Children need to get a lot of sleep because it represents an important aspect of their development. It is recommended that adults get 7 hours of sleep each night, but this amount is not enough for children, not nearly enough for some age groups, in fact.
One of the hardest things about child sleep is knowing if they are getting enough of it. This is because, unlike adults, children often seem to be more active and energized when they are drowsy. The following is a rundown of how many hours children need to sleep according to age.
Birth to 3 months
Newborns should get 15 to 18 hours of sleep, but newborns at this age sleep in short intervals of 2 to 3 hours because their biological clock (circadian rhythm) has not developed yet.
3 to 12 months
Babies should ideally get 15 hours of sleep at this age. Closer the fourth-month mark, babies may begin to sleep for 4 to 6 hours at a time, and they become more accustomed to the day and night cycles, i.e., they sleep for longer at night and take shorter naps throughout the day. Your baby begins to develop a sleep pattern more similar to that of adults, and pulling all-nighters can begin at around 6 months or earlier. Babies still need to take naps at this time, usually 2 or 3, to ensure they get the recommended amount of sleep they need.
1 to 2 years
Children at this age need between 12 and 14 hours of sleep. The numbers of naps children take at this age may drop to 1.
2 to 5 years
Children between 3 and 6 years of age require 10-12 hours of sleep. Naps begin to become shorter at this stage, and by age 5 children usually stop taking naps during the day.
6 to 13 years
Children at stage require between 10 and 11 hours of sleep, a slight decrease from younger children. People at this age are more active and may be busy with school or friends, so getting those precious hours of sleep may be a little more difficult.
13 to 18 years
Teenagers need to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Sleep for teenagers is still as important as ever because their brain is still developing at a fast rate. It becomes more and more difficult to get teenagers to sleep the recommended amount and many teenagers don’t, but it is really important.