Toddlers Sleep Cycle – How Much Sleep Does Your Little One Need?

It’s common knowledge that sleep plays a vital role in children’s growth and development. But, children’s sleep requirements tend to change with age. Today, we’re going to discuss the most critical stage of child development – age 1 to 3 – and how much sleep kids need during these years.

How Much Sleep Do Toddlers Need?

According to child development and sleep experts, toddlers need 11 to 14 hours of sleep in a day, i.e. within 24 hours. It may seem a lot to us adults, but it’s essential for the growth of their body and mind.

What is an Ideal Sleep Schedule for Toddlers?

Ideally, the sleeping schedule for toddlers should include 10 to 12 hours of sleep at night and a 1 to 2 hour long nap during the day. Here’s what a toddler’s sleep schedule may look like:

  • Wake up – 7 am
  • Nap – 1pm to 3pm
  • Bedtime – 7:30 or 8 pm

This is just a guideline. You need to adjust it according to your child’s routine and sleep habits. Many toddlers wake up early in the morning and you cannot put them back to sleep. Similarly, it may be difficult to wake them up from their afternoon nap after one to two hours. However, longer naps will make it harder to put them to sleep at night, at their designated time. According to experts, 6:30 to 7:30 pm is a good time for toddlers to sleep because they tend to have deepest sleep between 8pm to 12am.

As a parent, it is your responsibly to make sure your child is getting the right amount of sleep at the right time.

Get Your Child to Bed around the Same Time Every Day

Whether it’s the weekend, a holiday, or an event, stick to your child’s sleeping schedule. It helps build their sleep cycle, which then will make it easier for you to ensure they are getting an adequate amount of sleep. If your child resists going to bed (many toddlers do) or have difficulty sleeping through the night, there are certain things that can help. These include limiting distractions, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and providing a comfortable mattress and quiet sleep environment. Refer to our post Tips for Developing a Healthy Sleep Schedule in Toddlers for some useful ideas.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 25% of children under five years of age do not get adequate sleep.[1] This is alarming because not getting enough sleep doesn’t only make toddlers grumpy, it can also affect their cognition, alertness, concentration, memory, motor skills development, and the immune system in the long run. Don’t compromise on your child’s health and development. Make sure they are getting the amount of sleep their body needs.

Image Credits

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28117135/

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