Dont Put Off Sleep Training Because The Baby Is Teething
Newsflash: Your baby is always teething. Or sick with a cold. Or coming down with something. Or recovering from something. Or over-tired. Or suffering from Unexplained Fussy Baby Syndrome. If you intend to sleep train, its important to know that it may never feel like the right time. Experts say its easiest to sleep train a baby between the ages of six and 12 months, but use your judgment and listen to your gut. If youre not fully committed to sleep training before you start, you wont stick to it.
When To Wake A Baby For Feeding
Newborns often cluster-feed, which means that they may eat several times over the course of 12 hours or nurse for an extended period. Most newborns should eat every 23 hours or more if a pediatrician recommends so or if the baby is not gaining enough weight.
Feeding a newborn whenever they show hunger cues such as rooting, sucking, or sticking out their tongue is the best way to ensure that they get enough food.
It is not necessary to wake most older newborns up to eat. However, those younger than 1 month old or so may not wake up when they feel hungry. Babies younger than 4 weeks old should not go longer than 45 hours without food.
To wake a baby up to eat, try brushing the side of their cheek. This can trigger the rooting reflex. Most babies dislike having their feet stroked. So, if stroking the cheek does not work, try gently wiggling the babys toes or gently stroking the bottoms of their feet.
Food needs vary from baby to baby. Parents and caregivers should consult a pediatrician or nursing expert, who can offer individual advice based on the needs and development of the baby.
Myth: Your Baby Should Sleep In A Light Room During The Day So They Know It Isnt Night Time
FACT: Daytime and nighttime means very little to your baby, so being in a light or a dark room wont change that. The fact is that babies find the dark extremely comforting and it will be a lot easier for your baby to settle and sleep in a dark room. Especially if your baby is over 2 months old as the dark promotes the release of melatonin, which is a hormone crucial to your baby settling and sleeping well. The best way to actually help your baby understand the day/night difference is by regulating their circadian rhythm – this is done by, for example, always waking them at the same time each morning and heading towards a consistent bedtime at night.
Don’t Miss: How Many Poopy Diapers Should A Newborn Have
When Do Babies Sleep Through The Night
When you can expect your baby to start sleeping through the night depends on several factors, including baby’s age, weight, whether or not you are breastfeeding, and your family’s nighttime feeding habits.
Here’s when babies start sleeping through the night, plus more info about babies’ sleeping habits and patterns by age:
Myth: Babies Dont Need Much Day Sleep If They Sleep Well At Night
FACT: Day sleep and night sleep is intrinsically linked. The first 12 hours of your babys day directly affects the next 12 . A baby who sleeps well in the day will also sleep well at night, provided their daily cumulative nap hours havent been exceeded for their age. For a baby who is already sleeping through the night but napping poorly, establishing better naps will not adversely affect their nights in the long-run, however continued poor napping will definitely start to negatively impact on their night sleep after a while.
Also Check: How Many Ounces Should I Feed My Newborn
Do Your Baby’s Sleep Habits Leave You Feeling Like A Zombie Be Patienta Full Night Of Snoozing Is On Its Way Learn When Babies Start Sleeping Through The Night And What It Means For Physical And Cognitive Development
Most parents suffer from sleep deprivation during the first few months of their baby’s life. “Babies need good ‘sleep nutrition’both the right amount and the right quality of sleepfor optimal physical, cognitive, and emotional development,” says Jennifer Waldburger, M.S.W., co-creator of The Sleepeasy Solution book and DVD. When and how your baby will achieve good sleep nutrition depends on factors like his age, weight, temperament, and environment, and your family’s routine.
The good news is, with a little work and a lot of patience on your part, your baby will eventually snooze for hours at a time. Keep reading to learn when babies sleep through the night naturally, and how the milestone affects development.
How To Set Up A Bedtime Routine
The idea behind a bedtime routine is to settle and relax your baby before putting her down in her crib for sleep, including for naps.Because babies tend to love routine, having a simple ritual that you always follow helps your baby anticipate and learn that the time for sleep is coming, and helps her wind down.A bedtime routine can include a bath, a song or story, or a baby massage. Avoid any stimulating activities in the period just before sleep.Make sure your baby is still awake when you place him in his crib. This helps create a positive sleep association with the crib.
Recommended Reading: How To Know If Newborn Is Constipated
When To See A Doctor
If an infant is not regularly sleeping through the night by the time they are 6 months old, it may be best to seek a doctors advice. Although it is unlikely that anything is wrong, the doctor will check the infants health and be able to offer support.
Lack of sleep can be very challenging for parents and caregivers. Try to set good habits early, but be flexible and make changes to routines if needed. Try to rest or nap during the day if possible.
When Will Your Baby Stop Waking Up In The Night
Every baby is different, so itâs impossible to say precisely when your little one will settle into a day-night routine thatâs more or less in tune with yours. In fact, even what you yourself regard as sleeping through the night can vary.
As a parent, you might define âsleeping through the nightâ as when your baby can sleep long stretches at night and even when your baby can wake in the middle of the night but fall back to sleep without needing to be soothed or fed.
It takes time to get to this point, so you might need plenty of patience in the early months. Your baby has to learn how to self-soothe after waking so that he or she can fall back asleep without crying out for you.
Keep in mind that your babyâs sleep patterns may vary a lot throughout the first year. Getting to the stage where your little one can sleep through the night is not necessarily a linear process, so donât be dismayed if thereâs a setback or two along the way.
For example, a baby might be able to sleep for longish blocks with no issues for several weeks or even months, and then revert to waking up in the night and crying out for attention.
These times can be challenging but remember that theyâre usually a passing phase. In the meantime, snatch as many naps as you can to keep your energy up and donât be shy about asking your partner, a close friend or relative to help out if you need a little downtime for yourself.
You May Like: How To Handle A Newborn
Why Is An Infant Sleep Schedule Important
An infant sleep schedule is predictable, and predictability comforts babies, easing the transition from the busy daytime to the lull of bedtime.
A sleep schedule featuring bedtime and naptime routines paves the way for eventually teaching your baby to fall asleep on her own and sleep through the night.
Set A Bedtime Routine
A study of 405 mothers — with infants between 7 months and 36 months old — showed that babies who followed a nightly bedtime routine went to sleep easier, slept better, and cried out in the middle of the night less often.
Some parents start their baby’s bedtime routine as early as 6 to 8 weeks old. Your baby’s routine can be any combination of regular bedtime activities. The keys to success:
- Play active games during the day and quiet games in the evening. This keeps your baby from getting too excited right before bedtime but gets them tired from the day’s activities.
- Keep activities the same and in the same order, night after night.
- Make every activity calm and peaceful, especially toward the end of the routine.
- Many babies enjoy bathing right before bedtime, which calms them down.
- Save your baby’s favorite activity for last, and do it in their bedroom. This will help them look forward to bedtime and associate their sleep space with things they like to do.
- Make nighttime conditions in your baby’s bedroom consistent. If they wake up in the middle of the night, the sounds and lights in the room should be the same as when they fell asleep. If you need to feed or change your baby during the night, keep the lights low and the talking to a minimum. Too much stimulation can make it hard for them to settle again.
You May Like: How Many Ounces Should A Newborn Eat In A Day
Myth: You Should Teach Your Newborn How To Self
FACT: Babies under 12 weeks genuinely arent capable of consciously self-settling. It is also not crucial that your baby has this skill until theyre over 3 months old anyway, when they start waking between sleep cycles. A baby under 12 weeks is able to transition a lot easier between sleep cycles, regardless of how they went to sleep at the start of each nap or at bedtime. It is however, good practice to put them in bed when theyre awake but drowsy so they do the final bit of falling asleep by themselves if you think they can. If youve been following our Sleep Program your baby will be good and ready for sleep and this will make it a lot easier for them to fall asleep without you helping them too much.
Typical Sleep Patterns By Age Group
Your baby’s age is a key factor in when and how long your little one sleeps. The typical scenarios below can help give you a rough idea of how your babyâs sleep patterns could develop, and at what age he or she might start to sleep all night.
Keep in mind, though, that every babyâs sleep routine will develop at a different pace. For more personalised advice itâs best to speak to your health visitor or your babyâs doctor.
You May Like: How To Pick A Car Seat For Newborn
Signs Your Newborn Is Tired
Your baby may get tired after any activity – a feed, a nappy change, or when youve had a cuddle or playtime. Theyll likely get tired after theyve been awake for one to one and a half hours.
When theyre tired, your baby might:
- clench or suck on their fists
- have tense or jerky movements
- arch backwards
- have trouble focusing, or stare into space
- startle easily.
Why Does My Baby Keep Waking Up At Night
We know it’s exhausting for new parents but night waking is completely normal for babies. Especially in the early months.
Most babies actually cant sleep through the night especially those younger than three months old .
Newborn babies sleep for around two to four hours at a time . Babies are lighter sleepers than adults so theyll wake more easily. Theyve also got tiny tummies so they need to feed often too .
Recommended Reading: How To Apply For Medical For A Newborn
What Does ‘sleeping Through The Night’ Actually Mean
Sleeping through the night is usually defined as sleeping six to eight straight hours overnight.
But remember, thats only a fraction of the total 10 to 12 hours of sleep babies generally need at night, depending on age and stage, in addition to daytime naps. Meaning that even if your baby is “sleeping through the night” at 3 to 6 months old, you probably wont be for a while .
Infants under 6 months old can usually sleep anywhere from three to eight hours at night, depending on age and stage. And babies between 4 and 6 months old are developmentally able to sleep through the night without a feeding, but whether they do is another story. Babies, like adults, eat for comfort and pleasure, not just nourishment.
To 12 Months: When Sleeping Through The Night Could Start
At 6 months, your baby may start sleeping the majority of her daily sleep hours during the night.
Between 6 and 10 months is the period your baby will start getting more active and mobile, as she begins rolling over, crawling, and pulling herself up on furniture. All these activities tire her out, resulting in these longer periods of sleep at night.
At about 8 or 9 months old, your baby might be able to sleep anywhere between 6 and 12 hours at night without waking up hungry.
Just remember that these typical scenarios donât mean that your little one wonât wake up during the night occasionally. And, depending on when you put your baby to bed, she may wake up very early in the morning after a long block of sleepâmeaning that you, as the parent, wonât necessarily be âsleeping through the nightâ just yet. For example, if you put her to bed at 8 p.m., she may wake up between 2 and 4 a.m., which will still be an early wake-up call for you.
Don’t Miss: When Do You Take Newborn Photos
Myth: Babies Younger Than 6 Months Cant Sleep Through The Night
FACT: A babys ability to sleep through the night depends on so many factors their weight, their daily milk and food intake, their sleep environment, whether theyre swaddled or not , the temperature in their room, whether theyre sick, how much day sleep theyve had, whether theyre able to settle themselves to sleep . It is completely possible for a baby as young as 6 weeks to sleep through the night in the right circumstances.
Teach Your Baby The Difference Between Day And Night
As previously mentioned, your newborn will sleep whenever and wherever they want and thats the way it should be. How else are they going to get all the sleep they need?
But when your baby is about 2 months old, you can use daytime and nighttime behaviors to gently nudge your baby toward a more normal sleep schedule. Thats because most babies start to develop sleep patterns when they are 2 months old. By the time babies are 3-6 months old, their naps, bedtime and wakeup times are pretty consistent.
Helping your baby distinguish between night and day goes a long way in establishing good sleep patterns. Daytime is therefore playtime be as active as possible during the day. Open up the shades, let the sunshine pour in and make some noise while your baby is sleeping. Make noise around a sleeping baby? I know, it sounds crazy. But this is a good way to help your baby realize that it is daytime.
Then at night, be as quiet as possible. When youre up for middle-of-the-night feedings it should be all business. Change your baby without cooing, playing or chatting. Your focus is to get them back to sleep quickly rather than playing with them.
You May Like: What Shots Are Required For Newborns
Establish A Bedtime Routine
Not only will your little one find the routine comforting, it will become baby’s signal that its time to sleep. Begin with a nice, relaxing bath warm water is both soothing and sleep-inducing. Follow with a story, cuddles and lullabies. Finish with a full feeding. If your baby is gassy, you can move the bedtime feeding to earlier in the routine.
Safe Sleep Practices For Infants
Practice the ABCs of safe sleep: Babies should always sleep Alone, on their Backs, in a Crib. Place your baby on his or her back for every sleep, night time and nap time.
Do not put your baby to sleep on his side or tummy.
Once your baby can roll from his back to tummy and tummy to back, your baby can stay in the sleep position that he assumes. But always place your baby to sleep on his back.
Place your baby on a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib with slats no greater than 2-3/8 inches apart.
Make sure your babys face and head stay uncovered and clear of blankets and other coverings during sleep. If a blanket is used make sure your baby is placed feet-to-foot in the crib. Remove all pillows from the crib.
Create a smoke-free-zone around your baby.
Avoid overheating during sleep and maintain your babys bedroom at a temperature comfortable for an average adult.
Remove all mobiles and hanging crib toys by about the age of 5 months, when your baby begins to pull up in the crib.
Remove crib bumpers by about 12 months, when your baby can begin to climb
For additional safe sleep practices for infants including information and video on choking, making a safe home environment, resources, swaddling and tummy time, click here.
Don’t Miss: Why Are Newborn Photos So Expensive
Your Babys First Weeks: Multiple Sleep Blocks At Night
In their first month or so, newborn babies generally sleep most of the time and wake every few hours, day and night to feed. Your baby may also wake up if he or she is too hot or too cold.
All babies are different, and this is especially true when it comes to the amount of sleep they need. As a rough guide though, your newborn baby could sleep for up to 16 to 17 hours in total during a 24-hour period.
This may sound like more than enough for the both of you, but thereâs a catch: This total will usually be spread across about seven separate sleep periods that happen both during the day and night.
This is why this first month or two might seem like the hardest on you, as having to get up several times during the night to tend to your baby will leave you feeling exhausted.
If you can, take naps during the day to help keep your own energy levels up, and try to be patient. It takes time for a routine to develop but sleeping through the night may not be too far off for your baby and you.