Processed electroencephalography is used in adults to guide anaesthesia, but the algorithms used may not apply to infants. Knowledge of infants' electroencephalogram (EEG) responses to anaesthetics is fragmentary. An earlier pilot study suggested amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) may be a useful measure of anaesthetic effect. The aim of this study was to determine how aEEG changes between awake and anaesthetised children of varying ages and to compare the response to that seen with Spectral Edge Frequency 90% (SEF90). A prospective observational study of children receiving a general anaesthetic was conducted. Anaesthetic regimen remained at the discretion of the treating anaesthetist. EEG data were collected using the BrainZ ReBrim(TM) monitor using forehead and biparietal montages. SEF90 and aEEG were compared across age groups, EEG montage and between awake and anaesthetised states. A total of 178 children (aged 24 days to 14 years) were recruited. All aEEGs were greater during anaesthesia compared to when awake and this difference varied with age. Only children older than two years showed lower SEF90 while anaesthetised compared to when awake. SEF90 from children younger than six months was higher during anaesthesia compared to when awake. Analysis of parietal and forehead EEG montages revealed age-related differences. These findings suggest that SEF90 and aEEG can discriminate between awake and anaesthetised states in older children. In younger children aEEG changes are less pronounced and SEF90 either cannot discriminate between states or responds paradoxically. The aEEG may be marginally better than other EEG parameters in measuring anaesthetic depth in children.