Parenting experts have revealed exactly when your child’s bedtime should be, depending on their age.
For toddlers, Angela Cain, child and teen therapist at Zoe Clews & Associates, suggested they need between 11 and 14 hours of sleep, including daytime naps, while three- to five-year-olds need 10 to 13 hours of restful sleep.
Meanwhile, 14- to 17-year-olds should go to bed no later than 10 p.m. and avoid electronic devices such as phones in their bedrooms before going to sleep.
Here, FEMAIL reveals the bedtimes you should set for your kids, according to the experts…
The amount of sleep children need depends largely on their age. Parenting experts tell FEMAIL exactly when kids should go to bed (stock photo)
0-6 months = 8 p.m
Eve Squires, the founder of Calm & Bright Sleep Support, co-author of Love To Sleep and sleep expert on The Baby Show said: ‘Once born, babies spend the vast majority of their time sleeping.
‘In the first six months of their lives, babies sleep between 14 and 17 hours a day, broken down into small periods in order to feed regularly.
‘In the first 6 months of life, it’s normal for bedtime to be much later than parents would expect, often going to bed at the same time as baby.
“Night sleep is likely to be broken and unpredictable, with frequent nocturnal awakenings and feedings and short naps.”
6-12 months = 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
‘From the age of 6-12 months, babies will probably need 11-12 hours at night with about 2-4 hours of sleep per day divided into 1-3 naps,’ Eve explains.
‘At this age, sleep serves as a service to the brain; enabling tremendous neural development and creating space for new learning.
“It also provides a boosted immune system, regulation of cardiovascular health, blood sugar control, appetite hormone regulation and decreased heart rate.”
Healthy babies can sleep soundly for 11-12 hours at this stage. That’s not to say they should, although family life is certainly more peaceful if they do.’
Toddlers (1-2 years) = 7pm
Angela explained, “Toddlers need the most sleep – anywhere from 11 to 14 hours of sleep, including naps during the day.
“A good nighttime routine creates a healthy sleep pattern — so ideally, bath time should always be between 6 and 6:30 p.m., followed by a calming bedtime story.”
“Lights should be out at 7pm, which means waking refreshed at 7am.” A few one-hour naps spread throughout the day is the recommended amount of sleep for optimal development.’
Eve added: ‘It’s quite normal at this age for sleep to remain interrupted or a battle, with bedtime negotiations taking some parents hours. Sleep can be worked on with parental consistency and commitment so that sleep needs can be met.”
Kindergarten (3-5 years) = 8pm
“Curious and active preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours of sleep,” Angela stressed. “As daytime naps are phased out, they can become irritable by the end of the day.
“Create a routine that allows their minds to settle down, starting with bath time between 6 and 6:30 p.m.
“You can follow this up with maybe a little television for 15 minutes, a bedtime story, and then the lights go out around 8 p.m. so they can wake up sometime after 6 a.m.”
School age (6 – 13 years) = 9:00 PM
Eve said: Sleep remains just as important in this age range, with children needing 9-11 hours a night to reach their full potential.
“Sleep is necessary to keep up with the demands of a busy school and personal life. Sufficient sleep lays the foundation for learning, making and keeping friendships, strengthening immunity and emotional regulation.’
Angela said, ‘Sleep is good for the brain, so the recommended amount of sleep for this age group is about 9-12 hours a day.
“Older kids still need a routine, but the elements (such as bedtime stories) can change. Bedtime should be between 8 and 9 p.m., depending on where they are in the age range.”
Teenager (14-17 years old) = 10:00 PM
“These are notoriously difficult years for both parents and children,” Angela warned. That’s why maintaining a healthy sleep routine is key to navigating it.
“A good habit to get into is removing all electronic devices from the bedroom to avoid the temptation to check social feeds.
“Bedtime should be between 9 and 10 p.m. — but they should create their own bedtime routine so they can relax while also encouraging independence.”
“If teens need to take a nap, as many do after they get out of school, it should be limited to 20 minutes to avoid day/night confusion or insomnia,” Eve urged.