Most parents want to know WHEN their baby will sleep through the night.
There is no magic potion, no magic 8 ball, no special age or weight.
The truth is, there are many things that contribute to your baby’s ability to sleep through the night. Let’s talk about them!
What does it mean to sleep through the night?
- Being able to connect one sleep cycle to the next without the use of sleep prop associations (nursing, bottle, rocking, etc.).
When can a baby sleep through the night?
- There is no magic age, weight, or time frame.
- Parents should not cut middle-of-the-night feedings without consulting the pediatrician.
- Many factors contribute to sleeping through the night, including: baby’s schedule/wake windows, sleep environment, developmentally appropriate ability to self-soothe.
Let’s break this down by age:
Babies need to eat and sleep around the clock. Parents don’t need to worry about implementing a schedule. This time period is for Mom to bond with her baby and to heal from the childbirth experience.
After the first month, parents can start to implement an eat, play, sleep routine during the day.
This age is not developmentally appropriate for a baby to sleep 12 hours through the night. Parents should expect to be up for a feeding every 2-4 hours.
3 Months Old:
During the night, babies can usually get a solid 4 hour stretch of sleep at the beginning of the night. After that point, they will most likely wake up hungry, take a full feeding and then wake to eat every 2 hours after that 1st feeding.
4 Months Old:
This is the age of the good old 4 month sleep regression. At this age, a baby’s sleep patterns turn into more adult-like sleep patterns. Many babies can kick off the night with a great 5 hour stretch of sleep before needing a feeding.
Sleep is starting to improve. Babies can most likely handle a 6 hour stretch of sleep at the beginning of the night. Feedings may begin to taper off, but some babies may still need feedings. This is going to vary vastly from one child to the next. It’s important to consult with the pediatrician about middle-of-the-night feedings
6 Months Old:
There is light at the end of the tunnel! Consistent and predictable routines should be emerging by now. If your child is not falling asleep independently, this is a great age to begin sleep training. Naps should be becoming consistent and you will be able to plan your outings around a predictable nap schedule and bedtime.
7+ Months Old:
This is the age of solid schedules. Your child is most likely capable of sleeping through the night. Some children do still need one feeding during the night. As always, it’s important to consult with the pediatrician about any middle-of-the-night feedings and the possibility of weaning them at this point.
If your baby is at this age and not sleeping consistently, it’s probably time for some formal sleep training.
Not sure if your child is ready for sleep training? Take the quiz to find out!
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If you’re ready to start sleep training, let’s set up a time to chat! Some things to think about when deciding when you want to start sleep training your baby:
- Ensure it’s the proper timing- make sure your baby isn’t sick, you aren’t traveling, or you don’t have any big life changes coming (new baby, moving, switching jobs/childcare, etc.).
- Be prepared to put in the work. Consistency will pay off in the long run. Sleep training isn’t an overnight success; it takes many nights and dedication to help your baby learn to sleep.
- Create a plan or hire me as your sleep consultant for one-on-one help.