Quick! How many hours of sleep are recommended for infants? Toddlers? Preschoolers? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following hours of sleep, during a 24 hour period:
- 12 to 16 hours for infants (4 – 12 months old) including naps
- 11 to 14 hours for toddlers (1 – 2 years old) including naps
- 10 to 13 hours for preschoolers (3 – 5 years old) including
- 9 to 12 hours for school agers (6 – 12 years old)
- 8 to 10 hours for teenagers (13 – 18 years)
During the summer, many families fall into the trap of not following a consistent sleep schedule with their kids. I get it, I am guilty of this as well. School is out so there is no longer a reason to enforce an early bedtime, right? Wrong! Although the “stay up late, sleep in all day” vibe of summer is in full effect it’s still important to follow a consistent sleep routine. I’m not trying to be a “downer” — I know it’s a treat to stay up late for kids but there needs to some parameters in order to make sure that children are still receiving all of the benefits of sleep during the lazy, hazy summer months. If you have a hard time convincing your kids that getting enough sleep is still important during the summer, tell them:
- Time to get to bed and grow! Your body secretes GH (growth hormone) primarily while you sleep. What’s GH? It’s a hormone that stimulates cell production so that you can grow bigger and bigger!
- Time to get to bed and not get the sniffles! Getting enough sleep at night will help you build cytokines. What are cytokines? Cytokines are proteins that growing bodies need to help fight infections. Having a cold during the summer is a bummer, so do your part to fight icky germs by catching some zzz’s!
- Time to get to bed to increase your attention span! Yes, I know that sounds awkward but let me explain. Getting the recommended sleep hours helps increase your attention span because you will be well-rested. If you have a good night’s sleep you will be less distracted and less impulsive, allowing you to focus on the tasks presented to you. For example, getting enough sleep before we head to the park in the morning will help you be a safe climber because you’ll be rested and able to focus on what you are doing with your body as you grip the ladders.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear how you address summer sleep habits. Please send your tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org