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What time your child should go to bed

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Ah, the ever constant subject, bedtime! Whether it’s about the suitable bath, book, bottle sequence, the merits (or lack thereof) of In The Night Garden, or to night-light or not to night-light, everyone has an opinion of the best bedtime routine you should be adopting. And the same is true for bed times. Some people believe that the later you put your little one to bed the longer they will sleep in in the morning, giving you a leisurely morning to enjoy a coffee or a shower even, whilst others view past 7pm as sacred adult sofa-time, so bundle the children into bed as soon as the last morsel of dinner has been consumed.

However, some clever bods at Sleep Sisters have come up with a chart to give us all an idea of how much sleep our children need at various ages, and the appropriate bed times to allow them to get a full nights rest:


Age Hours of Sleep Bedtime Notes
Newborn 15-18 N.A. New babies don’t yet have any circadian rhythms, and they typically sleep in short spurts of two to four hours throughout the day and night.
1-4 months 14-15 8:00-11:00 These babies are still developing and feeding often throughout the night. Bedtime starts moving earlier by four months.
4-8 months 14-15 5:30 – 7:30 Circadian rhythms are emerging. Regular naps (ideally around 9, 12, 3) and an earlier bedtime help these babies get the sleep they need for significant physical and mental development. Bedtime may be on the early side of this range if naps are missed or short.
8 -10 months 12-15 5:30 – 7:00 Babies this age may only take two naps (9am, 1pm). Bedtime should be no later than 3.5 hrs after second nap ends. Bedtime may move earlier to compensate for lack of third nap.
10-15 months 12-14 6:00 -7:30 Babies may be transitioning to only one nap in the afternoon, so bedtime may need to move earlier for a while. Bedtime should be no later than 4 hours after waking from nap.
15 months – 3 years 12-14 6:00 -7:30 Naps may end during this period, or be inconsistent. Move bedtime earlier to help adjustment to no nap.
3 – 6 years 11-13 6:00 – 8:00 Your child will likely drop the afternoon nap. Once your child is no longer napping, he will need an extra hour of sleep at night, so adjust bedtime accordingly.
7 – 12 years 10-11 7:30 – 9:00 School age children are still experiencing enormous growth, are very active, and require a lot of sleep. Adequate sleep helps with school performance, behaviour, attention, memory, and more.
Teenagers 9+ See note Many teens need to be up early for school. Count backwards from wake time to find the bedtime that ensures they are getting enough sleep. Keep in mind it takes kids an average of 15 minutes to fall asleep, and likely more if they have a lot on their minds.

What do you think? When do your children go to bed? Comment or tweet us @ollieandleila and let us know your thoughts!

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