You asked

How much sleep does my child need?

Getting the right amount of sleep is vital to a child’s physical and mental development.

Many parents believe that if their child stays up late and wakes up early that they just do not require as much sleep as other children. This is not true. Children need a lot of sleep. If your child falls into this category, ask yourself these questions:

Is your child cranky, or easily irritated during the day?
Does your child fall asleep every time he rides in the car?
Do you have to wake your child up in the morning?
On occasion, does your child fall asleep earlier than their bedtime?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are that your child could be sleep deprived.

Here are the general recommended amounts of sleep that children require at different ages.

1 month – 8 ½ hours per night and 7 hours per day
3 months - 10 hours per night and 5 hours per day
6 months - 11 hours per night and 3 ¼ hours per day
9 months - 11 hours per night and 3 hours per day
12 months - 11 ¼ hours per night and 2 ½ hours per day
18 months - 11 ¼ per night and 2/ ¼ hours per day
 2 years - 11 hours per night and 2 hours per day
 3 years - 10 ½ hours per night and 1 ½ hours per day

After the age of 3, naps become more difficult and will eventually stop. From age 3 up until preschool, your child will still require at least 11 hours of sleep per night.  After this age, the amount required will begin to diminish.

If you feel that your child is not getting the recommended amount of sleep, you may want to alter what you’re doing to encourage good sleep habits.

More questions

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A guideline to knowing how much sleep your child needs and ensuring he or she is well rested