How much sleep does my toddler need

View Kim West, LCSW-C's video on How much sleep does my toddler need...
How much sleep does my toddler need | Kids in the House
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

How much sleep does my toddler need

The right amount of sleep is essential for our children, because important things are happening to them when they're sleeping. And the averages are really quite small. It's 11 hours of sleep at night for a 2-year old and 2 during the day, so that's 13 hours total. And the infamous they, which I do find supported in my practice, say that you can only be off that average by no more than an hour. So your 2-year old shouldn't get less than 12 hours combined. And I really find this to be true. So parents when they say, well I'm good on 6 hours of sleep. Maybe my 2 year old is okay. Maybe they'll be fine on 9 hours of sleep. Maybe they will. But usually it's less than 5% of the population operates well with less than the average amount of sleep. So it could be that your 2 year old is in that average 5%, but I would watch for their behavior and make sure that they're not actually tired earlier in the night and don't really need that long stretch of sleep so that they can function well and take in and learn from their environment.

View Kim West, LCSW-C's video on How much sleep does my toddler need...


Expert Bio

More from Expert

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.

More Parenting Videos from Kim West, LCSW-C >