The $64 million question: When will my baby sleep all night?
It is a question all parents ask, but when can you expect your baby to sleep through the night?
When will my baby sleep through the night? What parent hasn’t asked that question as they stagger around wondering how they’ll get through the day after only sleeping a couple of unbroken hours the night before.
What is considered sleeping all night?
What does constitute a whole night’s sleep? When you have a young baby, you might feel a 4 hour stretch is a good result but a full night’s sleep is considered as eight hours or more.
So what factors will change that will allow my baby to start sleeping through?
Learning to self soothe
This is an important one, as your baby grows they may learn to suck a thumb or finger or even cuddle up to a toy or comforter if they wake in the night and manage to settle themselves back to sleep rather than needing to cry to get your attention to come in and soothe them back to sleep.
Losing the startle reflex
The startle, or Moro reflex is something that all newborns have, any noise, vivid dream or sudden movement can cause your baby’s limbs to jerk in reaction to it. This naturally disturbs your baby’s sleep and causes them to wake. Once they reach 4 months, this becomes less sensitive and can help your little one to start sleeping for longer at night.
Feeding more during the day
As your baby gets older you will find their appetite through the day increases meaning they are less reliant on night feeds. Between 6 months and 9 months, and is weaning, babies can start the process of filling themselves up more from day feeds and be less reliant on their night feed, so can become one less reason for your baby to wake in the night.
So when is my baby likely to sleep through the night?
Although you may have a more consistent night’s sleep by the age of 6-9 months, it is generally around 10-12 months that most babies settle into a longer sleep at night without any need for night time feeds. Of course, it's important to remember that hunger is just one of the reasons your baby may wake in the night.
As we know, all babies are different and they all reach the various milestones at different times. But the good news is with sleep as with everything else, they all get there in the end. If your baby is still waking at 12 months, try and work with them at their own pace to learn to self soothe and ensure they are eating sufficiently during the day and not napping too much.