As promised, part two of the sleep series which begins here: Parents: Naughty Kids Need More Sleep and Clever Kids Do Too..
I have no idea where I got this information from, but it seems to be standard and I found it matched our kids’ sleep needs well.
For children who live in an industrial society:
# One month of age: 8.5 hours at night (in bits) and 7.5 hours during the day.
# Three months of age: 6 – 10 hours at night (in bits) and 5-9 hours during the day.
# Six months of age: 11 -12 hours at night (in bits) and 3- 4.5 hours during the day.
#Nine months of age: 11 – 12 hours at night (in bits) and 3 hours during the day – possibly in two nap times.
#12 months of age: 11 – 12 hours at night (possibly still in bits) and 2.5 hours during the day.
#18 months of age: 11 -12 hours at night (Yes, some kids might still be not sleeping through – it’s actually normal – sigh.) and 2.5 hours during the day.
# 2 years of age: 11 – 12 hours at night (if you’ve highly-sensitive babies they might still not be sleeping through) and 2 hours during the day possibly only one nap.
# 3 years of age: 10.5 – 11 hours at night (hopefully sleeping through, but possibly not) and 1.5 hours during the day.
# 4 years of age: 11.5 – 12 hours at night and infrequent daytime sleeps.
# 5 years of age: 11- 12 hours at night and sometimes a daytime sleep.
# 6 years of age: 10.5 – 12 hours at night.
# 7 years of age: 11 – 12 hours at night.
# 8 years of age: 10.5 – 11 hours at night.
# 9 years of age: 10+ hours at night.
# 10 years of age: 9.5 – 10 hours at night.
The easiest way to work out a child’s bedtime is to work out the time they naturally rise (or need to be up) and work backwards. So, a seven year-old who usually wakes at 6.30am would need to be in bed and asleep by 7.30pm at the latest and when busy/tired it’s not silly to have them in bed by 6.15pm. If in doubt go for more sleep rather than less.
Children who are dropping their final sleep can be a bit of an exception for a year or so and I’ll talk about why in the next post in this series.
The recommendations here are for western kids because in many non-industrial societies people sleep in four hourly stretches three times every 24 hours and it seems to work. (Sleep in the middle of the day. Sleep at dusk. Wake near midnight. Sleep before dawn.)
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