Sleep requirements will change as your child grows. Infants may sleep up to 16 hours in a given 24 hour period, whereas a school-aged child may sleep as little as 8 to 10 hours per day. Below is a general outline of sleep patterns based on your child’s age.
Newborns from birth to 4 months of age generally sleep an average of 14-16 hours out of every 24 hours. In general, younger newborns in the first few weeks of life sleep for multiple short stretches between feeds, and as they grow closer to 4 months they begin to fall into a pattern of several naps during the day and sleeping longer stretches at night.
Infants from 4 to 12 months still sleep an average of 14 hours per day, but in general they are able to sleep for longer stretches at night and are down to 2-3 naps per day. Children this age generally have the skillset to self-sooth and for the most part do not need to eat overnight.
Toddlers from 12 months to 24 months need an average of 12-14 hours of sleep per day. In general, children in this age range drop to 1 nap per day and get the remainder of their sleep overnight.
Preschoolers from 2 years of age are generally sleeping an average of 12 hours per day, and usually still nap once per day until approximately 4 years old.
Elementary and Middle School-aged children from 5-12 years old generally need 9-11 hours of sleep per day.
Teenagers still need 8+ hours of sleep per night, but the average amount of sleep in this age group varies widely given the demands of school, extra-curricular activities, and social lives.