There’s no way around it: the baby’s sleep will almost always take away yours. If they wake up multiple times during the night, both you and the baby will become exhausted and yearning for a good night’s sleep. If the baby sleeps uninterrupted, you start to wonder whether or not they’re breathing and if it’s normal to spend that much time inside the crib without eating. You simply cannot stop worrying! The quality and quantity of sleep are very important for the child’s overall development.
It’s during this period that the child secretes growth hormones and when their short term memory gets processed into long term memory. Those who get enough sleep will also properly develop their attention span, emotional control and behavior. Those who don’t are at higher risk of developing diseases such as obesity.
But what is the ideal amount of hours for your child to fully rest?
Each child has their own rhythm, of course. But, some behaviors are expected. If, in the beginning, naps become an all-day thing, during cycles of diaper changes, breastfeeding and actual sleep, just before turning one the child should be more established, with about two periods a day. As they turn one, it’s normal for naps to be limited to only one a day. Generally speaking, your child should keep this daytime rest habit until they turn three, but it depends on the child.
See below the ages and recommended sleep time, according to the American Sleep Association:
0 to 3 months: 14h to 17h a day in total (including naps), but anywhere from 11h to 13h and 18h to 19h is also acceptable.
4 to 11 months: 12h to 15h in total, but 10h to 11h or 16h to 18h is also acceptable.
1 to 2 years and 11 months: 11h to 14h, but anywhere from 9h to 10h and 15h to 16h is also acceptable.
Naps according to age:
0 to 6 months: Longer cycles throughout the day
6 months: 2 to 3 hours of sleep split into two or three daily naps
1 year: 2 to 3 hours of sleep split into two daily naps
2 years: one nap of about 1h30 on average per day
3 years: one 1h nap per day