#3 OF #5 - When Will My Baby Sleep Through the Night?

When Will My Baby Sleep Through the Night?

When you’re not feeding your newborn, you’re doing one of a couple of other things; changing their diapers or putting them down to sleep. In the early days, it's impossible not to think of the future, and hope that everything you are doing right now is going to lead to blissful nights of uninterrupted sleep – one can dream, right?

“Are they sleeping through the night?” A question asked of new parents, and oftentimes too quickly following the baby’s birth. Inadvertently adding a little more pressure, whether this is your 1st baby or 5th. If all is going well, then maybe you’re happy to boast about how easy baby is, and how you’re a pro! But if you're 6 months in and getting up at all hours of the night, this question can grate on you. Especially if that is followed with tips that the questioner really wants to share with you.

The reality is every baby is different and develops at their own pace. But, of course, this would not be a worthwhile blog post if we failed to depart our own awesome wisdom on you. Our goal is to help everyone in the family get a better (or even just a little bit more) night's sleep.

What is Normal Infant Sleep?

Before we dive into how to help baby sleep through the night, let's talk about what is normal infant sleep. Newborns typically sleep for 14-17 hours per day. Wow! That sounds like a lot, right? But this sleep is fragmented into short periods that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. As babies grow and develop, their sleep patterns change. By 4 months of age, most babies have a more predictable sleep-wake cycle and sleep for longer periods at night. By 6 months, many babies can sleep through the night, although some may still wake up for one or two feedings.

A few things can affect a baby's ability to sleep through the night. Here are some of the most common factors:


Newborns have tiny stomachs, and they need to eat frequently to grow. As they grow and their stomachs get bigger, they can go for longer periods between feeds. However, some babies may still need to eat during the night, even after 6 months of age. Also, breastfed babies may need to eat more frequently than formula-fed babies.

Sleep Routine

Babies learn to fall asleep in a particular way, and they may need that same routine to fall back asleep if they wake up during the night. For example, if your baby needs to be rocked to sleep, they may need to be rocked back to sleep if they wake up during the night. Over time, babies can learn to fall asleep without sleep associations, but it takes time and consistency.

Sleep Environment

The environment in which your baby sleeps can also affect their sleep. A dark, quiet room that is neither too hot nor too cold can help your baby sleep better. Some babies may also prefer white noise or a gentle lullaby to help them fall asleep. A good and proper swaddle can also help keep baby at the right temperature and make them feel as secure as they were in Mommy's womb. Check out our 'How to Swaddle' pin on Pinterest


Teething can be a painful process for babies, and it can disrupt sleep. They will most likely wake up more frequently and need extra comfort. If your baby is sick or has an ear infection, they may have trouble sleeping. Talk to your pediatrician if you suspect that your baby's sleep problems are due to an underlying illness.

Now that we've covered some of the factors that can affect baby sleep, let's look at some tips to help your baby sleep through the night.

Develop a Bedtime Routine

Developing a consistent bedtime routine can help your baby learn to associate certain activities with sleep. A warm bath, a story, and a lullaby. A consistent routine leads to consistent behavior – sleep.

Put Your Baby to Bed When They're Sleepy, But Not Asleep

Putting your baby to bed when they're drowsy but still awake can help them learn to fall asleep on their own. If your baby falls asleep while you're holding them or rocking them, they may have trouble falling back asleep on their own if they wake up in the middle of the night. Plus, the transition of moving from a parent's warm arms to the not-yet-warm crib, is not an easy maneuver. 

At the end of the day (literally)

Try to remember that the sleep routine is very important and while it might be cozy and oh-so-sweet to lie down with baby to get them to sleep, that will have to happen every night - when you have a house full of dinner guests, or other distractions. The more complex the nighttime routine is, the more difficult it will be to break that habit.  Keep the routine short, simple, and with a great deal of calmness. The goal is to slow down the day and ease into sleep mode.

Training your baby to be a good sleeper is a gift that is lifelong. The effects are far-reaching, so a good start will benefit everyone. 

If you are experiencing sleep deprivation, talk to your immediate family to see if they can help. If the problem persists, talk to your baby’s doctor.

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