How much sleep is the right amount for your newborn baby? From daytime napping to an unbroken night’s slumber (we can dream), we look at how much they should be getting
Making sure your baby gets the right amount of quality sleep right from the get-go will not only assist with their development, but it’ll help bolster their learning ability, behaviour, creativity and emotional balance too. And, of course, a good night’s sleep for them means a good night’s rest for you too!
We all know that, as adults, we should be aiming for that elusive eight hours’ sleep each night, but what’s the score when it comes to a newborn?
How many hours should a newborn sleep?
Newborns will sleep on and off throughout the day and night – chances are they’ll be asleep more than they’re awake.
Trouble is, there’s no magic number when it comes to how much sleep they should be getting – it can be anywhere from eight up to 20 hours. Some may sleep through the night from as early as eight weeks old, but if you’re breastfeeding then it’s much more likely that they’ll wake for a feed.
It’s important to remember that every baby is different, so don’t compare their sleep patterns to others. If your baby can’t quite make the whole night through, don’t worry – only a quarter of babies sleep through the night by 12 weeks old.
For the first few weeks, your baby probably won’t be able to stay awake for more than two hours at a time. At such a young age, it can be helpful to have a pattern, but don’t feel like you need to stick to it – you can always change it to suit your needs. A more solid routine isn’t necessary until around three months old.
How much sleep does a one-year old need?
Once your baby reaches 12 months old, it’s recommended by the NHS that they sleep around two hours and 30 minutes in the day, and 11 hours at night, totalling 13 and a half hours all together.
Break up the daytime sleeping into two until you feel like they’re ready to nap just once during the day for a short time. This is usually around 18 months old.
Naps are hugely beneficial for toddlers; being well-rested will help with their learning and development. In fact, they should really be napping during the day up until the age of four.
How much sleep does a two-year old need?
Once your toddler reaches the age of two, their total sleep time reduces slightly. It’s recommended they get an hour and 30 minutes worth of sleep in the day, with 11 hours and 30 minutes at night.
As with babies, every toddler is different; they may struggle to sleep almost 12 hours at night, or might need more naps during the day to keep their energy levels up. Whatever their routine, do what works for them rather than abiding by strict guidelines.