Sleep for preschoolers

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Sleep for preschoolers

The typical schedule for a 2 ½ to 4 year old is as follows. So they need 10-11 hours of sleep at night. So 2-year old needs 11 hours of a sleep at night. And a 3 year old needs 10.5 at night and 1.5 during the day. And your typical 4 year-old gives up their nap and they need 10-10.5 hours of sleep per night. So this leads me to a very popular question, which is when is my kid going to give up their nap? And what about my 2 or 2 ½ year old who thinks they no longer need to nap? I always think that they go through a phase where they think they're ready to get rid of their nap, but we know better as their parents. They really do still need a nap, and it's important that we keep that into their schedule. The typical age to get rid of a nap is about 4 years of age. But I have a lot of 3 ½ year olds that start dropping their nap. I ask parents to be open-minded and allow for a nap every other day or every few days or even as I like to say after maybe 3 days where their personality starts to turn for the worst, and you say today is a nap day. And the other days you have quiet time. Even if it's just a quiet activity a quiet DVD, a little snack, they just get to rest their body and slow down a little bit, which will help them be able to take in the world and learn all the rest of their waking hours.

See Kim West, LCSW-C's video on Sleep for preschoolers...


Expert Bio

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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