Childrearing

How Many Hours Of Sleep Should Your Toddler Be Getting?

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Toddlers are in a class all their own, right? You think you have this gig down when your kids are babies. And then they become toddlers and you realize that you have no idea what you’re doing! Having a toddler is one of the funnest and most intense stages of parenting, hands down. They’re wild and hilarious and sweet and sour. They’re also unpredictable and tend to thumb their cute little noses at your rules and schedules. But, toddlers have very specific needs for their growing brains and bodies! For a lot of parents, once their kid hits the toddler stage, things start to go sideways in some areas, like sleeping. Sleep? Pffffft, what sleep? If your kid is all over the place when it comes to sleeping, it can be frustrating. You want to make sure they’re getting enough. But how much sleep do toddlers need?

Obviously, kids need sleep. WE ALL DO. Most of us don’t get enough, and you may be worried your toddler falls into that category. So how much sleep do toddlers need?

As it turns out, way more than my toddlers every got on a consistent basis! Both of my kids dropped their naps completely by 18 months. And no, they didn’t suddenly start sleeping more at night. It’s like once they hit 2 or so, their brains just wanted to rage ALL THE TIME. I constantly worried they weren’t getting enough sleep, but since they seemed to function perfectly fine, I went with it. But looking back, we all would have done better with a couple more hours of shut-eye every night.

Between the ages of 1-3, your toddler should be sleeping about 12-14 hours a day.

That is … so much sleep. But they need it! There is so much happening in their brains, so many milestones checked off on a seemingly daily basis. Plus, a sleep-deprived toddler is not very pleasant to deal with, let’s be honest.

Most kids between those ages still take at least one nap a day, so we’re talking cumulative sleep here. Your toddler may nap for 1-2 hours in the afternoon, and sleep 9-10 hours at night. Most kids go to bed between 7-9 p.m. around this age, and wake up between 6-8 a.m. If your crew is up early to start your day, make sure their bedtime is adjusted accordingly so they’re getting enough sleep at night. It may take some work on your part to make sure they’re getting as much sleep as they need, but it’s definitely worth it in the long-run.

So how much sleep do toddlers need? Likely more than yours is getting. Every kid is different, so if your toddler is functioning just fine on their current sleep schedule, don’t stress about it! But if you’re concerned their lack of sleep is impacting their daily life, it’s worth making a few adjustments to make sure their needs are being met.

(Image: iStock / olesiabilkei)

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