When Should Your Baby Sleep - And How Much

Josephine Thompson

Journalist

So you happen to have a baby. Try not to kill it! After all, they're such fragile little bundles of joy and diapers. And if you want your baby to develop soundly, you have to give them an adequate amount of sleep (babies are not obliged to let you get enough of sleep, though). If your baby is to grow up successful in the academic field, they should get enough sleep. More than 30 studies have shown that shorter total sleep time, erratic sleep/wake schedules, fragmented sleep, late bedtimes/wake-up times and poor sleep quality are equate to poor performance at school.

So here's a sleep timetable for your kid:

4 months – 1 years old: 12-16 hours (w/naps) - 9 – 10 hours at night, the rest in 3- 3,5 naps
1 – 2 years old: 11-14 hours (w/naps) - 9 hours at night and a 1-2 hour nap
3 – 5 years old: 10-13 hours (w/naps) - with 1 nap of about 0-1,5 hour
6 – 12 years old: 9-12 hours, no naps!

Wake up times per night:

Birth to 16 weeks: 1 to 5 times/night
16 weeks to 4 months: 2 times/night
4 months to 6 months: 1 to 2 times/night
6 months to 9 months: 0 to 1 time/night

After 9 months a child should no longer be waking up for any reason especially feeding.

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A kid who has trouble sleeping and waking up might lack a consistent, 7-days-a-week bedtime. Even putting your child to bed later on weekends can affect their wake time. If your child doesn’t know how to fall asleep on their own, they are likely to wake up during the night for comfort. A child that wakes up often at night will be tired in the morning.

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So establish a good sleep hygiene at an early age: regular age appropriate bedtimes that accounts for how much a child should sleep. A consistent, repeatable bedtime routine ensures that going to bed is fun instead of a battle. Teach them to fall asleep unassisted by one year of age to help them sleep through the night. Control wake up time in the morning to get predictable naps.

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