Children Sleep Guide For Every Age Group From 0 To 17 Years of Age. The initial months after having a baby are harrowing and full of sleep deprivation for parents. As the baby starts sleeping through the night, parents sleep better, too. Eventually with teenage children, the late nights begin to happen and parents lose their sleep all over again. How do we know if our children are ever sleeping enough? How much sleep is too much and how little is too little? Here’s an age-wise sleep guide to help you understand how much sleep your child needs.
In the initial years of life, the maximum amount of growth takes place in a child’s body. Most of this growth happens while the child is asleep. This is why, in the initial months, you will find your baby sleeping almost all the time. Healthy sleep patterns in newborns from 0 to 3 months of age involve constant sleeping and waking phases. They will typically not sleep for hours at a stretch. The recommended sleeping time for newborns is 14 to 17 hours, but anything between 11 and 19 hours is okay, too. More than 19 hours of sleep and less than 11 hours of it are both not good.
Between 4 and 11 months of age, infants begin to show more regular sleep cycles. They sleep through the night and stay awake for longer periods of time during the day. Good sleep guides would recommend anything between 12 and 15 hours of good sleep for infants aged 4-11 months old. Watch out if your infant sleeps less than 10 hours, this is unhealthy and should be addressed immediately. On the other hand, sleeping for more than 18 hours is unusual in infants and is likely a sign of a bigger problem.
As infants grow into toddlers, the focus of their growth switches from physical to mental and social. This means that toddlers sleep less than infants. On an average, toddlers sleep for 11 to 14 hours every day. According to healthy sleep guides, it’s okay if your toddler sleeps only 9 hours but any lesser than that is cause for concern. Sleeping for more than 16 hours between the ages of 1 and 2 is also cause for concern.
Beyond the age of 5, toddlers grow into preschoolers and developmental milestones take on an entirely different look. Accordingly, the sleep requirements reduce quite dramatically. Preschoolers between the ages of 3 and 5 sleep for anywhere between 10 and 13 hours out of 24. Some children may sleep for less than that, say about 8 hours, and that’s okay as long as it doesn’t go below that or over 14 hours.
Sleep guides for children recommend between 9 and 11 hours of sleep for school aged children (6-13 years). This is a time of growth that is slower than early childhood development as well as teenage growth spurts. Children between 6 and 13 years of age might also sleep a lot, but if it exceeds 12 hours, depression might be one of the causes. The same goes for sleeping for less than 7 hours.
Arguably one of life’s toughest phases is teenage, so predictably, you’re likely to see a lot of fluctuations. From physical to emotional, all forms of development see massive growth spurts. Expect teenagers to sleep between 7 and 11 hours, but any more or any less definitely need attention.