Pediatric Associates of Richmond

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How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?

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.

Infants and Healthy Sleeping Habits

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 and  Healthy Sleeping Habits

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.

School Age Children and Healthy Sleeping Habits

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.