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How much sleep should your child really get?

How much sleep should your child really get?

To support the rapid physical and mental development that children experience, sleep is absolutely essential. But when it comes to sleep and your child, how much is enough? While there are no hard and fast rules, sleep experts have provided guidelines largely dependent on the age of the child. With lack of sleep reported to delay childhood cognitive development by as much as two years, helping your child achieve an appropriate level is imperative.

The guidelines recommend that including nap time, newborn babies sleep between 15 and 18 hours each day, with toddlers requiring around 12-14 hours. As your child approaches school age and becomes more active, day time naps will disappear and you should be aiming to achieve 10-12 hours sleep each night for your child. Teenagers, notorious for their poor sleep habits, report that as many as 90% of them do not succeed in realising the 9-10 hours recommended for optimum performance.

All children are different and individual needs will vary from one child to the next. As a parent, you are well placed to read the signals and determine how much sleep your child needs. A tired child may be drowsy, irritable or have difficulty concentrating. Confusingly, unlike adults, instead of calming down an overtired child may rev up, appearing hyperactive and resist all attempts at bedtime.

For this reason, it is important to introduce good sleep habits from an early age. A consistent bedtime routine is a good way to beat the bedtime battle, helping your child to prepare for bed. Sleep is vital to maintain your child's health and well-being. The MiniJumbuk website offers sleep solutions for kids of all ages but if you suspect an underlying cause for your child's sleeplessness, seek professional advice - after all, no one wants a cranky kid!

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