Saturday, January 24, 2009

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

When my son turned 18 months he went from two naps a day to just one in the afternoon. Now that he's already 2 1/2 years old he still takes an average of 2 hours naptime. He is a good night sleeper, he sleeps through the night unless he missed his afternoon nap. So that is how important naptime is to him and to me as well. He is usually restless at night and cries every now and then when he missed his nap, and it's not fun getting up in the middle of the night.

So how many hours of sleep should a toddler have? Well it varies from child to child, and even from day to day in the same child. Toddlers sleep an average of twelve hours a day in the 3rd year, but that's an average that takes into account those who sleep only 10 hours and those who sleep 14, those who nap and those who don't.

If your toddler has recently given up his afternoon nap, you can expect him to be sleepier and crankier than usual until his body adjusts to his new shut-eye schedule. But as long as he is able to function well on the sleep he is getting you can rest assured he is getting enough. If he is not functioning up to par, continue to be tired and cranky, consider moving bedtime ahead a bit to compensate for the nap he's nixed.

My son is usually in bed between 8 and 8:30pm and he wakes up before 7am. And then he takes a nap for at least 2 hours every afternoon. So he's getting at least 13 hours of sleep total. I am careful about him not missing two naptimes in a row, otherwise he won't function really well that will stress me out too.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right. I always thought you really had to feel your way through this subject, and follow your child's needs.

    My two eldest took an afternoon nap until they were four! But my fifth child stopped taking naps when he was two.

    It's very different per child.