Children's Sleep and Relaxation

at Childcare

Did you know:

A sleep during the day can help your baby or child sleep better at night. Even if your child sleeps well at night they still need a sleep during the day, whether it be in the morning and afternoon or a mid-day sleep until they are 2 and a half to 3 and a half years old. Try to settle your child for a day sleep before they become too overtired and agitated to relax.

Children under 6 months

Newborns sleep on and off through the day and night.

Babies aged 3-6 months might start moving towards a pattern of 2-3 daytime sleeps of up to two hours each. They might still wake at least once at night.

Children aged 6 to 12 months

From about six months, babies have their longest sleep at night.

Between six and 12 months, most babies are in bed between 6 pm and 10 pm. They usually take less than 30 minutes to get to sleep (but about 10% of babies take longer).

Most babies can sleep for a period of six hours or more at night and are waking less. About 60% will wake only once during the night and need a grown-up to settle them back to sleep. About one in 10 will call out 3-4 times a night. More than a third of parents report problems with their baby’s sleep at this age.

Around 85-90% of infants aged 6-12 months are still having daytime naps. These naps usually last 1-2 hours. Some infants will sleep longer, but up to a quarter nap for less than an hour.

Children aged from 12 months

From this age, children tend to sleep better. Some toddlers start to resist going to sleep at night, preferring to stay up with the family – this is the most common sleep problem reported by parents. It peaks around 18 months and improves with age.

Less than 5% of two-year-olds wake three or more times overnight.

Children aged from 3 years

Children aged 3-5 years need around 11-13 hours of sleep a night. Some might also have a day nap that lasts for about an hour.

Children aged 6-9 need 10-11 hours sleep a night. They’re usually tired after school and might look forward to bedtime from about 7.30 pm.

A snap shot of MCCC Sleep and Relaxation Policy

Staff are responsible for:


·ensuring the educational program provides opportunities for each child to sleep, rest or engage in appropriate quiet play activities, as required

· developing relaxation and sleep practices that are responsive to:

- the individual needs of children at the Centre

- parenting beliefs, values, practices and requirements

- the length of time each child spends at the Centre

- circumstance or events occurring at a child’s home

- consistency of practice between home and the Centre

- a child’s general health and wellbeing

- the physical environment, including room temperature, lighting, airflow and noise levels

· documenting and communicating children’s rest and sleep times to co-workers during shift changes

· providing information to families about the Centre’s relaxation and sleep practices

· developing communication strategies to inform families about their child’s rest and sleep patterns, including times and length of sleep

· encouraging children’s independence, and assisting children with dressing as needed.