The 10 Commandments of Good Sleep - how much sleep does my child need? was brought into this world by Wellington-based dads Scott Lancaster, Eric Mooij and Stefan Korn who recognised the need for a dedicated website for fathers. Based on their own experiences of struggling to find useful parenting related information specifically aimed at dads they created

I have just come across an initiative called "The World Sleep Day" which is looking at improving sleep for children (and adults). So they have put together the "10 Commandments of healthy sleep" - very useful to know no matter how old your child is. Check it out:

Sleep is one of the most important contributors to your child's physical and mental health. Good sleep habits, sleep hygiene, or “sleep health” are alternative terms often used to describe sleep promoting practices. The explanation as to why healthy sleep practices promote sleep is likely to be, at least in part, that they work by improving the regulation of sleep, either by reinforcing the body’s natural circadian rhythms (ie, timing of light and darkness), or by increasing the drive to sleep. Other sleep practices help us to associate certain activities (like a bedtime routine) and environments (ie, the bedroom) with sleep. Healthy sleep behaviors also promote sleep by reducing factors in the environment which are stimulating (like caffeine) and increasing relaxation, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

Finally, good sleep practices include providing an adequate opportunity for sleep based on age and individual sleep needs and an environment that is conducive to good sleep quality and safety.

  1. Make sure your child gets enough sleep by setting an age-appropriate bedtime (preferably before 9:00 pm or 21:00 hours) and waketime*.

  2. Keep a consistent bedtime and waketime on weekdays and weekends.

  3. Establish a consistent bedtime routine and recommend wearing comfortable clothes in bed, including strong absorbing diapers for infants.

  4. Encourage your child to fall asleep independently.

  5. Avoid bright lights at bedtime and during the night and increase light exposure in the morning.

  6. Keep all electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones, out of the bedroom and limit use of electronics before bedtime.

  7. Maintain a regular daily schedule, including consistent mealtimes.

  8. Have an age-appropriate nap schedule.

  9. Ensure plenty of exercise and time spent outdoors during the day.

  10. Eliminate foods and beverages containing caffeine, including many sodas, coffee, and tea.


3-12 months
1-3 years
3-5 years
6-12 years
12-18 years
14 to15 hours
12 to14 hours
11 to 13 hours
10 to 11 hours
8.5 to 9.5 hours

And in Spanish:

Mientras que la somnolencia y el insomnio constituyan una epidemia global que amenacen la salud y la calidad de vida,

Mientras se pueda prevenir y tratar la somnolencia y el insomnio,

Mientras que la toma de conciencia profesional y social sea el primer paso sobre el que actuar,

DECLARAMOS que los desórdenes del sueño se pueden prevenir y tratar médicamente en cualquier país del mundo.


1. Asegúrate que tu niño duerma lo suficiente* mediante el establecimiento de un horario de acostarse y de levantarse adecuado para su edad (se aconseja acostarse antes de las 21 horas).
2. Mantén un horario regular de acostarse y levantarse, tanto en días laborables como fines de semana.
3. Establece una rutina constante antes de acostar al niño: ponerle (se) pijama, lavarse los dientes, leer o escuchar un cuento…Vístele con ropa cómoda, incluso pañales absorbentes para evitar que se despierte por estar mojado.
4. Anima a tu hijo a que se duerma de forma independiente.
5. Evita la luz brillante antes de acostarle y durante la noche, y aumenta la exposición a la luz por la mañana.
6. Mantén todos los aparatos electrónicos, como televisores, ordenadores y teléfonos móviles apagados o fuera de la habitación y limita su uso antes de acostarse.
7. Mantén durante el día horarios regulares para todas las actividades, sobre todo los de las comidas principales.
8. Realizar siestas (hasta los cinco años de edad) en horarios regulares y de duración adecuada para la edad.
9. Asegúrate de que el niño realice ejercicio y pase un tiempo al aire libre durante el día.
10. Elimina alimentos y bebidas que contengan cafeína, como refrescos de cola, café y té.


3-12 meses ---- 14 a 15 horas
1-3 años ---- 12 a 14 horas
3-5 años ---- 11 a 13 horas
6-12 años ---- 10 a 11 horas
12-18 años ---- 8.5 a 9.5 horas

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