When Do Newborns Start Sleeping Through The Night

Talk To Your Partner About Helping Around The House

When should my baby start sleeping through the night? Should I wake him up to feed him?

Parenting is meant to be a team sport. Like any successful team that means practice and planning are critical. Although birth moms often carry a large burden when it comes to feeding and caring for a newborn, partners want to be useful, too. Plus, having father-baby bonding time is magical and important.

You and your partner should discuss ways to share the work before youre both exhausted. Ask your partner what their expectations are and let them know how you see duties being shared. Here are some ideas:

  • Divide and conquer one parent feeds the baby and the other changes the diaper.
  • Perhaps on some nights, mom pumps and passes off nighttime bottle duties.
  • If baby takes a bottle, maybe theres a schedule so both parents can each get at least half a nights sleep. One of you could take the late shift and the other can take the early shift.
  • Maybe one of you is responsible for feeding baby and the other is responsible for feeding the rest of the family. If someone is responsible for planning and making meals, you could avoid the dreaded question, What do you want to do for dinner?

As a dad, I know we want to be a helping and comforting presence, not an additional burden or stress to be managed. Talking through new roles early on will give us the ability to help you the most.

Begin To Space Out Feedings

Spacing out feedings towards the end of the day may seem counter-intuitive. Naturally, you don’t want them to wake up hungry. However, this could help avoid wet diapers, spitting up, or gas, which could potentially wake your babe once they’re fast asleep.

If your child is struggling with STTN, aim to have them eat a little earlier. Nursing well before bedtime could allow them to process food more thoroughly before being tucked in for a full night’s slumber. We don’t want them to be woken up by gas or a wet diaper at two in the morning.

Where Should Our Newborn Sleep

Your newborn can sleep in a bassinet or a crib. This can be located in a parents room, a siblings room or in the newborns own room. Its important that you have your baby sleep in a safe place. Your baby should not sleep in your bed with you. This is dangerous because of the risk of suffocation, strangulation and sudden infant death syndrome .

You can bring the baby into your bed for feedings, but should return the baby to a crib as soon as you are done. Many experts recommend feeding your child while in a chair to avoid any injury that can happen while sleeping in a bed with the baby. Room-sharing with your baby is recommended, but not bed-sharing.

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Newborn Sleep Patterns: Are There Any

To the sleepless parent, newborn sleep might seem totally disorganized. For example, consider these points.

1. Newborns never sleep for long.

Newborns sleep in short bouts typically ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours at seemingly random times throughout the day and night.

2. Newborns awaken easily.

In part, this is because they spend a large portion of their sleep time in active sleep, a light sleep state characterized by fluttering eyelids rapid, irregular breathing occasional body movements and vocalizations .

3. Newborn sleep times can vary widely.

In the first few days, the average newborn sleeps between 16-18 hours a day . By four weeks, newborn sleep averages about 14 hours. But the range is considerable. Some four-week-old babies sleep as little as 9 out of 24 hours. Others sleep for 19 hours a day .

The Reason Why Babies Are Hungry At Night

When Does A Baby Start Sleeping Through The Night?

Though this isn’t rocket science, it can be perplexing at first why your baby can’t fill up on enough calories throughout the day that enables them to sleep through the night like you can.

But there are 2 big differences between you and your baby.

  • Your baby’s tummy is tiny! And it can only hold so much milk. Within the first couple days of your baby’s life we’re talking just a couple of teaspoons of milk capacity, and still even only 3-4 ounces around 1 month of age.
  • Babies grow at a rapid rate. Initally, they lose weight in the first couple of days, but then they should be back to their birth weight within 2 weeks. So you could see why they’d be so hungry! After that, they’ll double their birthweight by about 4 months old. And triple it by age 1! Your 7-pound newborn will weigh around 21 pounds after one year. With such fast-paced growth you can see why eating so much is important.
  • Because of these 2 factors, it’s just not realistic to expect your baby to be able to sleep through the night initially when they’re needing to beef up. Because they’re able to digest milk pretty quickly , it’s likely that they’re going to wake up in the middle of the night ready for a meal – perhaps multiple times.

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    What Are The Sleep Patterns Of A Newborn

    The average newborn sleeps much of the day and night, waking only for feedings every few hours. It is often hard for new parents to know how long and how often a newborn should sleep. Unfortunately, there is no set schedule at first and many newborns have their days and nights confused?they think they are supposed to be awake at night and sleep during the day.

    Generally, newborns sleep about 8 to 9 hours in the daytime and about 8 hours at night. Most babies do not begin sleeping through the night without waking until at least 3 months of age, or until they weigh 12 to 13 pounds. However, this varies considerably and some babies do not sleep through the night until closer to 1 year. Newborns and young infants have a small stomach and must wake every few hours to eat. In most cases, your baby will awaken and be ready to eat about every 3 hours. How often your baby will eat depends on what he or she is being fed and his or her age. Make sure you talk with your doctor to determine if it is necessary to wake a baby for feedings.

    Watch for changes in your baby’s sleep pattern. If your baby has been sleeping consistently, and suddenly is waking, there may be a problem such as an ear infection. Some sleep disturbances are simply due to changes in development or because of overstimulation.

    Never put a baby to bed with a bottle propped for feeding. This is a dangerous practice that can lead to ear infections and choking.

    What Can Make Babies Start Sleeping Through The Night

    Since every baby is unique, it makes sense to developa routine to help your young one sleep through the night, not just waiting for the 6-month age milestone. You can:

    • Expose your baby to light and noise during the day so that night feels peaceful
    • Reduce the number of activities as bedtime approaches
    • Dim lights and keep noise to the minimum just before bedtime
    • Breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby shortly before bedtime
    • Spend some quiet time together either cuddling, walking, or rocking before bedtime
    • Lay the baby to sleep before he goes deep into sleep
    • Use night lights to keep the room dark if the baby wakes up to feed
    • Keep the room quiet

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    Dont Let Your Newborn Sleep In The Car Seat

    This is a contentious one, because weve all been there: Your baby conks out in the car seat while youre driving home or running errands, and the beauty of the bucket seat is that you can pop it out and transfer your sleeping infant inside for the remainder of her nap. But according to the AAP, allowing an infant to sleep in a bucket car seat thats been placed on the floor or clicked into a stroller is a safety hazard, as the babys head can fall forward and cause something called positional asphyxiation. Due to the angle of the seat design, its much safer to let your newborn nap in the car seat while its attached to the base and installed in the car. Letting your baby sleep in a car seat overnight when youre not awake enough to check on her is a serious baby sleep mistake. In fact, experts actually recommend limiting the time your baby spends in a car seat, bouncer or swing to 30 minutes, mostly for developmental reasons and the risk of developing positional plagiocephaly . However, wed like to acknowledge that this 30-minute maximum is downright impossible on road trips, for parents who have long work or daycare commutes, or when the swing is truly the only place you can get your infant to nap. Wed love to see some more research on this recommendation.

    Choose Your Own Sleep Adventure

    When Do Babies Sleep Through the Night?

    If your baby is about 4-6 months or older and is waking frequently at night, you can choose what to do.

  • Sleep train.
  • Bedshare .
  • Wait.
  • Babies are born pattern-seekers. They rely on predictable sequences of events to make sense of the world. They know that if they bat at a toy within reach, the toy will move. When they see a bottle or the breast, they anticipate that a feeding is coming. These are patterns that baby can understand.

    The way your baby makes sense of sleep is through the patterns you create. When bedtime always means bouncing on a yoga ball until falling asleep, baby will continue to expect bouncing to fall asleep until you change that pattern.

    Whatever pattern you have created, this builds the predictability that baby needs in order to relax and fall asleep. When bedtime and how you handle night wakings have no pattern at all, this is when you see the most disruption to sleep.

    Sleep training does not necessarily mean letting your child cry it out. It means making an intentional series of changes to the patterns you have taught your baby. It might be done quickly, it might be done gradually. But sleep training is the only option that changes the pattern baby associates with sleep.

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    How Can Parents Help Their Babies Sleep Through The Night

    In addition to a consistent bedtime routine, two strategies have been demonstrated as effective in helping babies sleep uninterrupted during the night: bedtime fading and graduated extinction.

    Bedtime fading is putting the baby to bed 15 minutes later each night to compress sleep and limit time in bed. If the parent checks on the baby 15 minutes after putting them to bed and they are asleep, bedtime no longer needs to be delayed.

    Graduated extinction is the process of creating longer and longer gaps between when a baby cries and when the parent responds to the cry. The parent waits for two minutes after the baby first cries before responding, then waits four, and then six minutes after the next cries. These waiting periods are gradually extended over time until the baby has learned to self-soothe.

    Not all strategies work for all babies. Consult your pediatrician for suggestions that are right for your child.

    Sleep Patterns By Age

    The nighttime may seem like a blur to new parents who are constantly up and down for feedings but there are some general sleep patterns you can expect to see, depending on the age of your baby.

    • Newborn Newborns do not sleep through the night, says Dr. Lewis. They will wake up to feed every two to four hours.
    • 1-month-old At 1 month, your baby may sleep longer through the night, such as 4-6 hours, but typically wake up to feed every three to four hours at night, says Lewis.
    • 2 to 3 months Some two to three-month-olds sleep through the night, says Lewis. Each baby at this age has different needs. Some babies who are having growth spurts or who didn’t gain weight as well the first two months will continue to wake up frequently to feed.
    • 4 to 6 months The majority of babies at this age will sleep through the night, provided they are not on a feeding schedule that keeps them from doing so, says Lewis. If your baby is not sleeping eight hours through at this age, discuss strategies with your doctor.

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    What Sleeping Through The Night Means

    In addition to new parent concerns, many parents aren’t even sure what it means for a baby to sleep through the night. According to sleep experts, sleeping through the night means different things depending on your baby’s age. “Sleeping through the night” for a 3-month-old is different from that of a 10-month-old.

    Generally speaking, your baby will start sleeping through the night when the natural wake-sleep cycle begins to stabilize. Instead of waking every two to four hours at night to eat, your baby may sleep for five hours at night, wake to eat, and then sleep another two or three hours. Additionally, time spent awake during the day may grow longer.

    Sleep experts find that by 6 months of age, consolidated nighttime sleep patterns, which include at least six consecutive hours, are seen in over half of the infant population in studies. And by 9 to 12 months of age, 72% of infants sleep at least six consolidated hours at night.

    Keep in mind that to be physiologically able to sleep for longer durations, your baby needs an ability to store calories to fuel nighttime growth processes.

    This increased calorie consumption occurs when your baby can not only handle larger feedings but also store fat and carbohydrates. But resist the urge to rush this process and overfeed your baby. If your baby is uncomfortable or experiences reflux, this will interfere with sleep, too.

    Your Infant Is Going Through A Sleep Regression

    When can my baby start sleeping through the night ...

    When a child goes through a sleep regression, there can be multiple variances in their sleep patterns. They could suddenly start sleeping more, and they could also start sleeping less. It can all be very confusing.

    However, as every child brings their own uniqueness to the table, we have to roll with the punches. If you notice sudden changes in your child’s sleep patterns seemingly due to no reason, they’re likely experiencing developments in the brain. Enduring a developmental burst can be exhausting for a child, as their mind is exerting a tremendous amount of energy to grow.

    While it’s nothing to worry about, developmental bursts can often lead to a regression in sleep.

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