Baby Sleep Tips: How Much Sleep Does My Baby or Toddler Need?

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  • June 09, 2010

baby sleep

Baby Sleep Tips:

Secret #3 Alert, bright babies need MORE than the average amount of sleep–not less

A baby who seems ahead of the curve- interested in the world around her, reaching milestones early- often fools her parents into thinking she needs less sleep than the “typical” baby. In fact, she needs more. Because she’s so engaged with her surroundings, she often has a harder time shutting down. She’s “too busy” to bother going to sleep…or so it seems! This kind of baby also knows what she wants and when she wants it, and she’s willing to hold out until she gets it. She can be a little tough to parent. She especially needs you to make sure she gets the sleep she needs but won’t admit to needing. Since this type of baby is often able to hide her sleepy cues, you must watch the clock and get her into bed on time. And keep in mind that she probably won’t be a flexible sleeper for several years, meaning she’ll need utter consistency when it comes to when, where and how she goes to sleep.
Excerpt from  52 Sleep Secrets for Babies
So what’s the average amount of sleep you might ask?
Get ready, these numbers always shock parents!
Your child shouldn’t be off the average total by more than an hour.
Remember this quote by another sleep researcher, Dr. Owen:

“Only 5% of the population needs (or functions well with) less than the average amount of sleep recommended, the problem is that 95% of the population thinks they are the 5%”.

Love that quote!
(In case you are wondering the next big leap is 9 years old when it goes to 10 hours and then at 14 years old when the average is  9 hours. Adults are between 7-9 hours- 8 hours being ideal!)

photo credit: Duru… via photopin cc

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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