Young children need to move, sleep, and sit for the right amounts each day to be healthy, grow and develop.
The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years is a resource for parents, caregivers and educators to understand the recommended daily amount of each.
Getting active with your child, setting a regular bedtime routine for them, and being mindful of your own time spent on screens are some ways you can help your child during their early years to develop a balanced, active life.
Babies (less than one year) (click to expand) »
- Move: Babies need interactive, floor-based play, multiple times every day. Babies who are not crawling or walking, need at least 30 minutes of tummy time, spread throughout the day while awake.
- Sleep: Babies 0-3 months old need 14-17 hours of sleep, including naps. Babies 4-11 months old need 12-16 hours of sleep, including naps.
- Sit: Babies under one year should not be restrained (stroller or highchair) for more than one hour at a time. Screen time is not recommended. You can read, tell stories, or sing to your baby.
Toddlers (one to two years) (click to expand) »
- Move: Toddlers need at least three hours (180 minutes) of physical activity at any intensity, spread throughout the day.
- Sleep: Toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep, including naps. They also need regular bedtimes.
- Sit: Toddlers should not be restrained (stroller or highchair) for more than one hour at a time or sitting for long periods of time. Screen time is not recommended for children under two years. For those who are aged two years, screen time should be no more than one hour. Less is better.
Preschoolers (three to four years) (click to expand) »
- Move: Preschoolers need at least three hours (180 minutes) of physical activity spread throughout the day, with at least one hour of energetic play.
- Sleep: Preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours of sleep. Some may need naps. They also need a consistent bedtime.
- Sit: Preschoolers should not be restrained (stroller or car seat) for more than one hour at a time or sit for long periods of time. Screen time should be no more than one hour. Less is better. Be present with your child and view the screen with them.
It is important for young children to learn basic or fundamental movement skills such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, skipping and hopping so they can take part in physical activities throughout their life.
Please visit CSEP for more detailed information.
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