Sleep Averages: How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need?

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  • January 13, 2011

Below are some general guidelines as to how many hours of sleep the AVERAGE child requires at various ages (taken from “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” by Dr. Richard Ferber). Remember, every child is different- some need more or less sleep than others- but variations should not be huge.

 

Sleep Averages

 

AGE                 NIGHTIME SLEEP         DAYTIME SLEEP          TOTAL SLEEP

1 week              8 ½                               8 (4 naps)                     16 ½

1 month            8 ½                               7  (3 naps)                    15 ½

3 months           10                                 5 (3 naps)                     15

6 months           11                                 3 ¼  (2)                        14 ¼

9 months           11                                 3 (2)                             14

12 months         11 ¼                             2 ½ (2)                         13 ¾

18 months         11 ¼                             2 ¼ (1)                         13 ½

2 years             11                                 2 (1)                             13

3 years             10 ½                             1 ½ (1)                         12

4 years             11 ½                                                                 11 ½

5 years             11                                                                     11

6 years             10 ¾                                                                 10 ¾

7 years             10 ½                                                                 10 ½

8 years             10 ¼                                                                 10 ¼

9 years             10                                                                     10

10 years            9 ¾                                                                   9 ¾

11 years            9 ½                                                                   9 ½

12 years            9 ¼                                                                   9 ¼

13 years            9 ¼                                                                   9 ¼

14 years            9                                                                        9

15 years            8 ¾                                                                   8 ¾

16 years            8 ½                                                                   8 ½

17 years            8 ¼                                                                   8 ¼

18 years            8 ¼                                                                   8 ¼

Remember, most children need A LOT of sleep! Many parents think that if their child refuses to go to bed before 11pm that they “just don’t need a lot of sleep”. In fact, that child may actually be sleep-deprived!

 

Ask yourself these questions:

 

-Does your child fall asleep almost every time he/she is in the car?sleep

-Do you have to wake your child almost every morning?

-Does your child seem cranky, irritable or overtired during the day?

-On some nights, does your child seem to crash much earlier than his usual bedtime?

-Does your child often wake for the day before 6:00a.m.?

If you answered “yes” to any of  these questions your child may not be getting enough sleep.

It is more important to focus on your child’s behavior than the actual number of hours of sleep. “In general, the more children sleep at night, the better behaved they will be” says Dr. Weissbluth. How true that is!

 

The right AMOUNT and QUALITY of sleep effect our children’s:

 

-attention spans

-adaptability

-irritability

-ability to play independently

-ability to take in fully and learn from their environment

 

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

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