How much sleep does my toddler need?

  • By six months about 50% of babies are sleeping at least 5 hours in one continuous stretch at night. They are optimistically considered to be ‘sleeping through the night’.
  • If your toddler regularly sleeps for more than 2 hours during the day, waking him may encourage him to sleep longer at night.
  • While day sleeps will still occur, as he approaches his first birthday, your child will get most of his sleep at night.
  • Most children will continue to have two sleeps a day until 12 to 15 months, at which point they will transition to one day sleep.
  • Toddlers need 10-12 hours sleep a night. Most will continue to have a nap each day that lasts between one and two hours, until they are 3-4 years old.
  • Toddlers sleep deepest between 8pm and midnight so getting them to sleep between 7 and 8pm will encourage quality sleep.
  • 41% of young children between 2 and 3 years, will still wake once or twice a night, with a smaller percentage waking more often than that.
  • Many toddlers will have had all the sleep they need overnight by 5.30 – 6 am.

This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot New Zealand. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health.


  1. dawnblyth 02/12/2018 at 5:53 pm

    This explains why both my boys wake around 6am! My eldest cut out his day sleeps at 2yrs old and was sleeping reasonably well from then on. My 3yr old, nearly 4, cut out just before his 3rd birthday and sleeps all night usually. Both boys, if they are or were to have a day sleep then getting them to sleep at night time becomes a major issue so we try to avoid a day sleep, even in the car, if we can.

  2. Bevik1971 02/12/2018 at 9:05 am

    I remember those days haha. My daughter didnt sleep much during the day but was pretty good at night sleeping about 8-10 hours. Now shes nearly 6 and is up at about 6am every morning! 🤨😮. She dropped her day sleeps quite early as a toddler too from memory

  3. Alezandra 01/12/2018 at 11:41 pm

    Toddlers sleep deepest between 8pm and midnight so getting them to sleep between 7 and 8pm will encourage quality sleep. — this is a very key thing I’ve come to realise so early to bed has become important to us. But there are nights when my toddler fights sleep. This sounds accurate as around 1 am he makes a sound and usually wakes up and tries to get into our bed.

  4. kymmage 30/11/2018 at 11:24 pm

    This is good info. I think it’s especially important to understand that sleeping through is not really sleeping through. And that waking in the night even as old as 3 or 4 is not necessarily bad. Every kid is different.

  5. Mands1980 29/11/2018 at 1:19 pm

    This has a lot of great information my kids had 2 sleeps a day when under a year old then went to once a day. They require a lot of sleep even as they get older mine are in bed by 7pm most nights and you notice it if they are later to bed the next day.

  6. Jen_Wiig 28/11/2018 at 9:28 am

    My youngest little man who’s just turned 4 still has an afternoon nap after kindy until dinner time then goes back to sleep for the night at around 8-9pm up at 7am, apparently I was the same right up until I was 12 then finally dropped the afternoon sleep…some kids need more sleep than others I guess.

  7. Shorrty4life1 27/11/2018 at 6:29 pm

    Great information for parents with little ones. I’ve got two older children and I am always making sure they get at least 8-10hrs sleep a night. I think this is a great amount of sleep to deal with the day ahead of them whether it be full on or cruisy. Will definitely show this to my brothers with younger children it could be super useful for them ♥

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