Toddler sleep is an important issue. Parents of tots need answers to important questions like: How much sleep should my child get? How many naps should my little one take? What is a good bedtime? How can I make sure my child is getting enough sleep? and What are the consequences of lack of sleep for my little one?
How Much Sleep Should a Toddler Get?
It’s generally accepted that a child between the ages of 1yrs old – 3 yrs old will need between 12-14 hours of sleep. This is how much a child will generally need in a 24 hour period, so this number includes naps and night time sleep.
How Many Naps Should my Child Be Taking Per Day?
A young toddler’s nap schedule generally consists of two naps per day, a morning nap and an afternoon nap. Young children will generally give up the morning nap sometime between 15-21 months old, though some give it up sooner or later.
Toddler naps are usually 1-3 hours long. As the toddler gets older, the naps may become shorter in length. Some children give up napping completely during this stage, but many continue to nap much longer, through the age of 3 or longer.
What is a Good Toddler Bedtime?
The right bedtime for your tot will depend on his/her own habits and needs. Many young children wake up at roughly the same time in the morning no matter what time they were put to bed.
Because of this, it’s important to put your little one to bed at a time that will allow him/her to get enough rest.
Take, for example, a child who wakes up at 7 am and takes a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. This child would need to go to bed between 7 pm- 9pm every night to get the 12-14 hours of rest needed each day.
Many recommend a slightly earlier bedtime, giving your child some time to unwind before going to sleep.
What Factors Affect How Much Sleep my Toddler Needs?
There are several factors that can affect how much rest your little one needs.Your tot will generally need more sleep under these circumstances:
- Getting Poor Sleep Quality (Including Night Waking)
- Having to Make up For Lost Sleep
What Can I Do To Make Sure My Child Gets Enough Sleep?
Here are some tips to help make sure your little one gets adequate rest:
- Have a naptime and bedtime routine.
- Have naptimes and bedtimes at roughly the same times each day.
- Don’t allow your tot to fall asleep while watching TV.
- People often sleep best in a quiet, dark environment that is not too hot or too cold.
- Help your toddler avoid a lot of physical activity right before bedtime.
What Happens if My Toddler Does Not Get Enough Rest?
Getting enough rest is important for young, growing children.A lack of sleep may cause many problems including:
- Irritability and crankiness
- Making it more difficult to fall asleep and get good quality sleep
- Increased night wakings
- Harder time concentrating
- Harder time controlling emotions
- May increase likelihood of obesity
- Lowered immune system function