Newborns - 4mo

  • ​The circadian rhythm of sleep is not completely established in babies until the age of 4m so light has less influence on newborn sleep
  • Newborns can sleep up to 18-20 hours per day but the average is about 14 1/2 hours daily with erratic patterns of feeding and sleeping
  • Infants start their sleep in active sleep (dreaming/rapid eye movements, etc) and move into quiet sleep v. older babies/children who begin sleep with quiet sleep and then move into active sleep
  • Average night waking is 2-3x by 2m of age, 1-2x by 4m of age and about 1x by 6m of age with 80% of babies sleeping through night by 1 year of age

4-12 mo

  • Usually sleeping about 14-15 hours daily 
  • More regular nap schedules; by 9m, babies are usually taking 2 naps/day
  • 80% of infants by age 1yo are sleeping long stretches at night of 8-10 hours

1-2 yo

  • Recommended sleep time is about 12-14 hours but many toddlers only get about 10 hours based on current research
  • Naps are usually once a day in the afternoon from 1-3 hours


  • Recommended sleep time about 10-12 hours per day
  • Most 3 year olds are still taking an afternoon nap; by age 4y, naps begin to shorten or are more sporadic
  • Most 5 year olds are no longer taking a nap


No TV in the bedroom for all age groups


4-8 yo

  • Recommended sleep time is 10-12 hours - good quality sleep improves learning and retention of new facts
  • Limit daily screen time to 1-2 hours total including phones, computers, video games and television
  • Limit screen time to at least 1 hour prior to bedtime as screen light emissions can interfere with melatonin release which allows us to initiate sleep
  • Watch television together when possible and discuss as these can be teachable moments

9-12 yo

  • Recommended sleep time is 10-11 hours at night
  • Limit screen time before bedtime by at least 1 hour as screen light emission interferes with melatonin release
  • Remove phones and other electronic devices from the bedroom - set a rule that phones and devices must be placed in a designated space prior to bedtime

13-18 yo

  • Recommended sleep is 8-9 hours nightly
  • Teens actually need more sleep compared to their younger siblings but are less likely to get it
  • Biologically, the teen brain is wired to stay up later and wake later in the morning.  Teens do much better in school and their lives if they can start their day later.  Some school districts have switched the schedules to begin high schools later and elementary schools earlier.
  • Encourage relaxation that does not involve an electronic device or phone