"Isn't Your Baby Sleeping Through The Night?"
"most annoying question to young
baby sleeping through the night yet?"
Don’t be surprised
if visitors comment on your cutie not sleeping before
can tell them how cute she smiles ... society expects a lot from a
child, particularly when
comes to sleep in those first months.
Let's have a look at what
sleeping through really means and what to expect at different ages.
Family and friends' questions are usually well-meant
of course: with baby sleeping through the night, you as a parent sleep
better too. Otherwise, you may be going through
some rough times.
Luckily there are effective and gentle techniques that help, that's why
I developed my 3-step
program for longer nights
with and for parents.
But please do not feel
because the others
expect your little one to sleep
through, or if your friend's 3 week old baby sleeps for 8 hours in a
row ... (there's even a good chance that isn't really true!).
through the night is a very subtle baby milestone
is not a fixed age, you cannot force it and it may come and go in
What does "baby sleeping through the night" mean?
First of all, let's define
. It is very much a subjective
matter: some parents are thrilled to report their baby sleeps through
doing 4 hours in a row, others won't be happy until baby sleeps a full
10 hours non-stop ...
Also, from researched sleep
, we know that babies and toddlers sleep in very short cycles
This means they basically wake up every 1-1,5 hour.
Sleeping through means that they doze off straight away without waking
you up. Because of this, being able
to self soothe
is such an important sleeping skill. So that gives
us the following:
Sleeping Through Definition
several hours during the
baby is not waking up completely
and not waking up her parents
What is sleeping through at different ages?
Sleeping through at different ages depends on:
- Maturity: how
well is baby's sleep developed?
needs: how long can baby be without
Let's see what is
reasonable to expect
from a baby at different ages:
a newborn baby alternates sleep and wake times continuously, day and
night. (Instill day/night difference in her newborn
baby sleep schedule). She
needs to feed on average every 2-4 hours. So 4 hours is about the
maximum you can expect. Count your blessings if you have your newborn
sleeping through more, but do make sure she feeds enough, it is not
healthy for a newborn to be without milk for too long.
- 6 months: Baby gradually learns the difference between
day and night (thanks to a well suited sleep
schedule). Night time sleep becomes longer than daytime
sleep. Baby still needs to feed 1-3 times during the night. Many babies
will start making longer stretches regularly towards 6 months, about 4-5 hours of sleep
months - 1 year: In this second half year most babies
gradually loose the need to feed at night. That is, they can go to 6-8 hours of sleep
without food. However, many babies continue to wake out of hunger
during growth spurts, a need for reassurance, or out of habit.
At every age
- 1 year
and up: This is when we expect a baby or a toddler to
sleep through the night. Uninterrupted sleep will gradually go from 8
to 12 hours. However, it is still very common and normal to have your
child wake up at night once or twice for various reasons.
applying the right basics and using techniques that are adapted to your
child in a loving yet consistent approach will give you and your baby
the best sleep. See No-Tears
Sleeping Through the Night
for the a dedicated guide.
For further info on typical amounts of sleep refer to How
much sleep is enough?
Also check for common sleep
to avoid them disturbing your baby's sleep.
Some thoughts about baby sleeping through the
I know parents who have even felt ashamed to be honest about their
baby's sleep: if you have to tell someone that your baby sleeps very
poorly at night, it may
feel like you have failed ...
Listen to me: YOU HAVE NOT!
you can help your baby sleep well with the best possible sleep
environment or guide her
well suited sleep
. But no, she will not sleep through
consistently until she is ready
countless moms who have realized this, have reported that, the instant
they relaxed about
sleep and sleeping through, their baby suddenly slept much better!