Recommended Sleep Time For Children
Ideally, the amount of time that a baby should sleep is determined by their age. Consider the following:
- Newborn baby– up to 1-month-old – 16 to 20 hours a day.
- Infants – Under 1 year– 16 to 18 hours a day
- Toddlers – about 12 months – 2 years – 11 to 14 hours a day
- Preschoolers- 3 – 5 years– 10- 13 hours a day
However, these sleeping times could change among different children due to factors such as health.
Body Sleep Cycle
Typically, sleep patterns are controlled and determined by the internal body clock. This helps keep one awake during the day and asleep at night with the aid of the melatonin hormone. Having a routine for the time that your baby sleeps will help in the release of more melatonin hormone. This helps them have deep sleep without interruptions.
It is essential to take your child to bed several hours before midnight since sleep is deepest at this time.
Your baby should sleep most at night. However, they will need to take a nap or two in the day. Ensure that these daytime naps do not exceed two hours to avoid sleepless nights.
How To Promote Good Sleeping Habits
- Nutrition- Your baby feeding habits will determine the quality of sleep that they will have. For this reason, try to feed the baby at the time where you will ensure that they will not fall asleep hungry or too full. Feed them about thirty minutes before the time they are supposed to sleep.
- Physical activities- The more the energy your baby uses during the day, the more likely to have a deeper sleep. Therefore, encourage more physical activities and if possible outdoor activities to make your baby more tired by the time they retire to bed, thus giving them better sleep.
- Routine- have set routines when it is almost bed-time such as having a bath, cleaning their teeth or reading a story to help your child associate such habits with sleep.
Ensure that the place where your child sleeps is safe and has high hygiene levels. Additionally, switch off the lights and ensure that the room is quiet to avoid interrupting sleep time. Once your baby picks up a good sleeping habit, you’ll be on the right path towards sleep training.
#Please note that development differs from one child to another
# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.
Last reviewed January 2019