THIS Is What Good Baby Sleep Looks Like, According To Science.

good baby sleep

It’s that time again: time for new sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Every so often, the AASM releases recommendations for healthy child sleep; now, we have their 2016 recommendations. Let’s take a look!

How Much Sleep Do Babies and Toddlers Need?

Our team looked at this area of the report first, and we were very pleased to learn that our sleep plan recommendations line up exactly with the recommended sleep totals from the AASM:

  • Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Why Is Good Baby and Toddler Sleep Important?

We’ve written about this quite a bit before and were very pleased to see that the new AASM recommendations reiterate the importance of quality sleep while also warning about the dangers of chronic sleep deprivation. From the report:

The group found that adequate sleep duration for age on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.

Not getting enough sleep each night is associated with an increase in injuries, hypertension, obesity and depression, especially for teens who may experience increased risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

We would add to this that, among parents of young children, “adequate sleep” can sometimes bec considered an afterthought or an unattainable goal. In reality, however, all babies and toddlers CAN learn to sleep soundly and nap consistently with some gentle sleep coaching from mom or dad. Even better, when you prioritize sleep early on in your child’s life, you create a foundation for lifelong healthy sleep habits that will benefit your child well into their adult years.

And speaking of healthy sleep habits, this brings us to the final recommendation from the AASM….

Why “Screens Off” Is A Key Part Of Healthy Sleep Hygiene

There are many elements that make up healthy sleep “hygiene”, including….

Interestingly, however, the AASM prioritizes one sleep hygiene recommendation above all others:

In addition to these recommendations, the AAP suggests that all screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime and that TV, computers and other screens not be allowed in children’s bedrooms.

Why the focus on eliminating screens from the bedroom and minimizing screen time right before bed? Perhaps because we are living in the most “wired” society in human history! Your family (children included) is no doubt surrounded by screens of all shapes and sizes all day long. But in truth, TV and sleep just do not mix. It’s so crucial, then, that limited screen time and no screens in the bedroom be an integral part of your family’s sleep routines.

How much sleep do your children get? Questions or comments about these baby and toddler sleep guidelines? Scroll down to leave a question or a comment and to hear from other parents!

All content of The Baby Sleep Site®, such as articles, e-guides, e-Books, advice, evaluative consultations, text, graphics, images, and other material contained on The Baby Sleep Site® (“Content”) are for informational and supportive purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always, always, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your or your child’s medical condition(s), behaviors, feeding and sleeping habits, and environment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on The Baby Sleep Site®.

The Baby Sleep Site® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other product affiliate programs. If you click on a product link and make a purchase, The Baby Sleep Site® may (but not always) receive a small commission from the company selling the product, but will not affect your purchase price. We only recommend products that we believe are quality products and are good for our readers.

Holistic Sleep Solutions from The Baby Sleep Site®

e-Book bundles

Do-It-Yourself: Just getting started with your research but you want to stop Googling? Choose from any of our e-book bundles for practical advice you can put to use TODAY!  

Become a VIP Member

Do-It-Mostly-Yourself: Would you like to continue learning with the option of getting answers from an expert sleep consultant? We have a perfect solution! Become a VIP Member for access to all of our premium content. This includes ALL of our e-books and bonuses, audio courses, access to our “ask the author” feature giving you answers to your pressing questions from an expert baby sleep consultant, and more!

Get a Personalized Sleep Plan

Work With a Sleep Expert: Tap into over a decade of experience with thousands of families before you! Get a Personalized Sleep Plan® just for your unique situation, get guidance and answers to all your “what if?” questions while you work through your plan, and benefit from expert support along the way. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard “I wish I had done this sooner!” Not sure? Read these stories from well-rested parents.

Don’t lose another wink of sleep — GET STARTED TODAY with our gentler, kinder approach to healthy sleep!

FREE Guide: Five Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night

Join over 500,000 parents for 15+ years & sign up today to receive the guide and Newzzz, our Baby Sleep Newsletter absolutely FREE!

Share to...