Sleeping

When children get the sleep they need, they are happier and healthier.

Young children need about:

  • 12 hours of sleep a night when they’re 3 years old
  • 11 hours of sleep a night by the time they’re 5 years old

Many children nap for about an hour a day until they’re over 5 years old. Other children quit napping before this age.

Your preschooler is probably not getting enough sleep if he:

  • regularly falls asleep during the day (e.g., in the car, watching television, looking at books)
  • needs you to wake him up every morning
  • seems cranky during the day
  • naps more than once a day

For information about sleep routines and helping your child stay in bed, click here.

  • Bedwetting

    Bedwetting is common in preschoolers. It is not something they do on purpose. Use a waterproof cover to protect your child’s mattress. Most children outgrow bedwetting by the time they are 5 or 6 years old. Talk to your health care provider or public health nurse if you have questions or concerns.
  • Toilet teaching

    Your preschooler may be just starting to learn how to use the toilet or he may be very comfortable using it.

    • Girls tend to be ready for toilet teaching before boys. Some boys may not be ready until they are 3½ or 4 years old.
    • Clothing that’s easy to pull up or down will make toilet time easier.
    • Toileting accidents are common when your child is learning to use the toilet.
  • Information and tips on toilet teaching.
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