Baffled by your kid’s sleep patterns?

Sleep Center

Your children’s sleep patterns and habits might be more common than you think. Normal sleep patterns vary greatly among children of different age groups.

NEWBORNS

  • May sleep as much as 16 hours a day.
  • Sleep periods are fairly brief and irregular until their nervous system develops. By the time a baby is 6 months to one year, they should be sleeping 5 or 6 hours at a time.
  • Problems: Crying and Feeding
  • Nighttime feedings should subside after their fourth month.
  • Sleep experts recommend waiting at least a minute before going to a crying baby, and then providing only minimal feedback for emotional comfort.
  • Provide a favorite blanket or stuffed animal as a substitute for emotional comfort. The baby’s last memories before falling asleep should not be of being held or fed. They should be alone so they do not wake up to find the person or object missing.

TODDLERS

  • Sleep about 12 hours a day, including a daytime nap.
  • Toddlers tend to “fight” sleep because of fears of separation from their parents.
  • Provide a bedtime routine. Include comfort habits which allow the child to wind down from the day and provide reassurance from fear of separation. A bedtime toy or night light can help.

PRESCHOOLERS

  • Sleep between 10 and 12 hours a night.
  • Some experience sleep difficulty and develop disorders such as bed-wetting, sleepwalking and night terrors. Parents should take a low-key approach to any disruptions and provide reassurance and support.

GRADE SCHOOLERS

  • Tend to sleep solidly for 10 hours a night.
  • Adult sleep patterns begin to develop, including problems with insomnia due to stress and anxiety.