PARENTS

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need? Parents' Guide To How Long Children Should Spend In The Land Of Nod

This handy chart tells you how long kids should nap for, too.

05/04/2016 10:13

Parents know how important sleep is for children, but not everyone is aware how much kids need.

When children are young, naps are a crucial part of their day but these should be gradually reduced when they reach the toddler stage.

The NHS gives guidance on the approximate hours of sleep children should be getting at different ages. 

"A general average is helpful for parents to get a general idea of sleep needs for their child’s age but they should consider this as a ball-park than an exact number of hours and assess based on their child," Maryanne Taylor from The Sleep Works told The Huffington Post UK.

Kelvin Murray via Getty Images

"For the first week, babies sleep around 16-18 hours in total, with around half during the night and half during the day," Taylor explained.

"In the early weeks, the length of the nap is less relevant, but focus is more on trying to avoid the baby getting overtired. 

"Short naps of 30-40 minutes are common, but regularity of these naps are more important."

Taylor said with the wealth on information on the internet and social media about baby's sleep, it can be overwhelming for new parents to understand what's right and what's wrong.

"Every baby is different in their sleep needs and there is a lot of pressure on parents these days to ensure their baby fits a certain ‘mould’," she said. 

"Some babies and children show clear sleep cues when they are tired – rubbing their eyes, yawning, pulling their ears, not making eye contact, whinging, or losing interest in what they are doing. 

"Another signal that a parent may have missed a sleep window is difficulty getting their child to sleep. 

"If a child is crying a lot when trying to settle them, then this is potentially down to over-tiredness."

We've put together the amount of recommended sleep children need at different ages.

Click on the flip card to reveal the amount of hours of napping and night-time sleep for your child

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