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What are normal sleep patterns for a 2 year old?

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In general, 2-year-olds need 12 to 13 hours of sleep per 24 hours. Typically, they'll sleep 11 to 12 hours at night, with maybe one nap each afternoon of one to two hours.

Being consistent every day about bedtime rules and routines is the best way to teach your child good sleeping habits and make things easier on you. Here are a few tips:

• Start winding down after dinner. Slowing the pace for yourself and your child will help make the transition to bedtime easier. Reading, singing and quiet play are better than running around. Dads and their toddlers often like a rough and tumble, but do not have them an hour before sleep time.

• Keep the before-bed routine short and sweet. Bathing, brushing teeth and going to the toilet shouldn't take more than half an hour or so.

• Your toddler will probably refuse to go to bed at least some of the time. Be firm and consistent about bedtime rules.

• Toddlers don't need their own rooms. In fact, many children this age sleep more soundly with someone else in the room. Another child between the age of 3 and 5 would make a good room-mate.

• Leave a book or a quiet toy in your child's bed so he can amuse himself for a little while after waking up. He can't understand the concept of "too early", but you can tell him to stay in his room until the light comes through the window or he hears you say "good morning".

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