Sleep: What’s Normal?

childcare apex ncWhat’s “normal” when it comes to sleep?

The rate of growth from infancy to preschooler progresses more rapidly than any other period of childhood. It seems you just get used to one routine and it morphs into something else. Because your child’s growth pattern is constantly changing it’s hard for some parents to know how much sleep their child actually needs. The following guidelines may help:

Infants (From birth to 1 year old)

The average sleep time for newborn babies is about 16 to 20 hours. Infants usually want to eat about every 2 to 4 hours and often fall asleep right after eating. Their sleep patterns are usually divided into 3 to 4 sleep periods a day. Infants continue this pattern around the clock and usually wake up at least once during the night. At about 3 months of age they will usually begin to sleep for a longer period at night. “Sleeping through the night” generally means a 6 hour span of uninterrupted sleep.

By one year of age, babies will sleep 13 to 14 hours a day, however 1 out of 5 infants are still not sleeping through the night by this age.

Toddlers (From 1 to 2 years of age)

Toddlers usually sleep 11 to 13 hours a day, including an afternoon nap. Toddlers may feel scared to go to sleep or wake up in the dark. Bedtime routines such as regular bedtimes, baths, bedtime stories, or a favorite stuffed toy may help a toddler relax and settle down for sleep.

Preschoolers (From 3 to 5 years of age)

Including nighttime sleep and a 1 to 2 hour nap, preschoolers generally sleep 10 to 12 hours a day. Even if they stop napping, preschoolers may be less fussy in the evening if they’ve had some sort of quiet time for rest in the afternoon.

Many preschoolers, may continue to wet the bed at night. If the child has plenty to drink during the day, withholding liquids 2 to 3 hours before bedtime may help the child stop wetting during the night. Waking the child to go to the bathroom before you go to bed is another method.

Preschoolers may begin to have nightmares once or twice a week. They are often dream about being abandoned or about scary animals or monsters.This is most likely to happen after a busy day or after watching a scary movie. Mild comforting and a night light will help them overcome their fears.


AsheBridge Children’s Academy offers quality preschool education for our communities in Apex, Cary, Fuquay, Holly Springs, Angier, and surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn about all the fun things that set us apart from the other daycare and childcare centers.