Ask a parent the question ‘how much sleep do you need each day’ and the answer is likely to be ‘MORE!’ But whilst the average adult can get by on seven hours or so, babies and young children generally need quite a bit more. So how much sleep does your little one actually need?
We all know that babies need lots of sleep, but what are the recommended figures?
The first three months of life - the average baby needs between 15 and 16 hours per day. In the first month, this is usually pretty evenly divided between day sleeps and night sleeps.
By the end of the third month - they usually sleep longer at night (10-11 hours) and less in the day (4-5 hours).
From 3 months to 2 years - the average night time sleep is around 11 hours and they day-time sleep slowly reduces to about 1 hour and 30 minutes once they hit the age of 2.
By 3 years old - the day-time sleep is down to 30 -45 minutes. Some children may have completely dropped daytime naps by this age, and the majority have by 4. For a more detailed breakdown of sleep patterns for different ages, see the NHS website at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Childrenssleep/Pages/howmuchsleep.aspx
Everything is an average and remember your little one is unique so simply see this as a guide.
So how do you know if your child isn’t getting enough sleep? The following things can indicate that a child is sleep deprived, if they occur regularly:
Falling asleep in the car almost every time, You have to wake your child most mornings, Your child is irritable during the day, Occasionally they’ll have ‘catch up’ nights where they go to sleep much earlier than usual
Keep track using a baby sleep chart
If you’re worried about how much sleep your baby is or isn’t getting then it’s worthwhile filling out a baby sleep tracker chart. Download ours here so you can track how much sleep your child is getting. This will also help you identify patterns and set new routines to help them sleep better.
If you have any other tips or ideas or previous experience about babies and children sleep time and napping we'd love to hear your thoughts below!