As an exhausted parent who is looking forward to more than a few hours of sleep at night, the burning question is probably “when do babies sleep through the night?” Caring for a newborn or a baby who wakes up often throughout the night is tough! However, you cannot expect a newborn to sleep for over 8 hours in one go, so try not to feel discouraged if your baby isn’t sleeping through in the first few months.
When Can I Expect My Baby To Sleep Through The Night?
The National Sleep Foundation has stated that roughly 70-80 percent of babies sleep through the night by 9 months old. However, it is important to remember that there is a large age range for when babies begin to sleep through the night.
Newborns cannot sleep for longer periods, their tummies are small and they need to wake up often to feed. The average night time sleep duration for a newborn is around 3 hours. However, between 4 and 6 months, your baby will start getting most of their sleep at night, rather than during the day. As they grow, their daytime naps will become shorter, and night time sleep will get longer.
Some parents are lucky and have a newborn who sleeps for 6 hours at a time, whereas other parents might not get a full night’s sleep for 2 years. It really does depend on your child, but it is just best to lower your expectations of getting a full night’s sleep for at least the first 9 months.
Why Is My Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night?
If you have hit the 9-month mark and your baby is showing no signs of sleeping through the night, you might want to start looking at the reasons why they are waking up instead of sleeping through.
These are some reasons that your baby might not be sleeping through the night:
Your baby is experiencing a sleep regression
Sleep regressions come out of nowhere and can hit hard. Sleep regressions are common at 4 months old, between 6 and 8 months, and at 10 months. They usually last between 1 to 4 weeks, and there is not much you can do to force your little one to sleep.
Your baby is going through a growth spurt or is sick
Growth spurts can interrupt your baby’s sleep schedule, however, they are usually short and your baby should go back to a good sleeping schedule in no time. Your baby might also be experiencing interrupted sleep if they have a cold, flu, or another illness. Consult with your doctor if you think your baby might be sick.
Your baby cannot self-soothe
It would be difficult for your baby to fall back to sleep on their own during the night if they are not able to self-soothe. They will need you to help them fall back to sleep, which in turn will need you to wake up multiple times during the night. Helping your baby learn to self-soothe should start from young. It will allow them to get back to sleep on their own if they do wake up during the night.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your baby to sleep through. Their baby-phase is so short, and they will be sleeping through before you know it.
A safe sleep space will also do wonders to help your little one achieve better sleep at night. Try your best to rest during the day when you can, and soon you will both be enjoying long stretches of night time sleep!