Being a new parent is stressful, and many people worry that their child is not getting adequate sleep. After all, we experience tremendous growth and development in these early life stages, and we need sufficient sleep to support that.
Similar to adults, some children need more sleep, some need less. However, there are some general recommendations you need to follow to make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Read on to discover age-based sleeping guidelines and learn why getting sufficient rest is vital for kids of all ages.
How Much Sleep Do Children Need?
If your child wakes up on its own without the alarm and seems energized throughout the day, it is a good indicator they are getting enough sleep. On the other hand, if you need to wake them up five times before leaving the bed and they always seem tired, they may not be getting enough sleep.
It’s vital to install healthy sleeping habits in your children from an early age, as it sets the foundation for their life. Remember, a good night’s sleep is vital for your mental and physical well-being, no matter the age.
Here are the sleeping guidelines for babies and children depending on their age, according to WebMD.
Like most animals, humans have an internal clock or circadian rhythm related to day and night cycles. As a result, we mostly sleep at night.
Newborns do not have developed internal clocks, which is why they don’t follow a regular sleeping pattern during the first few weeks. Instead, they sleep in bursts of two to three hours, for a total of 15-18 hours per day.
Infants (1-4 months of age)
After 4-6 weeks, infants start to develop a sleep pattern, with the majority of sleep happening at night. They still sleep in bursts of several hours because they need to eat more frequently, and they need 14-15 hours of sleep per day.
Babies (4-12 months of age)
After 4-6 months, babies’ bellies grow, which means that you don’t need to feed them every 2-3 hours. That’s good news for parents, as it becomes possible for them to sleep throughout the night.
During this period, babies need 14-15 hours of sleep each day. Most of that happens at night, with 2-3 daily naps.
The main goal during this period is to establish healthy sleeping habits that can last a lifetime. Teaching your baby to sleep and soothe on its own should be a priority. Also, try to make their sleep and nap schedule regular, as this is one of the crucial habits that allow better sleep quality.
Toddlers (1-3 years of age)
This period is exciting as your child learns new ways to play, move, speak, and behave. They become aware of themselves and the environment, and it’s so much fun to see this little person developing so much.
Toddlers need 12-14 hours a day for growth and development. They mostly sleep at night and usually only need one nap that can last between one and three and a half hours.
Younger Kids (3-6 years of age)
During this period, you get to enjoy further development of your children, as they continue to develop interest and express their personalities even more. Their naps become shorter, and some children even stop napping at the end of this period.
Young kids need 10-12 hours of sleep per day as they are growing and need sufficient rest to support it.
School Children (7-12 years of age)
Starting school is a huge event in your child’s life, and it can significantly disrupt their sleep pattern. School children need 10-11 hours of sleep each day, but most kids only get 9 hours since school starts so early. That’s why experts have suggested delaying the beginning of classes to ensure children get enough sleep, which will help them focus during school hours.
Teenagers (13-18 years of age)
Teenagers are still developing, and they need 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, teenagers tend to stay awake later at night, playing games, browsing social media, or socializing with their friends.
According to the CDC, 7 out of 10 high school students don’t get enough sleep on school nights. That can significantly affect their ability to focus and impair their academic performance.
Why Is Sleep so Important for Children?
Getting enough sleep is vital for kids, as it plays a crucial role in physical growth, cognitive development, learning, concentration, emotional management, and overall well-being.
Sleep affects all aspects of your child’s life, including physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to poor attention, difficulty learning, mental health problems, and issues with controlling negative emotions. In addition, poor sleep increases the risk for health conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Children who get sufficient sleep have a healthier immune system, fewer behavioral problems, better memory, and typically perform better in school. So, if you want to set your kids on the right path, make sure they get enough sleep.
Sleep Tips for Children
If you want to prioritize sleep for your children, you can develop healthy habits to encourage them to get sufficient rest. That includes:
- Setting a good example with healthy sleep habits
- Having a regular sleeping schedule
- Limiting screen time before going to bed
- Keeping your kids stimulated throughout the day with plenty of activities
- Allowing your children to relax in the evening
- Creating a safe and comfortable bedroom environment
- Learning to recognize sleep problems
Typical sleep problems in children include difficulty falling asleep, snoring, frequent nighttime awakenings, resisting going to bed, and heavy breathing during the night. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should talk to your child’s pediatrician.
Sleeping With Your Child
Allowing your child to sleep with you and your partner has several benefits. It builds intimacy and trust, strengthens the bond between you, and teaches them important lessons about family and unity. In addition, it allows you to pay close attention to their sleeping habits and notice if anything is off.
If you are looking for an oversized bed where your whole family can sleep, Alaskan King Bed Company is a perfect choice, as we have family beds that will allow you to discover the beautiful world of restful co-sleeping.
We craft Alaskan king bed frames, premium Alaskan king mattresses, and luxurious sheets. Our products offer a one-of-a-kind sleeping experience that will ensure you and your children get enough sleep every single night.