As a parent, you may be concerned about your child’s progress. If you are provided with a chart that lists “average” or “typical” behaviors, you can’t help but compare your child’s performance to the values on this chart. Until recently, the charts that described sleep recommendations for your child’s age were quite specific, and may have been causing parents concern since their child didn’t seem to be getting the “recommended” amount of sleep. Now with recent research findings, much has changed and the old charts are outdated.
The National Sleep Foundation recently published revised sleep time duration recommendations. In addition, they have added supplemented their sleep range recommendations with an additional range they’ve called “may be appropriate” that takes into account the variability of children’s sleep needs.
There is a broad range for normal sleep
You no longer need to stress because your child is getting 1 or 2 hours less or more sleep than what is recommended. There is a broad range of what is considered normal and acceptable sleep amounts.
Here’s an example of the new recommendations: Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range recommendation narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18). New ranges for May be Appropriate of 11 to 13 hours and 18 to 19 hours have been added. Not recommended: Less than 11 hours or more than 19 hours.
The National Sleep Foundation has published a handy graphic that illustrates these new recommendations as well as the new May Be Appropriate ranges.
The study itself was published December 2014 in Sleep Health, the Journal of the National Sleep Foundation.
This chart has proven to still cause a great deal of concern for some parents. Please consider the light blue and dark blue areas the range or what is acceptable and normal. And yes these amounts are for a 24 hour period and include naps. I would suggest using this one: