When Do Babies Sleep Through the Night?
The most popular questions I get are when do babies sleep through the night, why do babies fight sleep and how to put a baby to sleep? After the initial adrenaline from your new baby has worn off, the sleep deprivation sets in and all you can think about is getting some longer stretches of sleep for you and your baby. There is no magic time when that will happen as your child needs to be biologically ready, and growing at a good pace to ensure they no longer need night feedings. Most babies no longer need to feed at night by six months, but some babies still need one night feeding up to nine months of age. If you are unsure if your baby still needs night feeds, speak to your pediatrician and they can give you guidance based on your child’s growth. A newborn feeding chart may help you identify if your child can drop night feeds.
Even though we cannot predict when babies sleep through the night, the good news is we can help encourage them to get more consolidated sleep by ensuring certain components of healthy sleep are in place.
Baby not sleeping? Create the best sleep environment
Your baby will be more likely to sleep through the night if their room environment is conducive to sleep. Install some room darkening blinds to ensure it is very dark, keep the temperature in the room cool and comfortable, and avoid any crib entertainment. When they are in their crib, we want them to be calm and relaxed, not stimulated and ready to play! Avoid baby sleeping music and mobiles if you can. And above all, make sure the sleep environment is safe by avoiding any loose bedding, pillows, and toys, and laying your baby down on their back on a firm, flat surface.
How to put a baby to sleep – sleep routine
A soothing bedtime routine is incredibly important to help babies sleep through the night. Choose calming activities that you can do consistently before every nap and bedtime. Your baby will begin to recognize those steps and associate them with sleep. The sleep routine also encourages the production of melatonin and allows your baby’s body and mind to wind down and prepare for sleep. A relaxed baby will have an easier time going to sleep and staying asleep through the night.
When do babies sleep through the night? We can encourage babies to sleep through the night by providing an age appropriate sleep schedule. Before 4-5 months of age, babies need to take frequent naps throughout the day. Once they reach 4-5 months old, their internal clocks have formed and they are ready for a more consistent nap schedule. Keeping your baby well rested during the day will help ensure they sleep better at night, and through the night.
How to get baby to sleep in crib – self-soothing skills
Babies are more likely to sleep through the night if they are able to put themselves to sleep, and back to sleep, with little help. Many babies need help soothing and falling asleep, but if you can practice giving them an opportunity to learn this important skill on their own, they are more likely to master it and sleep through the night. You don’t have to do any harsh sleep training, just keep practicing having them fall asleep in their cribs. It may not go well at first, but every opportunity given is a chance for them to figure it out. Practice makes perfect!
Jenn Kelner is a mother of three children, including twins, and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant at BabyZzz. Just as every family is unique, Jenn supports many different sleep methods and works directly with families to design a solution that will help them become well-rested, happy families.