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How much sleep does my child need?

This will depend on their age, but it’s important to remember that every child is different.

See below for the amount of sleep your child needs based on research.

Age Amount of sleep
Newborn (up to 3 months)  11 to 18 hours every 24 hours
Babies (3 to 11 months) 9 to 12 hours at night plus 1 to 4 naps of between 30 minutes and 2 hours
Toddlers (1 to 3 years) 12 to 14 hours
Pre-schoolers (3 to 5 years) 11 to 13 hours
School-age (5 to 12 years) 10 to 11 hours


Why does my child need a bedtime routine?

A good bedtime routine can be key to a good night’s sleep. Babies and children feel more relaxed if they know what’s coming next, so establishing a routine will help them to relax and fall asleep easily.

Stick to your routine as much as you can, even when you’re not at home. It can help a child to settle in unfamiliar surroundings. It does not matter what you do, so long as you try to keep it the same every night.

What should a bedtime routine include?

It may involve:

  • a bath
  • cleaning teeth
  • changing nappies and putting on pyjamas
  • saying goodnight to family members, pets and favourite toys
  • reading a story
  • having a cuddle
  • playing gentle music.

A bedtime routine can be good for parents too – it’s a special time to spend with your child.

What should I do if my child can not stay asleep?

You could try using a ‘gro bag’ if they are under 3 years, or a ‘mummy bag.’ You can also tuck older children in tightly with layers of light (not fluffy) blankets.

You could also try swaddling by wrapping your baby gently in a very thin, pure cotton sheet to reduce the risk of overheating. It’s really important to regulate your baby/child’s temperature. If you have any concerns, please contact your Health Visitor for advice and support.