The sleep habits of your newborn can make you feel like a zombie. You may even wonder if you will ever have a good night’s sleep again. The good news is that your baby will eventually begin to sleep through the night, and you will return to your normal sleeping habits.
Don’t assume your baby will shift from short night sleeping episodes to uninterrupted 12-hour snooze-fests immediately. On the contrary, she will steadily hit developmental marks that prepare her to sleep for extended sessions at a time. Keep reading to know when babies sleep through the night and a few tips for helping your baby to sleep all night on her own.
At What Age Do Babies Sleep Through the Night?
The reality is that there is no definite age when newborn sleep all night – every baby is unique. However, about the fourth month, critical developmental milestones can completely transform the baby’s sleep habits and help her sleep the entire night. Sleeping through the night doesn’t mean that your baby won’t need to be fed or cuddled. It means the baby won’t wake up deep in the night to cry or feed for a period of 5 to 6 hours or beyond.
When Should You Expect Your Baby to Sleep All Night?
Babies begin to differentiate the activities that take place during the day and those that take place at night during the first month. They learn this with help from parents who start active play in the day and less lively play during the evening. An infant will sleep between 10 and 18 hours per day, but the sleep sessions may range from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours at a time. Even at the three-month mark, there is still an extensive range of the number of hours that a baby sleeps at night.
At the four-month mark, babies have developed self-soothing abilities and can get themselves back to sleep upon waking up at night. Their cognitive abilities coupled with physical coordination have grown adequately that they can remember something they consider comforting, such feet rubbing and thumb sucking. The National Sleep Foundation states that 70 to 80 percent of babies can sleep all night without eating by 9 months. This means around 9 to 12 hours of peaceful, uninterrupted sleep for you. Make your sleep comfortable by supporting your head with a pregnancy pillow or placing it between your legs.
Where and How Should Your Baby Sleep?
In 2016, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended the sleeping area of the baby to be within the same room as her parents for approximately 6 months to one year. Instead of bed sharing, you can place her on a portable crib or bassinet. According to APP, infants should sleep on their backs, on stable sleep surfaces that don’t have bumper pads, sheets, soft toys, blankets, and other related products in the nursery that could cover her face or overheat her.
Tips for Helping Your Baby to Sleep through the Night
- Lay Your Baby Down Drowsy
Rather than waiting until your baby is asleep, lay her down when she is sleepy. This way, she will learn to fall asleep on her own, and she will have longer stretches of sleep.
- Come Up with a Bedtime Routine
By the fourth month mark, an evening ritual can be highly beneficial to babies. They will get used to cues, making bedtime a stress-free task for not only months but also years ahead. A dim lighting, soft music, and a bath are some of the elements you can use to help your baby sleep easily.
- Don’t Always Assume Your Baby is Hungry
Little ones tend to sleep in short phases of roughly 40 minutes, meaning they repeatedly stir at night. Give the baby a few minutes to relax on her own. Rather than providing the breast or feeding bottle immediately, consider trying another technique of comfort. Soft singing or lightly rubbing her belly may be enough to appease her back to dreamland.
- Spread out Night Feedings
Infants should be fed at least every two hours, but the feeding time will stretch out as they develop. Take advantage of this shift and offer a feeding immediately before you sleep. Support you baby with a PREGNANCY PILLOW when feeding her. This way, you will have sufficient time to sleep before the next feeding session.
Sufficient, restful sleep is indispensable for both you and your newborn. By 9 months, your baby will be sleeping through the night without waking up to feed. Noting feedings and sleep stretches will help you understand your baby’s pattern. It will also help you plan your entire program around your baby’s schedule.