How Much Should My Child Be Sleeping?

By March 23, 2016Baby Sleep

With each age milestone, the average sleep needed for both daytime and nighttime sleep totals shift slightly.  For each age group, there is an average number that we use as guidance for the amount of sleep to target. When reviewing these average, keep in mind that each child is different and yours may need a little more or a little less sleep than the target number provided.

I always remind the families I work with that quality and quantity matter when it comes to sleep.  A good night’s sleep should be mostly uninterrupted.  If you have a little one that has frequent night wakings, they aren’t getting the restorative sleep needed for them to wake up rested and ready to tackle the day (and neither are Mom or Dad!).

I had a Mom of a younger baby mention to me that her baby seems to sleep all the time.  I responded with “That’s awesome! – Keep promoting sleep because the more he sleeps, the more he will sleep and not risk become overtired and spiral into bad sleeping habits.” My advice is to remember that “sleep begets sleep”, which means the more you sleep, the more you sleep!

I have gathered the average sleep needed by age below, along with guidance on wakeful windows by age.  When working with families, I provide a personalized plan that uses this information as a guide to developing a go-forward strategy for improving your child’s sleep.

Average Sleep By Age

Sleep averages

Average Windows of Wakefulness

Wakeful Windows.png

About Elizabeth Sarles

Elizabeth Sarles is a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach and the owner of Nite & Day. She lives in Edina, Minnesota with her husband Lien, two little guys – Lien and Harrison, and her first baby (and bed-hog), Eddie the Yorkie.

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