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How Much Sleep?

By Welcome Baby Care

sleepingWe’re deep into the Minnesota winter. The animals are hibernating and we too have sleep on the brain.

With more and more parents asking us to help them navigate the ever changing landscape of Baby’s sleep needs and patterns, we created a class to help them better understand the big picture. Beyond that, we thought it might be helpful to offer some quick sleep-time averages to clear up the often confusing question, “Just how much sleep does my child need?” Remember, the numbers presented are averages, meaning that your child can fall to either side of the amount. Also remember that sleep is sleep! Snoozing at the breast, 20 minutes in the car, the nap in the Moby Wrap…it all adds up.

1 to 4 weeks:  about 16 hours

This is the average number of hours that a newborn babe sleeps, meaning that some might sleep 18 and some 14. Your baby should fall somewhere into this range or extremely close to it. During this time there is still a bit of day-night confusion and sleep happens in short intervals, making it hard to add up the periods of rest! Don’t worry, you’ll know if your child is getting much less than the recommendation.

1 to 12 months:  14 – 15 hours

For the first year, it is optimal for babies to get around 15 hours of sleep, including regular nap time. Of course, a two-month-old might very well still be at 16 hours and a one-year-old might edge closer to 12.  Also, a lot of development happens during this time and sleep at one month looks very different than sleep at one year. At between months one and two regular naps start to take shape, occurring at predictable times. As you approach the first birthday, a midday nap might be dropped and your child will take only a morning and afternoon nap.

1 to 3 years old:  12 -14 hours

Looking forward, toddlers still need a lot of sleep! They have busy developing brains and bodies. Establishing good sleep habits and routines during infancy will help set the foundation for good big kid sleep.



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