It can be hard as a parent of a little one to know the amount of sleep they should be getting each day, particularly if they’re not a real fan of sleep at the best of times! It can seem that other people’s children get lots more or seem to be fine on much less sleep than your little one gets in an average 24 hours.

Grab The Cheat Sheet ??

To make life a bit easier, we have put together an Average Sleep Needs Cheat Sheet which gives you an idea, according to age, of how much sleep your child should be getting each day, including the mix of day and night sleep if they’re still napping. This, of course, is a rough guide, and every child is different, but at least 80% of children will fall into this range. I hope it’s helpful to give you a rough guide to the amount of sleep your wee one needs.  

There will, no doubt, be times when they don’t get the right amount of sleep but don’t worry, on the odd occasion this happens, they’ll soon catch up if they were well-rested beforehand. 

You may also find that an ill child will sleep more, which is fine – they need sleep to help their bodies fight any infection, so just let them sleep as much as they want whilst they recover.

When I show this Cheat Sheet to my clients, they often say that there is no way that their little one is getting the right amount of age-appropriate sleep. This will likely result in an overtired baby or young child – unfortunately, the less sleep they get, the harder it will be to get them to go to sleep and stay asleep.

Full Of Energy OR Overtired?

Often, toddlers who are kept up too late appear to be wide awake and full of beans, but this is usually an overtired and overstimulated toddler. They will likely struggle to switch off and go to sleep, are more likely to wake in the night, and may well wake earlier than usual in the morning. This is why it’s often not a good idea to keep a little one up late in the hope they’ll sleep in in the morning – it’s rare that this happens, and it can often mean they wake up even earlier and so are even more tired, cranky and likely to resist sleep the next day!

I hope this Cheat Sheet is helpful and gives you a guide to refer to now and as your wee one gets older. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need extra support around sleep.