Sleep for the early years

Sleep can be described as nutrition for the brain. Sleep is important for kids to stay healthy, grow, learn, do well in school, and reach for their best every day.

Sleep and newborns (0 to 3 months)

Newborns sleep around the clock and the sleep-wake cycle follows the need to be fed, changed, and cared for. Newborns sleep around 14 to 17 hours a day with periods of 1 to 3 hours spent awake. It is important to create a safe sleeping environment for newborns. Try to put your baby to bed when they are sleepy, but not asleep. They are more likely to fall asleep faster and learn to self soothe.

Sleep and infants (4 to 11 months)

Infants sleep about 12 to 16 hours over a 24-hour period. Many infants will now sleep all night and take 1 to 4 naps during the day. It is important to follow a regular daily and sleeping schedule. Encourage your infant to fall asleep by themselves.

Sleep and toddlers (1 to 2 years)

Toddlers sleep about 11 to 14 hours of good quality sleep, including naps, with consistent bedtimes and wake-up times. Toddlers typically nap once a day for about 1 to 3 hours. Naps should not be too close to bedtime since they might cause trouble falling asleep. Many toddlers start having sleep problems such as refusing to go to bed, and waking up at night. It is important to set a regular bedtime (anywhere between 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. is reasonable for most toddlers) and establish a consistent bedtime routine.

Sleep and preschoolers (3 to 4 years)

Preschoolers sleep about 10 to 13 hours of good-quality sleep, which may include a nap, with consistent bedtimes and wake-up times. At this age, sleepwalking and night terrors (National Sleep Foundation) peak . Having a relaxing bedtime routine can help reduce the frequency and intensity of nightmares.

This item was last modified on November 30, 2017