How To Make Your Newborn Sleep Through The Night

How Much Sleep Does A 16

How To Make Your Newborn Sleep Through The Night

At 16 weeks old, your baby still requires lots of sleep, but not as much as a newborn: a baby this age should get 12-15 hours of sleep per 24 hours , according to the National Sleep Foundation.

“Yay, your baby is now 4 months old! At this point their sleep needs are slightly less, with the recommendation between 3.5-5 hours of day sleep and between 10-12 hours of night sleep,” says Rachel Mitchell, a certified pediatric and maternity sleep consultant. “At four months, your baby’s sleep starts to change quite a bit. Melatonin really starts to produce, their circadian rhythm is driving sleep patterns, and their bedtime should be on the earlier side . This is a lot for your baby to go through at once, so consistency in this stage is key.”

Mitchell says naps should also follow a pattern: “Your baby is hopefully following a consistent pattern of 3-4 naps per day, with two of those naps at least 1-2 hours. If your baby is napping more than 2.5 hours in this stage, you want to wake them up . If the last nap of the day starts to blend with bedtime, then wake your baby up sooner to give them adequate awake time before bed .”

Baby Sleep Tips Thatll Help Baby Sleep Longer Stretches

Sitting on the couch with my swollen legs propped up on pillows, I looked over at the stack of newborn baby sleep books on the coffee table. Over the course of several hours, I devoured each book, skimming through the pages.

I was determined to learn how to make a newborn sleep.

Thenmy son was born.

And.he didnt sleep.

Imagine that. A baby not sleeping the way a book says

I fumbled through it the first six weeks. I was so unsure of myself.

Thankfully, we pulled ourselves together, armed ourselves with some key infant sleep facts, developed a plan and implemented it.

We stuck with it, and at 4 months old, our son was sleeping 11-12 hours at night and naps extended to 1.5 to 2 hours. Woohoo! Weve experienced sleep regression, sleeping on the go, sleeping through teethingand so much more!

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To Understand How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night You First Need To Know If Your Baby Is Able To Sleep Through The Night

You can also help set the stage for a good night’s sleep by making sure your baby is cultivating good sleep habits during the day, which will help them sleep better during the night too.

Your baby has to be able to sleep through the night before they can! There are a few milestones they need to reach first, like a decrease in Moro Reflex. Check out our article on When Do Babies Sleep Through the Night to learn if your baby is ready/able to sleep through the night.

If your baby is capable of sleeping through the night but still struggling, there might be an underlying reason your baby isnt sleeping through the night OR theyre right on the cusp of starting to sleep through the night. There are several reasons that can cause your baby not to sleep through the night, including sleep regressions, a growth spurt or illness, or the inability to fall asleep independently.

Whether your baby is experiencing one of the problems above, or theyve just surpassed the milestones to be able to sleep at night, there are ways you can help your baby sleep through the night.

Also Check: How To Wrap A Newborn

How Much Sleep Does A Four

Think your baby sleeps a lot? That’s a good thing! According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a newborn should get 12-16 hours of sleep per 24 hours .

“At four weeks old, your baby is officially one month, which is an exciting milestone! By this time you have started to get into a routine throughout the day and before naps and bedtime. If you haven’t implemented a routine, you want to make sure you start one as soon as possible,” says Rachel Mitchell, founder of My Sweet Sleeper . “At this stage, you’ve likely noticed that your baby is much more alert than they were at week 1, and thus their naps may start to feel a little more consistent, although they will still change from day-to-day. It is recommended for your baby to be taking between 4-5 naps per day which will continue to vary in length. You can continue to hold for one or two naps of the day if needed and attempt at least 2 naps in the crib/bassinet. If you do need to hold for a nap try to do this for the 2nd and 4th nap of the day as these are usually the most difficult for your baby.”

The Truth About Babies And Nighttime Sleep

How To Train Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night ...

While in the womb, your baby was asleep most of the time and received a steady stream of nourishment around the clock. But all of that drastically changed the moment your baby was born. Suddenly, your little one had to learn how to be awake and eat on their own.

That’s a lot for a newborn to accomplish, and it takes time. Eating and sleeping dominate your baby’s schedule as all the developmental changes that they need to survive and thrive in the outside world take place.

As babies burn through calories and nutrients, their hunger wakes them up. In the beginning, this happens frequently, around the clock.

A newborn consumes only about 40 to 80 calories per feeding. This means a newborn will need six to eight feedings per day, on average, resulting in a sleep schedule that cycles every two to four hourseven at night. Sleeping through the night is not only an unrealistic expectation for a newborn. It’s an unhealthy one, too.

Keep in mind that these are just approximations, not milestones that your baby needs to reach. If your baby is a month old and is still not sleeping four hours at night, try not to worry. It’s important to respond to your baby’s hunger cues. Between daytime naps and nighttime sleep, your baby should be consistently getting a healthy amount of sleep for their age and developmental stage.

Read Also: How Much Formula Can A Newborn Have

Start Early And Enlist Help

  • Teaching your baby to sleep can be stressful for many new parents long days of cleaning blowouts, listening to inconsolable cries, and keeping up with insatiable hunger followed by interrupted nights takes its toll on the whole family. The best advice is:
  • Start laying the foundation for healthy sleep as soon as you return home from the hospital, by adopting these tips.
  • Get your partner on board from the start. Even simply having help with those dreaded middle of the night feedings can give you the couple extra hours of shut-eye you need to function during the day
  • Tip: Be aware that sleep deprivation is directly linked to postpartum depression enlisting help from your partner, friends, neighbors, or relatives can make all the difference.

Safety First: Lower Sids Risk

Every time you put your baby down to sleep, whether it’s at night or for a nap during the day, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you do the following to lower the chances of SIDS :

  • Always put your baby down to sleep on their back.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • If you baby falls asleep in a stroller car seat or swing, try to remove them and lay them down on a flat surface.
  • Your baby should sleep in the same room as you, but not in the same bed as you.
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and bumper pads.
  • Dont rely on devices which claim to prevent SIDS.
  • Do not use wedges and positioners.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering your baby’s head or overheating.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Make sure your baby gets all recommended vaccinations.
  • Get some skin-to-skin contact time with them.
  • Give your baby supervised, awake tummy time every day.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Breastfeedyour baby.
  • If you are tired, dont breastfeed while in a chair or on a couch in case you fall asleep.
  • If you’re pregnant, get regular prenatal care.


Recommended Reading: How Can A Newborn Sleep At Night

Use A Pacifier If Your Baby Fusses

As you set him down drowsy, you might notice that your baby starts to fuss. If he takes to a pacifier, this would be a good time to put one in his mouth to encourage sucking. Dont wait until hes crying hystericallyinstead, insert the pacifier if you see him starting to squirm or get upset.

Then, keep your hand on him so he still feels you as you hold the pacifier in his mouth. This will remind him that youre still there, while encouraging him to suck on the pacifier and fall asleep.

After youve left, keep the pacifier in his mouth. But if you notice him squirming once more , use the pacifier again:

  • If the pacifier fell out, re-insert it into his mouth.
  • If the pacifier is still in his mouth, give it a gentle tug. This will encourage him to suck harder and hopefully keep sleeping.

How To Put A Baby To Sleep Expert Tip 1 Minimize Eye Contact

How To Make Your Baby Sleep Through The Night

Babies needs to start establishing sleep patterns in order to sleep through the night. If you find your baby awake in the night, avoid eye contact. Prolonged staring can be stimulating for infants. Your baby loves looking at you. They had heard your voice since before they were born. Making eye contact can make your baby very excited.

Read Also: How To Get Good Sleep With A Newborn

Establishing Routine With A Newborn

Newborn babies will sleep on and off throughout the day and night. It can be helpful to have a pattern, but you can always change the routine to suit your needs. For example, you could try waking your baby for a feed just before you go to bed in the hope that you’ll get a long sleep before they wake up again.

Learn The Art Of Stress

Its hard to soothe a baby who is very irritable or distressed. This Parenting Science article about opens in a new windowstress in babies offers insights into what stresses out babies. It also provides evidence-based tips for keeping babies calm and emotionally healthy.

But what if you are feeling too stressed-out to project reassurance and calm? Or too depressed?

If so, you arent alone. Caring for a baby can be very stressful and exhausting, especially when you are sleep-deprived, coping with opens in a new windowchildbirth trauma, or struggling with a baby that opens in a new windowcries excessively .

If youre emotional state is poor, opens in a new windowscreen yourself for postpartum depression, and make your psychological health a priority. Postpartum depression and opens in a new windowpostpartum stress are very common, yet many parents continue to suffer privately. Talk to your doctor about your options.

For more information, see my article about the opens in a new windowpersonal costs of parenting stress and these opens in a new windowParenting Science tips for coping.

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How Long Will My Newborn Sleep

Newborns should get 1417 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Some newborns may sleep up to 1819 hours a day.

Newborns wake every couple of hours to eat. Breastfed babies feed often, about every 23 hours. Bottle-fed babies tend to feed less often, about every 34 hours.

Newborns who sleep for longer stretches should be awakened to feed. Wake your baby every 34 hours to eat until he or she shows good weight gain, which usually happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it’s OK to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.

The first months of a baby’s life can be the hardest for parents, who might get up many times at night to tend to the baby. Each baby has a different sleep pattern. Some start to sleep “through the night” by 23 months of age, but some don’t.

Will I Ever Sleep Again

7 Tips to Make Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

The answer is…YES! Having a newborn baby is exhausting – we know! Infant sleep hours feel erratic and unpredictable at first. But there will be a light at the end of the tunnel! Our newborn sleep schedules will help you decode your baby’s sleep and guide you along the way to sleep success . It will take patience, but our newborn sleep schedules will help you get there.

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What Are The Signs Of Infant Sleep Problems

Once a baby begins to regularly sleep through the night, parents are often unhappy when the baby starts to wake up at night again. This often happens at about 6 months old. This is often a normal part of development called separation anxiety. This is when a baby does not understand that separations are short-term . Babies may also start to have trouble going to sleep because of separation anxiety. Or because they are overstimulated or overtired.

Common responses of babies having these night awakenings or trouble going to sleep may include the following:

  • Waking and crying one or more times in the night after sleeping through the night

  • Crying when you leave the room

  • Refusing to go to sleep without a parent nearby

  • Clinging to the parent at separation

Sleep problems may also happen with illness. Talk with your baby’s healthcare provider if your baby begins having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, especially if this is a new pattern.

Establishing A Baby Bedtime Routine

You may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around 3 months old. Getting them into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can be helpful for everyone and help prevent sleeping problems later on. It’s also a great opportunity to have one-to-one time with your baby.

The routine could consist of:

  • having a bath
  • changing into night clothes and a fresh nappy
  • putting them to bed
  • dimming the lights in the room to create a calm atmosphere
  • giving a goodnight kiss and cuddle
  • singing a lullaby or having a wind-up musical mobile you can turn on when you’ve put your baby to bed
  • brushing their teeth

As your child gets older, it can be helpful to keep to a similar bedtime routine. Too much excitement and stimulation just before bedtime can wake your child up again. Spend some time winding down and doing some calmer activities, like reading.

Also Check: How Much Formula Can Newborn Drink

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