Community//

How much sleep your kids really need

The specifics of how much sleep your child needs, and some beautifully calming and sweary words from Samuel L Jackson. 

Sleep obsession is a thing. We’ve got Institutes for it, mattress companies getting $23m in funding and an avalanche of apps and gadgets to help.

‘Tired’ is often worn as a badge of honour, alongside ‘busy’ because we all want an excuse for not being the better person we know we can be. Of course, for us parents it’s true. We are knackered, especially if you’re in the early years, or the ‘trenches’ as a friend described it to me once.

But there’s little talk about our children’s sleep. These tiny precious little beings, growing in every conceivable dimension, while we’re just growing grey hairs and waistlines. So how much sleep does a child need?

Thankfully there’s a lot of expertise out there on this. Remembering it might help you avoid an unhelpful knee-jerk reaction to one of their emotional outbursts. Here’s what the NHS say:

1 week old

  • Daytime: 8 hours
  • Night time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

4 weeks old

  • Daytime: 6 to 7 hours
  • Night time: 8 to 9 hours

3 months old

  • Daytime: 4 to 5 hours
  • Night time: 10 to 11 hours

6 months old

  • Daytime: 3 hours
  • Night time: 11 hours

9 months old

  • Daytime: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Night time: 11 hours

12 months old

  • Daytime: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Night time: 11 hours

2 years

  • Daytime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes

3 years

  • Daytime: 0 to 45 minutes
  • Night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes to 12 hours

4 years

  • Night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes

5 years

  • Night time: 11 hours

6 years

  • Night time: 10 hours, 45 minutes

7 years

  • Night time: 10 hours, 30 minutes

8 years

  • Night time: 10 hours, 15 minutes

9 years

  • Night time: 10 hours

10 years

  • Night time: 9 hours, 45 minutes

11 years

  • Night time: 9 hours, 30 minutes

12 years

  • Night time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

13 years

  • Night time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

14 years

  • Night time: 9 hours

15 years

  • Night time: 9 hours

16 years

  • Night time: 9 hours

But all that said, bedtimes can still be a royal pain in the arse sometimes. When they are, maybe Samuel L Jackson can help calm you down with his beautiful reading of Go the f**k to sleep. 

Originally published at www.beingdads.com

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