As a professional child sleep consultant, one of the most common questions I hear from parents is, “How much sleep SHOULD my child be getting?” And the answer is, “It depends!”
If you are the parent of newborn baby (1 – 3 months of age), then your little one may be sleeping as much as 20 hours a day, although you probably shouldn’t expect your child to go for long stretches of sleep at any one time. (Their tiny stomachs can’t hold much food, so they’ll wake to feed quite frequently.)
If your newborn is getting less than about 15 hours of sleep per day, it’s probably not enough. You may notice your child getting agitated easily, and displaying “tired” behaviors such as arching the back, rubbing eyes, and crying.
Between 3 and 6 months of age, your child will start needing a little less sleep – especially during the daytime. At this age, two naps during the day (each lasting 1 to 3 hours), and a solid 11 – 13 hours during the night is ideal. This is a good amount of sleep for a child up until the age of about 1 year.
Sometime around your child’s 1st birthday (14 months is typical in my experience), they’ll probably drop down to just one nap per day, ideally lasting somewhere between 1.5 and 3 hours. Your toddler should be sleeping between 11 and 13 hours (uninterrupted) during the night.
Between the ages of about 2½ and 3½ years, your toddler will probably stop napping altogether, but should still be getting between 11 and 13 hours of sleep at night.