Sleep Patterns and Sleeping Tips for Children


Sleeping is one of the basic requirements of all living creatures, not only humans. In humans, during early development, sleeping serves to be the prime brain activity. Light and dark regulate the sleep-wake cycles, also referred as the Circadian rhythms.


This results in irregular sleep schedules taking roots in infants. Development of these rhythms begins in babies as early as six weeks and by the time a baby gets three to six months old; he or she has developed a regular sleep-wake cycle. There are chances of children developing inappropriate circadian rhythms, leading to some serious sleep disorders. In order to keep such a possibility at bay, parents should be aware and knowledgeable on how to nurture the best baby sleep patterns. Healthy sleeping tips stated below for every age group would be a great help for you in this regard.

1 Newborn Sleep Patterns (1 – 2 months olds)
Sleep occurs in newborns around the clock and the sleep-wake cycle is only interacted by their need to be fed, nurtured and changed. They are expected to sleep from about 10.5 to 18 hours every single day on irregular intervals with awakening periods ranging from 1 to 3 hours in between. On the other hand, sleep period may range anywhere between a few minutes to several hours. When asleep, various activities can be observed in them like smiling, sucking, restlessness and twitching of arms and legs.

baby sleep tips

Newborn Sleeping Tips

  • Keenly observe their sleep patterns, so that you can identify any particular sings of sleepiness in them
  • Put them to sleep in the crib when they appear drowsy, not asleep
  • The best practice is to place babies on their back with head and face clear from any blankets or other such items
  • Try to nurture night time sleep

2 Infant Sleep Patterns (3 – 11 months old)
By the time infants turns six months, their night time feeding requirements reduce significantly and many of them are able to sleep through the night. 70% to 80% of the infants are able to achieve this landmark by 9 months. During this period of their infancy, they are able to sleep 9 – 12 hours at night and take naps 1 to 4 times a day comprising of somewhere between 30 minutes to two hours. Naps reduce in instances and durations when they reach 1st year of their lives.

baby sleep tips

Infant Sleep Tips

  • Develop regular sleep schedules for bedtime as well as daytime
  • Develop an enjoyable and consistent bedtime routine
  • Introduce them consistently to a “sleep friendly ambience”
  • Nurture the habit of independent sleeping in them, so that they can become “self-soother” sleepers

3 Toddler Sleep Patterns (1 – 3 years)
12-14 hours is the time toddlers up to 3 years old need during a 24-hour period, with naptimes reducing to one a day (1-3hours). By this time, many of them start experiencing certain sleep problems such as night time awakenings, resistance in going to bed, nightmares and other night time fears. To avoid such sleep problems in children, resort to the tips followed.

baby sleep tips

Toddler Sleep Tips

  • Develop a daily sleep schedule and follow it consistently with consistent bedtime routine as well
  • Set same kind of bedroom environment every night, making sure it stays the same throughout the night
  • Set the limits not appearing too strict to your babies. Communicate and enforce them. Encourage using a reference security object like a stuffed animal or blanket

4 Preschooler Sleep Patterns (3 – 5 years)
By this age, your kids confine them to sleeping 11-13 hours per night and most of them stop napping after the age of 5. Just like toddlers, preschoolers are quite likely to experience night waking and difficulty in falling asleep. Since they have developed their imagination by this time, their chances of experiencing nightmares and night time fears increase. As a matter of fact, sleep terrors and sleepwalking peaks during preschool years.

baby sleep tips

Preschooler Sleep Tips

  • Developing and following a consistent and convenient sleep schedule is of prime importance
  • Develop a relaxing and convenient bedtime routine that ends where your child sleeps
  • Give your child a consistent sleeping environment that involves a cool, dark and quiet room, making sure that it is without a TV

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