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National Childhood Network (NCN)

Keeping Healthy


Keeping Healthy

In this section we hope to provide you with a range of resources that support and promote keeping healthy.

New training for Birth to Three and Preschool on keeping healthy coming soon.

Bed Time Routines from the START Campaign

A bedtime routine is the predictable, regular things you and your child do in the hour or so before lights out, and before your child falls asleep. Things like eating, washing teeth and face, going to the loo, having a bath, talking to your child about their day, a hug and a kiss goodnight.

Regular bedtimes from an early age can help the quality of your child’s sleep throughout their childhood. 

In this video, parenting expert Colman Noctor talks about why a regular sleep routine is so important for all the family.

Aim to get enough sleep for your child’s age

Children of different ages need different amounts of sleep and while there are no exact amounts, in general, children aged between five and 12 need at least ten hours of sleep – this of course can vary between children.

Aim for:

3 – 5 year olds11 – 12 hours at night, plus a daytime rest of up to 1 hour
5 -12 year olds10+ hours
over 12 year olds and teenagers8 – 9 hours


For babies and toddlers

About 6 months old  10-11 hours at night plus 3 daytime naps (1.5 – 2 hours for 2 of the naps)
About 9 months old10-12 hours at night plus 2 daytime naps (1.5 – 2 hours)
About 1 year10-12 hours at night plus 2 daytime naps (1 – 2 hours)
About 2 years 10-12 hours at night plus 1 daytime nap (1.5 – 2 hours)


In this video START Campaign Chief Specialist in Nutrition, Dr Marian O’Reilly explains how sleep can impact on our health and diet.