How to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

Learn how you can help your baby get better quality sleep with tips from experts on bedtime routines & schedules that work.

How to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

By four months, most babies start to show a preference for sleeping longer at night. By six months, many babies can go five to six hours or more without feeding and will begin to sleep through the night. Daytime naps are reduced as the baby grows. According to the National Sleep Foundation, babies up to three months of age should sleep 14 to 17 hours over a 24-hour period.

Many babies will have established a daily sleep routine of two or three naps during the day, followed by a longer sleep during the night after a nighttime feeding. A baby who has been fed and is sleepy can learn to fall asleep on their own between four and six months, or even earlier. Waking up at night is still normal after this, but if they haven't yet learned to fall asleep on their own, they will usually want someone to comfort them when they wake up, even if they are not hungry. Studies have shown that babies from families who use various “sleep training methods” are no longer more likely to have attachment, emotional, or behavioral problems later in childhood.

If you're ready to train your baby to sleep, you may be wondering if the lift-and-drop method is effective. If you are concerned about your baby's sleep, it's a good idea to see a child health professional for help. Getting your baby on a consistent sleep schedule can sometimes seem like nothing more than an impossible dream. Experts generally consider “sleep through the night” to be 6 to 9 hours of sleep straight for children and adults.

By the time some babies reach this age, they begin to have more consolidated sleep blocks at night with three or four naps during the day. For better or worse, sleeping through the night is only achieved after the key processes of development have occurred. Even after your baby has followed regular sleep patterns and schedules, despite their best attempts, your baby may wake up sporadically mid-sleep for no apparent reason.Zen Swaddle and Zen Sack as part of a sleep routine can help establish positive sleep associations that teach your baby to calm down and return to sleep on their own. As always, talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned about your baby's ability to sleep through the night at this time.Usually by six months, most babies - but not all - are able to sleep 8 to 12 hours with brief awakenings but not feeding them during the night.

There is a strong relationship between baby's sleep difficulties and symptoms of postnatal depression in women and postnatal depression in men.If your baby is growing steadily and gaining beyond their birth weight, breastfeeding or bottle-feeding well, and has a lot of wet diapers and stools for their age, then your pediatrician may say that it is OK to let them sleep for long periods, even 8 or more hours at a time, if they are willing to do so. These increases in calories per food reduce the number of daily feedings babies need and increase their ability to sleep longer at night. So your baby may still need to breastfeed every 1.5 to 3 hours for the first 1 to 2 months, but you may be able to sleep longer at night.It's not uncommon to believe that the quickest way to get your baby to sleep through the night is to keep them awake during the day. Longer uninterrupted sleep usually lasts between 5 and 8 hours (some may sleep even longer, especially with a sleeping pill such as SNOO).Read more about Getting Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night for tips, proven bedtime routines, and schedules that work.

Babies need sleep in order for them to grow and develop properly. But it usually doesn't consolidate into longer blocks during the night until babies are 3-6 months old.If you're worried that your baby isn't getting enough sleep or that there may be another problem at play, consult your pediatrician. The doctor can treat any underlying issues causing sleeplessness, offer advice on healthy sleep habits, and make sure your baby doesn't have any medical problems such as reflux or an ear infection.

Sue Ashauer
Sue Ashauer

General food junkie. Extreme zombie buff. Extreme coffee trailblazer. Hipster-friendly travel guru. Devoted food trailblazer. Tv buff.

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