When Do Babies Start Sleeping Through the Night?
One of the most common parenting questions is related to when babies start sleeping through the night. While every newborn is a story in themselves, there are still certain guidelines on what a sleep schedule should look like, and what are the stages related to that pattern.
It is true that during the first few months it can get quite exhausting to follow it as a parent, due to the fact that babies have an irregular sleeping regime, and tend to wake up during the night. The reason for that? They go through longer REM periods than we adults do. It is due to the fact that REM periods are critical for healthy brain development and hence, are most present during the first few months of growing up.
No matter how much you love your newborn baby, you may still be concerned that this stage will last for who knows how long. Lucky for you that is not true, and usually it doesn't take longer than a couple of months for your baby to develop a more regular sleep routine that will benefit all.
But a newborn baby needs up to 17 hours of sleep, and that is mostly achieved through a few 2-3 hours naps. All this is quite interesting to discuss – as they age, babies turn to night sleeping and have better reasoning when it comes to bedtime. The Baby Sleep Miracle offers valuable tips on how to help your baby develop a healthy sleep routine.
In order to answer the question of when do babies start sleeping through the night, we will have to get into details on why they sleep irregularly in the first place.
Why Do Babies Have Irregular Sleep Patterns?
This all depends on how old your baby is. If we are talking about a newborn baby, it is quite common that they need anywhere from 15 to 18 hours of effective sleep, but the main problem with it is that it comes as short naps.
What this means is that as a parent, you will need to wake up every couple of hours to soothe your baby and address their needs. Still, this is a part of the process and at no point should you be concerned. The most important thing to remember? It will pass.
While it may seem like your baby will never acquire a healthy sleep routine, it will happen eventually.
In fact, as soon as your baby turns 8 weeks, they will have a better understanding of what is night and day. Of course, as a parent, you play a huge role in making this difference. What you should do is help the baby associate playtime and stimuli with day, and bedtime with the night.
It may be hard at first due to the fact that newborns can’t sleep for more than 3 hours at a time, and yet they need so much sleep. But once they are 2 months old, they will develop the ability to stay in the deep sleep stage for more than a couple of hours.
In fact, much like the Baby Sleep Miracle site suggests, by the time your baby is 6 months old, their sleep routine will comprise mostly 9-12 hours a night, and a few 1-hour daytime naps.
A baby that is 1 year old needs somewhere around 10 to 12 hours of sleep, of which 90% will happen during the nighttime. As you can see, while the first few months of parenting may be quite exhausting, when it comes to a regular sleep routine, it won’t be long before it all settles down.
Is Your Baby Getting Enough Sleep?
Now a concern that many parents have is if their baby is getting enough sleep. This may be affected by a number of different causes and is an issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. It is not uncommon that babies have trouble falling asleep due to either being overstimulated or overtired.
No matter how weird this may seem, a baby that didn’t get enough sleep may have trouble falling asleep, due to the fact that they are aggravated and fussing. This can be easily solved by ensuring a healthy sleep routine, consisting of a lot of night bedtime and a few day naps.
Apart from being affected by lack of sleep, your baby can have trouble due to the fact that they are overstimulated. Therefore, while playing with your baby is something you should do while they are awake, you should allow them time to calm down before it is time to sleep. Only this way can you ensure that they will not have trouble falling asleep.
It is quite common that the atmosphere surrounding the baby may have an impact on the sleep pattern. Whether it is too much noise or no noise at all, you should adjust it according to your baby’s needs. Also, if the temperature is off, try to fix it by covering your baby with a blanket or taking the extra layer of clothing off them.
While lack of sleep is a common issue, there are some parents who are worried that their baby is getting too much. While this is not that easy to detect, you may look for certain red flags such as your baby is falling asleep all the time, that they are never in the mood for play or normal activities.
In most of the cases, oversleeping can be caused by certain medical conditions that should promptly be addressed by a doctor. Oversleeping, much like under-sleeping, will not yield the optimum results when it comes to brain development.
At the end of the day, you as a parent, should do everything in power to ensure that your baby gets an adequate amount of sleep during the night.
Only by helping your baby understand the difference between certain parts of the day, will you allow them to transcend to a regular sleeping pattern. For more information, check out the Baby Sleep Miracle site.