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How much sleep does my child need?

Updated: May 30

Having a rough idea of how much sleep your child needs during the day and how long they should be awake at any one time ( wake window) can help prevent over-tiredness building up which is one of the most common causes for nighttime waking and early rising.

To figure out an exact wake window for your child keep an eye on them around the approximate wake window time for their age and when they start to rub their eyes, yawn, get a bit grumpy or generally show signs of tiredness you will know they have gone past their wake window, meaning their wake window will be around 10 mins earlier. For example, if your child starts to show signs of tiredness 3 hrs after waking, then their wake window is probably 2hrs 50 mins.

The wake window is the easiest time for your child to fall asleep as it is when they are tired but not overtired. As soon as they go past tiredness their body will start to produce cortisol which acts like a shot of caffeine and starts preventing them from sleeping - this is why an overtired child often appears hyper.

Ideally, you want to have your child in bed ready to fall asleep at the time of their wake window so if you know your child has a wake window of 2hrs50 you want to start getting them ready for their nap around 2 hrs and 40 minutes after they wake.

Here's a little table showing approximately how much sleep your child should have...


Approximate Wake Window

No. of naps per day

The recommended amount of daytime sleep

0-5 months

45 mins - 2 hours



6-8 months

1 .5 - 3 hours


3 - 3.5 hours

9-11 months

2-4 hours


3 hours

12-18 months

4-6 hours


2.5 hours

2 years

5-6 hours


1. 5 hours

3 years

6+ hours

1 or quiet time

30 mins - 1.5 hours

4 years


1 or quiet time

0-30 mins

5 years


1 or quiet time


Hope this is helpful - if you have any questions about naps/ wake windows please get in touch :)


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