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May 4, 2022

Creating a Sleep Schedule for Your Child

Written by Karissa Monzo, Family Support Navigator

Alright folks! Let’s talk about one of our favorite things – sleep! We never get enough of it, we always seem to want more, and we envy those parents with older kids that sleep past 7 a.m. Can anyone relate? Sleep is so important to not only our children’s health and development, but for our own physical and mental health as parents. First, let’s look at how much sleep our kids should be getting based on their age: 


              12 months: Around 11-14 hours of sleep each day (this includes 1-2 naps) 

              18 months: Around 11-14 hours of sleep each day (this includes 1 nap) 

              2 years: Anywhere between 10-15 hours of sleep per day (can include a nap)  

              3 years: 10-13 hours of sleep per day (typically no nap at this point) 

              4 years: 10-13 hours is best (some kids only sleep 8-9 hours) 

              5 years: 10-13 hours of sleep each day 


Now that we know how much sleep our little one should be getting, let’s look at what changes we can make to help everyone get as much sleep as possible! Some parents keep their little ones up late thinking they will sleep in and give them a few more hours of glorious rest. Sounds like it should work, right? Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect. Kids commonly react to being tired by being overactive and hyper. Much like adults, kids have normal cycles of sleep and when we keep them up later than we should, their sleep cycles are thrown off. This can also lead to your child having a more difficult time falling asleep!  


Use the times above as a guide and adjust your child’s sleep schedule if you need. You may find an earlier bedtime helps the kids sleep in (strange, but true!).  Remember, you are the expert on your child so if they need more or less sleep than what is suggested, that is okay and perfectly normal! Use your child’s behavior as a guide and follow their cues.  


Please reach out to Family Futures at navigation@familyfutures.net if you would like more information or want to talk with a Family Support Navigator about this topic. Sweet dreams!