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How much sleep do children really need?

Every child is different, like us as adults; some need more sleep than others. It is up to us as parents to look out for the signs of a sleep-deprived child. Here are some examples of what to look out for:

  • Your child wakes up from their sleep feeling grumpy and whinny
  • They find it hard to concentrate
  • They are hard to reason with
  • They may not be eating as well
  • Ironically they don’t sleep as well
  • They wake several times per night
  • Early morning starts around 5 am (or some ungodly hour)
  • Exhausted but determined not to go back to sleep
  • They fall asleep as soon as they go out in the car

Do any of these sound familiar?

The fact is sleep induces sleep. So don’t worry if your child is napping a lot, as it is likely what your growing child needs.

Here is a chart with the latest recommended sleep averages for kids up until the age of 17. Please keep in mind that these are averages and that the sleep needs vary as every child is different. This will help give you an idea as the whether or not you are on the right track with your child.


Newborns (0-3 months) 14 -17 hours each day
Infants  (4-11 months) 12 – 15 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years) 11 – 14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years) 10-13 hours
School age children (6 – 13 years) 9 – 11 hours
Teenagers (14 – 17 years) 8 – 10 hours


Source: National Seep Foundation

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