Sleep is very important to a child's wellbeing. There's no set amount of sleep that all children of a particular age need, but here's a guide to the approximate hours of sleep they should aim for.
First few weeks - daytime: up to 8 hours; night time: up to 9 hours
3 months - daytime: 4 to 5 hours; night time: 10 to 11 hours
6 months to 2 years - daytime: 2.5 - 3 hours; night time: 11 hours
2 years - daytime: 1.5 hours; night time: 11.5 hours
3 years - daytime: up to 45 minutes; night time: 11.5 - 12 hours
4 – 5 years - night time: 11 – 11.5 hours
How lack of sleep can affect children
Evidence shows that night time sleep is just as important as healthy eating and exercise for children to develop. Those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese. This is because they tend to crave and eat sugary or starchy food during the day to give them energy to stay awake.
Younger children who are persistently sleep-deprived seem irritable and overactive, seek constant stimulation and don’t concentrate well. Such symptoms can be mistaken for mild ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
For more information, see www.nhs.uk