Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below some common questions and answers about how children sleep.
How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?
- 0 – 3 months of age: 14 – 17 hours per day
- 4 – 11 months of age: 12 – 15 hours per day
- 1 – 2 years: 11 – 14 hours per day
- 3 – 5 years: 10 – 13 hours per day
- 6 – 13 years: 9 – 11 hours per day
A good night’s sleep gives children the energy they need to wake up each morning feeling happy, refreshed and ready to learn, so if you’re concerned that your child might not be getting enough sleep, please keep reading!
Plus, if your child isn’t getting enough sleep, there’s a good chance that YOU aren’t getting enough sleep either… and this lack of sleep has been linked to everything from postpartum depression to weight gain in new mothers.
Why does my newborn want to sleep all day… and stay up all night?
Firstly, understand that this is quite natural during the first 4 – 6 weeks, so try to make the best of it. When possible, sleep when your baby is sleeping. (You’ll need the energy!)
A good way to help encourage your child to make the transition to “normal” waking hours is by making sure that you make a clear distinction between daytime and night. This means keeping the house brighter and more active during the day, and darker and quieter at night. Avoid the temptation to get up and start watching TV or doing chores in the middle of the night.
When should my baby be sleeping through the night?
If your child is 6 months of age or older and still not sleeping through the night, there are some simple steps you can take to quickly improve the length of your child’s sleep. Please see the back of this brochure to learn how to get a FREE 15-minute consultation where these steps will be explained to you.
How can I tell when my child is getting tired?
One of the most common mistakes parents make is waiting until their baby is overtired before putting the baby to bed. (This actually makes falling asleep much more difficult for your little one.)
- Rubbing eyes
- Arching back
- Pulling ears
When you notice your baby starting to show these signs, it’s either naptime or bedtime. Getting your baby into bed before over-tiredness sets in will make things much easier for everyone!
How can I get my baby to sleep longer?
Your baby will sleep for longer stretches once they have learned the skills needed to fall asleep independently. This simply means that your child must be able to get to sleep without any help from you.
A “sleep cycle” lasts about 45 minutes in both adults and children. This means that we all wake up (very briefly) every 45 minutes or so. In most adults (and children who can fall asleep independently), these “wake-ups” are so brief that we aren’t even aware of them.
However, if a child relies on a parent in order to fall asleep (if the child is rocked or nursed to sleep, for example), then that child will quite often need to be rocked or nursed back to sleep every time they wake.
How many naps should my child be taking during the day?
- Age 0 – 3 months: 4 or 5 naps per day
- Age 3 – 6 months: 3 naps per day
- Age 6 – 14 months: 2 naps per day
- Age 15 months – 3 years: 1 nap per day
Note that each nap should last somewhere between 1 and 3 hours!