Kids Lifestyle Parenting

How Much Sleep Do Children Need? A Consistent Routine Helps Kids Sleep Patterns

How much sleep do children need each night for a productive day? We’re partnering with Know Your OTC’s in a sponsored post to share the suggested sleep requirements for kids and how to establish good kids sleep patterns with a consistent routine.

How much sleep do children need each night for a productive day- Learn the suggested sleep requirements for kids and how to establish good kids sleep patterns with a consistent routine

Now that school is back in session, those lazy summer days are over and it’s back to the day to day routine at home! No more sleeping in every morning, and no more late nights for the kids, either. I know that my kids are night owls if I allow them to be, so we started an early bed time 2 weeks before school starts to get their bodies used to the early wake up timing. Kids sleep patterns can vary, so it is super important to be sure that you’re sticking to a routine and that each child is getting the proper amount of sleep!

little girl sleeping

How Much Sleep Do Children Need? An Age Based Chart

So, how much sleep do children need? The reality is that most children from newborns to middle school should be sleeping about half of the day. That’s right, 12-16 hours out of a 24 hour period! As kids age and become teenagers, the amount of time they should rest changes. Here are the recommended hours of sleep for children, based upon their age from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Where do your kids fit in?

  • Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) 
  • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) 
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) 
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours 
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours 

Here’s a handy dandy visual chart to help you learn how much sleep your child should be getting each night:

How much sleep do children need- Bedtime sleep chart by age with the recommended hours of sleep for children

Why do consistent sleep routines matter?

How do you feel when you’ve got to wake up and face the day, and you didn’t get nearly enough sleep the night before? Like CRAP, am I right? I sure do, and my kids are the same exact way to the 10th power! Messed up sleep patterns can definitely put a damper on your child’s day, their attention span will be limited and their emotions can run high. According to Seattle Pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, consistent sleep routines lead to positive outcomes and help improve attention, behavior, and emotional regulation throughout the day. Having a consistent, familiar night time routine is a great way to help kids to learn when it’s bed time, preparing them for a successful day ahead.

My bedtime routine - Kids reading before going to bed at night

What if my kids won’t fall asleep?

Falling asleep at the right time is important when figuring out how much sleep do children need. It’s important to know that you should NEVER give your child an over-the-counter medicine to make them sleepy. What you can try is to limit screen time at least 30 minutes before bed time. The light emitted from these devices can interrupt natural hormones in the body that help us sleep. You should also try to keep your kids active and exercising throughout the day, wear them out! Also, you can keep a little sleep diary to keep track of awake and asleep patterns. We like to take a warm bath or shower, red together, and I rub my kids’ backs as we talk about our day before bed.

Note: You can use OTC medicines when necessary, like for colds, fevers, and the flu. These medicines may contain diphenhydramine, which can cause drowsiness, so make sure to read the labels thoroughly for proper use. It is important to only treat your child with the right OTC medicine for the symptoms they are presenting, NOT to aid in sleep. 

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For more information about kids sleep patterns and the importance of establishing a consistent bedtime routine for your kids, visit KnowYourOTCs.org for advice and some do’s and don’t’s. This is a great source with more information, may your nights be full of quiet sleep for all!

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This post is sponsored by CHPA/Know Your OTC’s, opinions are those of Honey + Lime.

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