Supernanny, Top Tips, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

This is a question many parents ask us… it’s important to stress that all children are different and of course some will need slightly more (or less) sleep than others!

The parents who contact us for advice often say that their child doesn’t seem to need much sleep. Maybe their baby or toddler won’t sleep for long stretches or their youngster refuses to go to bed at a reasonable hour. In most cases the opposite is actually true; they are likely to be sleep deprived! Just a little persistent encouragement will help them learn the skill of falling and staying asleep.

Sleep is so important for growth and rejuvenation as well as the physical and mental development which occurs in early childhood – it really is never too late to encourage good sleep habits!

Newborns – 15 to 18 hours:

Although a newborn will sleep for 15 to 18 hours a day, they will wake regularly ‘around-the-clock’ to feed. As they have no comprehension of day and night at this age, you can help them to begin to understand by keeping night feeds quiet and dark, and day feeds bright and stimulating.

1 to 3 Months – 14 to 17 hours:

The length between feeds will increase as baby grows. They will probably sleep for a stretch of eight to ten hours, making up the extra sleep time during their day naps. If they have been encouraged to know the difference between night-time and daytime, their longer stretches of sleep will be during the night – maybe with a night-feed.

4 to 6 Months – 13 to 16 hours:

At around four to six months, baby is likely to drop from three to two day naps, and as many experts suggest, become physically capable of sleeping through the night. It is important to establish good sleep habits at this stage, to ensure they are able to benefit from quality sleep at night and during their daytime naps. Many babies cat nap during the day and/or wake regularly during the night, which isn’t ideal. If this sounds familiar, read our article on dealing with sleep problems.

7 to 12 Months – 13 to 15 hours:

By this stage, your baby will most probably be having two rather than three naps during the day; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. If you establish good sleep habits, they will be sleeping soundly during these naps, as well as through the night.

1 to 3 Years – 12 to 14 hours:

At around 18 months your little-one is likely to drop the morning nap but they will still ideally need an afternoon nap of at least one to two hours.

3 to 6 Years – 10 to 12 hours:

By the age of three some children are still having a short daytime nap, but they are likely to have dropped this completely by the age of five.

If your child isn’t a good sleeper, don’t despair. It’s never too late to encourage change. You can help to make improvements by reading our article on dealing with sleep problems and by introducing good sleep habits.

For individual advice you can get in touch with our Supernanny – Chelsea –  Call 020 7193 5256 or email: hello@thenannytree.co.uk

You might also like to visit our website www.TheNannyTree.co.uk

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3 Comments »

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  1. […] If your child becomes over tired they will struggle to fall and stay asleep. If you become an expert at spotting their tired signs, you can put them down for a nap before they become overtired. You will no doubt find that their ‘tired signs’ come in a regular pattern – say, every 2hrs for a 5 month old. Tired signs to look out for include rubbing their ears or eyes, being irritable or overexcited, etc. See our article on How Much Sleep does my child need? […]

  2. […] their moods it will also make it harder for them to fall into a deep sleep. (See our article on How Much Sleep does my child need? ). Spot their tired signs (maybe they rub their ears or eyes, get irritable or overexcited etc) and […]

  3. […] their moods it will also make it harder for them to fall into a deep sleep. (See our article on How Much Sleep does my child need?).  Spot their tired signs (maybe they rub their ears or eyes, get irritable or overexcited etc) […]


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