Sleep Needs
If you wonder how long your child should be sleeping each night in order to feel refreshed, it's important to know that this amount really depends on her age. We've broken down the ages below to get an idea of what the experts recommend for each childhood stage. Please keep in mind that variation does exist, since children can have different needs within each range.

Babies: Babies need the most sleep.  In fact, they sleep most of the day and night with shorter periods of waking. In the newborn stage, you can assume your infant will sleep as much as 16 or 17 hours a day and this will be spread out over the 24 hour period (which means unfortunately you probably won't be getting enough sleep yourself). Throughout the first year, the amount of time spent sleeping will slowly decrease, so by the time her first birthday rolls around, your baby will need about 13 or 14 hours of sleep a day.

Toddlers: When your child gets to toddler stage, she'll be eager to explore the world and may not want to take time out from her busy day to sleep. However, her sleep needs are still very strong at this age. From about around two to four years old, your child should be getting about 10 to 13 hours of sleep daily. Keep in mind that this may include naps, too. If your toddler seems to have difficulty settling down at night, the experts recommend implementing a calming bedtime routine that can help span the transition from day to night and make your life a bit easier.

Kids: When your child starts elementary school, her busy schedule, coupled with homework, sports and other activities may mean it's harder to meet her sleep needs adequately. Nonetheless, your child needs to be well rested in order to be full effective throughout the day. The recommended average amount of sleep for this age is about 10 or 11 hours. To meet this goal, it's important to have a set bedtime for your child that's the same every night so she knows exactly when it's time to start winding down.

Tweens: As your child approaches adolescence, her sleep needs may change again. Busy social schedules, fluctuating hormones, and the need to exert independence can all make getting your child to stick to her bedtime more challenging. Just keep in mind that tweens typically need around 9 or 10 hours of sleep a night to be fully refreshed, so try to plan accordingly. Some parents find that enforcing a firm bedtime during the school week but relaxing it on special occasions and on the weekends can be a good balance. It may take some experimenting to determine what approach works best for your child, though.

Individual Differences

Keep in mind that every child is different. Some children may need more sleep than average while others may thrive with even less. The most important thing is to be sure your child is getting the right amount of rest for her individual needs. When she gets enough sleep, she'll look and feel her very best-and your whole family will reap the benefits.


Kids Health/ The Nemours Foundation

Dr. Sears