How to use proven sleeping practices for every age group


How to use proven sleeping practices for every age group

We all know that enough sleep is important to function well and be happy overall.

There is no difference between adults and kids.

Just the amount of sleep we need and the problems we face at night are different.

After I’ve stretched on the importance of healthy eating habits in my last post (, I want to talk about sleeping practices and habits today. Sleep and food, next to being active and having regular checkups, are the basics of keeping our kids healthy.

A peaceful environment at home guarantees a healthy and good night sleep. Trust in you as a parent to be able to share worries and problems with you is helpful too. Enough sleep is crucial for your kid’s ability to handle stress and anxiety.

Do you know how much sleep your kid should have?

Newborns (0-3 months)

Newborns sleep a total of 10 to 18 hours a day on an irregular schedule.

It’s not on us parents to enforce a schedule on them at this age. Their sleep-wake cycle is simply connected to their need to be fed, changed and nurtured.

Some scientist say that there is lots of activity in the brain during the sleeping phase of babies, helping them to develop during the early stage.

Sleeping practice:

  • Identify signs of sleepiness and provide a quiet environment at this stage
  • Place baby on back with face and head clear of blankets and soft items.

I have to mention that some babies don’t stop crying. My daughter was one of them. As much of an angel she is now, as a baby she would not stop crying. After I tried everything the pediatrician, my aunts and friends, our neighbors, the books and the Internet had told me I decided to go with the flow until it stops.

After 3 months I woke up one morning and was surprisingly refreshed and awake. Like someone had pressed a button, my girl had stopped crying. If this is your situation, don’t feel like you are doing something wrong. That’s just how they are.

Infants (4-11 months)

Infants typically sleep 9-12 hours a day.

By nine months they usually sleep through the night. At this age a bedtime routine that repeats every day is important. This can be a bath, cuddles, stories, songs.

I used to sing to my kids. My daughter had one song she loved most, my son had his favorite. They still like the songs and sometimes sing them themselves.

It is totally up to you if you want to use a pacifier. My son didn’t care. My daughter loved her pacifier and even named it. I would have made my life more complicated not giving her one.

Sleeping practice:

  • Establish a regular, peaceful and sleep friendly environment.
  • Create a consistent and enjoyable bedtime routine.

Toddlers (1-2 years)

Toddlers need about 11-14 hours of sleep.

By 18 months of age they nap usually only once a day. A toddlers’ drive for independence and their ability to get out of bed can easily interfere with sleep. Further, with the development of imagination, toddlers face difficulties falling asleep and waking up during the night.

Sleeping practice:

  • Develop a daily sleep schedule and consistent bedtime routine.
  • Establish a regular, peaceful and sleep friendly environment.
  • Allow the use of security objects such as a blanket or stuffed animal.
  • Set limits, discuss them and enforce them.

Preschoolers (3-5 years)

Preschoolers need around 11-13 hours of sleep each night.

With even further development of imagination, Preschoolers have often nighttime fears and nightmares. Waking up during the night is common.

Sleeping practice:

  • Listen to your kid’s worries and stories.
  • Create positive stories that will destroy nightmares.
  • Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule.
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Your kid should sleep in the same sleeping environment every night, without a TV.

School kids (6-13 years)

Kids aged six to 13 need about 9-11 hours of sleep each night.

At this age there is usually an increasing demand from school. Homework, sports and other activities add to the busy schedule. TV, computers, the Internet as well as interest in caffeine products can lead to difficulties falling asleep.

Sleeping practice:

  • Teach them about healthy sleep habits.
  • Continue to emphasize need for regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.
  • Keep TV and computers out of the bedroom.
  • Avoid caffeine whenever possible.

Final thoughts

To stay healthy enough sleep is important for our kids.

For that, it is crucial to develop a relaxing bedtime routine and a stress free home.

Trust in us parents to be able to share problems will help our kids to fall asleep easier and sleep through the night. For that, we have to listen to our kids.

What are your experiences with sleeping habits?

Please share your personal bedtime routine in the comments.

About the Author

Ilka Emig is a passionate self-development writer, lovable scientist and mother of two funny, constantly question asking and knowledge craving kids. She is on a mission to motivate parents to relax and enjoy their kids. Ilka Emig is a contributor to KachyTV Blog and writes at

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