Sleep Tips for Children

Sleep Tips for Children

Getting enough sleep is as important for your child as eating well and being active. Having a good sleep every night makes your child happier. It also helps them to concentrate and improves their behaviour.

When your child sleeps well - you get a better night's sleep as well!

How much sleep do children need?

The amount of sleep we need changes with age. As a guide, children need the following amounts of good quality sleep, including naps.

Age of Child Amount of Sleep (a guide only)
Infants 0 – 3 months 14 to 17 hours
Infants 4 - 11 months 12 to 16 hours
Toddlers 12 – 24 months 11 to 14 hours
Pre-schoolers 3 - 5 years 10 to 13 hours (many children stop napping by this age)

Tips to help children sleep well

  • Create a sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day – even on the weekend.
  • Set up a bedtime routine to follow every day. For example, bath, change into pyjamas, brush teeth, read or spend quiet time in their bedroom, lights out and go to sleep.
  • Relax before bedtime. Consider playing soft music or reading to them.
  • Make sure the bedroom is quiet and dark or dimly lit.
  • If your child is anxious or afraid at night, use a night light.
  • Keep screens outside of the bedroom. Turn off screens one hour before bedtime.
  • Create time for children to get outdoors and be active during the day.
  • Limit caffeine, such as cola or chocolate, especially in the afternoon.
  • Have a regular meal routine. Try to plan dinner so it is not too close to bedtime and start the day with a nourishing breakfast.

Need some help

Some children experience sleep problems. If you have concerns for your child’s sleep, speak to your GP.