“Sleep through the night” is sleeping 6 to 8 hours straight overnight. Newborn babies tend to sleep about 14 to 17 hours on a 24-hour day. However, most of them have sporadic sleep patterns and may not string many of those hours together during their first few months. Others may even reverse their day and night sleep schedule and end up sleeping more during the daytime instead of at night in what is called “day-night reversal.
Why Does My Baby Not Sleep Through the Night?
When the baby starts to sleep on the day/night reversal, she may end up being awake and busy the whole night. Although this is frustrating and exhausting, it’s only temporary. From an expert’s point of view, most babies can wake up during the night due to an empty belly or thirst and a drink of breast milk or formula will do the trick. When your baby is sick or on a teething stage, sleeping at night may be a nightmare due to the discomfort they may be undergoing. It is important to check with your pediatrician in case you suspect pain, cold, allergies, gassy stomach, or constipation.
Sometimes the baby may only want to spend some time with you and it helps a great deal when you sleep with your baby in the same room as they feel close. Sleeping problems may also be an indication that your diet may be stimulating your baby. This can occur in the form of eating too much chocolate, coffee, tea, smoking, etc, which can be passed to the baby through breast milk. A busy day full of noise and activity may also make it hard for the baby to drift to sleep at night.
How to Make a Baby Sleep Through the Night?
When you know the reason your baby can’t sleep through the night, you can take some measures that may assist them. The following tricks are helpful in nudging your baby to sleep through the night:
- Learn your baby’s feeding and sleeping times and tease out these patterns instead of making your baby follow your schedule. Watching out for sleeping cues such as rubbing the eyes and yawning may assist decipher the right nap and bedtimes.
- Try to create a bedtime routine as early as possible with your baby so that she can get accustomed to it. You can start the routine as early as when your baby is 6 to 8 weeks old. This can be a combination of some regular bedtime activities such as playing quiet games in the evening, making every activity calm and peaceful towards the night, bath the baby to calm them down before bedtime, and ensuring dim lighting in her room so that in case she wakes up in the middle of the night, she will find the lights the same as when they went to sleep.
- When your baby is around 6 to 12 weeks old, soothe her until she is drowsy or on the verge of sleep and then put her down to a bed and let her drift off to sleep on her own. This is essential as your baby can develop the habit of soothing herself to sleep when she stirs and notices that she is not in your arms.
- When your little one stirs in the middle of the night, do not assume that she is hungry or thirsty. Give her a few moments to settle on her own. Try other tricks such as soft singing or rubbing her belly instead of feeding.
- Avoid serving your baby with solid foods before she is 6 months old as it can hinder sleep, trigger food allergies, and other gastrointestinal issues.
- Train your baby to stretch out her night feedings by making sure she is full when going to sleep.
What are the Challenges in Training a Baby to Sleep Through the Night?
Training your baby to sleep through the night may seem an easy task but it actually has a lot of challenges.
- One of the challenges is that most parents feel guilty about sleep training and after trying for a few days without success, often in the form of tears and loud crying from the baby, they quit. Most often, if they had been persistent for a day or two, the sleep problem would have been fixed.
- Training a child with medical problems such as obstructive sleep apnea, anxiety, asthma, pain, etc, may be very challenging as they won’t respond to the behavioral changes more easily.
- Being consistent in training is another challenge. Inconsistent may occur due to exhaustion of the parents, separation of the parents, or a working parent, among other reasons. Parents should also try to handle bedtime or awakenings with the same consistent approach.
- The other challenge in sleep training is when there are bedroom challenges such as bed-sharing among the siblings or living in a noisy neighborhood or street. To facilitate the training, the child should sleep in her parent’s room but in her own crib.
- Some challenges occur when your baby is around 9 months old. This is when she starts to develop separation anxiety, teething, learning to move, nap resistance, early waking, and continued inability to self-settle.
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can a 1 Month Old Baby Sleep through the night?
A 1-month-old baby’s sleep may be about 14 to 17 hours a day. 1-month-old baby sleeping through the night at this stage may be impossible since she may wake up to feed every three to four hours. Since she can’t figure out night and day differences, her feeding and sleeping schedules may change from day to day as she begins figuring it out. Although letting your 1-month-old baby not sleeping soothe herself to sleep may not work, you can place her in a crib to distract yourself if you’ve tried everything but she still can‘t sleep.
2 Months Old Baby Sleep
A 2-month-old baby’s sleep may not differ much from that of a 1-month-old. This is because your baby needs to wake up at night to feed every 2 to 4 hours. At 2 months, your baby should sleep for about 12 to 16 hours a day, that is, 10 to 8 hours at night and 4 to 8 hours during the daytime. 2-month-old sleeping through the night may not be common at this stage as your baby needs to feed regularly and she is also still trying to adjust to the night and day schedule hours.
3 Months Old Baby Sleep
A typical 3-month-old baby’s sleep may be about 7 to 8 hours with a feeding session or two during the night, especially if she is nursing. Your 3-month baby’s sleep mostly occurs during the night at this age, making this a perfect opportunity to make the baby’s transition to sleep training easier. This is because your baby will start adapting to her surrounding, including things like music and day/night time.
4 Month Old Baby Sleep
A 4-month-old baby’s sleep should an average of 14 hours a day. At this age, your baby can sleep through the night without interruptions for feeding. Sleep training is mostly recommended to be initiated at this age.
5 Month Old Baby Sleep
Average 5-month-old baby sleep is about 3 to 4 hours during the day and 11 to 12 hours during the night. The 5-month baby’s sleep can occur without the need for feeding interruptions. However, she may wake up 1-3 times to eat at night. 5-month-old sleep problems may occur which may result in your 5-month-old not sleeping through the night. In case your 5-month-old baby not sleeping for 7-8 straight hours occurs, you can begin the sleep training. However, 5 month old not sleeping may not be a big issue if you had begun the sleep training earlier at 4 months.
6 Month Old Baby Sleep
The 6-month baby’s sleep may be similar to a 5-month-old baby. The average 6-month-old baby’s sleep should be about 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and 3.5 hours of daytime naps. In other words, your 6-month-old not sleeping through the night may not be a common issue if your baby is healthy. However, if your 6-month-old won’t sleep through the night, sleep training should be initiated or continued if it had been initiated earlier. Your 6-month-old baby’s sleep schedule should be strictly followed if the 6-month old not have sleeping issues occur.
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7 Month Baby Sleep
A 7-month-old baby’s sleep ranges from 10 to 1 hour at night. At this age, a 7-month-old not sleeping through the night may be due to late sleep training, sickness, and other discomforts.
8 Month Old Baby Sleep
An 8-month baby’s sleep needs may vary as per the individual. However, your 8-month-old baby’s sleep should be an average of between 12 to 15 hours a day. If an 8-month-old not sleeping issue occurs, various tricks mentioned above may be employed to assist your baby. Some 8 months old won’t sleep through the night due to thirst, hunger, or teething discomforts. The 8-month-old not sleeping through the night may also be due to sleeping regression caused by a lot of brain development at the time.
A 9-month-old baby’s sleep at this time involves sleeping through the night without feeding breaks. This should involve 2 to 3 hours of naps per day and 11 to 12 hours of sleep at night. 9 months old not sleeping through the night may also be due to teething, sickness, or sleeping regression.