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How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need by Age?

May 3, 2024

When it comes to kids, there are always many questions that come to mind. One of the queries that is always on the top of a parent's mind is about sleep. Questions like, Is my kid getting enough sleep? How many hours of sleep does my baby need? Why does my baby nap so much or so little are a few of them? Kid's sleep is tricky as it is constantly changing as they grow up. To help you with it, here is a guide to how much sleep they should ideally have as per age and what is too much or too little sleep. But let's start with understanding why kids need a good amount of sleep.

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Why Do Kids Need Enough Sleep?

Ongoing research and studies are being conducted about sleep and its importance. What is crystal clear is that sleep for kids is of great essence and a critical aspect of a healthy routine for a child, as per paediatric sleep experts. If there is a lack of quality sleep, there can be a delay in achieving their developmental milestones. Sleep is essential to making memories, enabling learning and improving attention. On the other hand, if there is a lack of sleep, children find it difficult to learn even basic skills like hand-eye coordination. It also affects their behaviour, concentration, memory and physical growth. Lack of sleep leads to infections and illnesses, slower metabolism and developmental issues. When kids get good sleep, they can fight illnesses better, remember and learn better and be in a better mood. So sleep is critical for kids of all age groups as it aids in learning, growth, development, attention, behaviour, memory, physical health, mental health and overall quality of life.

Optimal Sleep Duration as per Age

Newborns (0-3 Months)

The first few weeks and months of a newborn are all about eating, sleeping, crying and pooping, with the same cycle going about a day in and day out without much care. The baby does not have a set circadian rhythm, and they sleep about 11 to 17 hours every day. There is no standard sleep duration for a newborn, and they can sleep as long as they want.

Babies (4-12 months)

The recommended duration of sleep for them is about 12 to 16 hours a day, which includes naps and their nightcap. They start to have a sleep rhythm and slowly recognise day and night. Typically, a night's sleep is about 6 to 8 hours, and the rest of it is naps. Some kids prefer to have one nap, while others take two or three. Also, when the babies are between 6 and 12 months old, they don't need night feeds unless they suffer from medical conditions and need to be fed at night. This is when you can wean them from night feeds.

Toddlers (12-24 months)

The recommended sleep time is 11 to 14 hours, which includes naps. As they start walking and talking, their sleep time and quantity begin to change. They are likely to sleep longer at night and take shorter naps during the day. Establish a consistent routine, as that helps them get the sleep they should get.

Preschoolers (3-5 years)

The recommended duration of sleep, which includes a nap, is about 10 to 13 hours. This is the time around which an afternoon nap gets dropped. It is a transition phase where naps should be gradually cut, and most of the sleep is at night. But what is recommended is that even if there is no nap, it is good to take some quiet time to recharge. If your child does not nap, it is better to make up for it by setting an early bedtime.

School kids (6-12 years old)

The recommended sleep duration is 9 to 12 hours. Getting a good night's sleep is important, as it helps them concentrate and focus better on learning and development. Insufficient sleep gets in the way of their performance in school as well as their behaviour.

Teenagers (13 -18 years)

The recommended sleep duration is 8 to 10 hours. Sleep is the first thing that gets cut amidst all the schoolwork, homework and extracurricular activities. For this reason, teens don't get enough sleep, and they feel tired during the day. It can become a vicious cycle, so it is important to make time for sleep. It also helps with retention, concentration and focus, as well as being more productive in the activities they undertake. So, a strict schedule and adherence to it are essential for kids in this age group.

Child Sleep Chart by Age

  • Babies (4-12 months): 12-16 hours, including naps
  • Toddlers (12-24 months): 11 -14 hours, including naps
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours with a nap
  • School kids (6-12 years old): 9-12 hours
  • Teenagers (13-18 years): 8-10 hours

It is best to set the child's bedtime based on the time the child has to wake up and then count backwards to set the right bedtime based on the age of your child.

What happens when kids don't get enough sleep?

Is it a familiar scenario? Is your kid struggling to wake up in the morning? Unable to pay attention in school or during activities? Then, most probably, your child is not getting enough sleep. Lack of attention, irritability and an increase in emotional outbursts are some of the side effects of not getting enough sleep. If they fail to get good sleep consistently, there can be more serious problems. While each child has different sleep needs, if the sleep duration is way outside of the typical hours needed, it may be a sign of sleep disorders and has to be addressed.

What is too much sleep?

Getting too much sleep is rare, but some kids may oversleep. Those kids may exhibit symptoms of trouble sleeping at night, waking very early in the morning, or waking frequently at night. If you are worried about your child's sleep pattern, speak to your healthcare provider.


Sleep is one of the most basic human needs, and everyone should get enough of it. Help your child get good amounts of it, as it is essential for their growth, learning and development.

Also Read : Baby Sleep Patterns: Everything You Need to Know


1. How much sleep do kids need by age?

  • Babies (4-12 months): 12-16 hours, including naps
  • Toddlers (12-24 months): 11 -14 hours, including naps
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours with a nap
  • School kids (6-12 years old): 9-12 hours
  • Teenagers (13-18 years): 8-10 hours

Newborns can sleep anywhere between 11 and 17 hours or more, and they have no standard sleep time.

2. Is 7 hours of sleep enough for kids?

No. 7 hours of sleep is enough for adults. But even for teenagers between 13 and 18 years old, a minimum of 8 hours of sleep is needed for them to have better focus and productivity.

3. What is a good sleep time for kids?

The sleep time should be based on the morning wake-up time. However, as a sample, you can use this

  • 0–2 years old: 8–9 PM
  • 3–5 years old: 7–8 PM
  • 6–12 years old: 7:30–8:30 PM
  • 13–18 years old: 10 PM

4. Is 8 hours of sleep okay for a kid?

It depends on the age of the kid. If your child is a teenager, then 8 hours of sleep is okay. But if your child is younger, then they may need more hours of sleep for better memory, retention and growth.

Want to consult the Best Pediatricians in India? Please find the links below.

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  12. Best Pediatricians in New Delhi
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