No one truly knows what sleep deprivation is like until they have a baby. Parents who are in the throes of sleepless nights are likely imagining what the days will look like and how much more rested they will feel when babies are able to sleep through the night. While it may feel like not being rested in the morning is a constant that will never end, those nights come sooner than parents believe they will. And suddenly, babies will sleep through the night when parents least expect it.
There are tales that new parents hear of babies being just days old sleeping through the night. While there are some babies who do have an easier transition than others when it comes to sleeping through the night, for most, it takes some time. This is because not only are they working on getting their circadian rhythm right but most babies need to wake to eat at night. Therefore, until babies are eating more during the day and do not get as empty of stomachs at night, it will take some time for the majority of babies to sleep through the night.
Here is when babies are able to sleep through the night.
What Sleeping Through The Night Entails
While parents may wish that babies sleeping through the night meant a solid 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep so that they can catch up on their sleep as well, that is far from what it means. For most babies, a half dozen hours of sleep at night are considered sleeping through the night.
According to Healthline, sleeping through the night can mean anything from six to nine hours of solid sleep for babies. They do not wake up hungry or need assistance with being soothed back to sleep. Instead, the babies transition in and out of their sleep cycles with ease and get both themselves and their parents a good chunk of consecutive sleep.
Age When Baby Can Sleep Through The Night
Babies begin to be able to sleep through the night when they are able to hold more breast milk or formula in their stomachs at a time. This also means that babies weigh a bit more as a result.
According to Stanford Children’s Health, babies are first able to sleep through the night when they are approximately three months old. To do this, it means that babies are eating larger amounts at one time and have made it to the weight of 12 to 13 pounds.
Some babies may take longer to sleep during the night because they need more assistance with self-soothing or are still needing to eat in the middle of the night. But most infants will be able to sleep through the night when they are six months old.
Ways To Help Baby Sleep Through The Night
To get babies into a good pattern of sleeping through the night, parents can start early by establishing a nighttime routine when babies are just weeks old.
According to WebMD, starting a bedtime routine gets babies tired and ready to go to sleep. Things that parents can do, per the publication, include:
- Play quiet games at night versus ones that will mentally stimulate babies
- Do all bedtime routines in the same order every night
- Give baby a warm bath before bed
- If babies have an activity they like best, save it until the end of the bedtime routine
- Give babies a dream feed
- Put babies to sleep drowsy
For those who are looking to sleep train their babies, sleep training should not begin before four months of age, according to the Cleveland Clinic. After that time, however, if parents decide they want to give sleep training a try, some babies no longer require night feedings and can self-soothe. And this will lead to potentially successful sleep training, allowing babies to sleep through the night with ease.