Do you know whether your child is getting enough sleep? Or did you know that what seems like hyperactivity to you, including behavioral problems and a lack of attention span, can actually be caused by your child not getting enough sleep?
Getting enough sleep at night is important at any age, but especially when a child is in school during the day. All children vary somewhat, and may not all need the same amount of sleep, but here are some general guidelines to help you send your child to school well-rested and ready to learn.
Infants need the most sleep, as much as 17 hours out of every 24 during the first few weeks of life, and leveling off to around 12 to 15 hours a day by the time they’re a few months old. Even before your baby starts school, it’s important to make sure they get enough sleep, as you’re establishing self-soothing and sleep routines during this stage that will take them through childhood.
Little ones, 1 to 3 years of age, don’t need as much sleep as they did as infants, but they still need quite a bit. On average, toddlers need 11 to 14 hours and should get no less than 9 hours of sleep out of every 24. This includes not just overnight sleep, but also naps, with your toddler transitioning from two naps a day to one longer afternoon nap. As their world changes and grows, and especially as they start a daycare or early childhood education program, it’s important at this age to make sure your toddler gets enough sleep.
Around when your child reaches age 4 or 5, expect to see their sleep requirements going down again. At this age, they may start to give up their afternoon naps altogether. While they still need between 10 and 13 hours of sleep, you may need to put them to bed a little earlier every evening to make sure they get it. Ensuring they get enough sleep will enable them to pay better attention in school and to fine-tune important behavioral skills such as self-control.
School Aged Children
Once kids give up their naps and move into grade school, it’s easy to forget that they still need enough sleep every night to be on their best behavior every day. Don’t be tempted to view your school aged child as a little adult. They still need between 9 and 12 hours of sleep every night. Find a bedtime that provides them with enough sleep to perform at their best in class during the waking hours, and still have enough energy to carry them through extracurricular activities, homework, and family time in the evening.
Kids’ brains and bodies are changing so fast that they need their sleep even more than we do to help them grow and develop. Kids who aren’t getting enough sleep will have trouble paying attention or controlling their behavior, so plenty of sleep is also a necessary foundation for a successful education.
For more information about our Montessori schools, our teachers’ sleep recommendations, and how we promote healthy sleep habits in the classroom during nap time, please contact us today to schedule a tour. At the Montessori School of Fremont, we focus on nurturing the child as a whole; this includes encouraging regular sleeping patterns to ensure children are well rested and well prepared for the day ahead.