Becoming a parent is the most precious feeling in the world. It is a privilege and a blessing because the couple worked towards bringing a new life to the world. The mother keeps the baby inside her for 9 months, and the father plants the seed and witnesses the growth through the growing tummy. Now that the baby has entered the world, there will be a list of responsibilities. Get ready for sleepless night because the initial months are tough.
For the baby, it is an unfamiliar world. They were used to being inside their mother’s womb and the environment was completely different. Speaking of sleepless nights – Is it going to be the same for the coming months/years? The answer is NO! The baby learns to sleep through the night and that is when you can take a break and complete your sleep.
The question is – When do babies start sleeping through the night?
You are waiting for the 2 AM milk feeding to come to an end. Breast feeding has its own benefits, but sleep is equally important. For a human being, 8 hours of constant and undisturbed sleep is beneficial. It keeps you active throughout the day and fills your body with energy. Just like a robot needs recharging or charging, your body needs rest.
In this article, we will understand the following:
- When do babies start sleeping throughout the night?
- Why is the baby not sleeping through the night?
Accepting the Challenge
The first thing you need to do is stop complaining. In the planning stage, you knew that after the birth of the baby, there will be changes in your lifestyle. You are no longer a bachelor or two people living under the same roof. The baby needs attention and care. It is going to be a challenge to train the baby to sleep all alone, but you need to accept it and work towards the goal.
In the initial months, getting a 5-hour long sleep will be a blessing. You need to feed the baby and soothe them. Do not leave them alone in the first two-three months because the baby is too small to self-soothe. Leaving them alone in a room is not advisable.
They are going to cry out loud and disturb the neighbours. It is possible that you may have to hold them constantly to put them to deep sleep. Is it going to be challenging? Yes!
Is it impossible to get them to sleep through the night? The answer is a resounding NO! With a little bit of effort and patience, your baby will be able to sleep throughout the night.
Putting an End to Sleepless Nights
Newborn babies tend to sleep a lot. In the first few months, they would need a lot of attention. However, after 6 months of age, they will be able to fall asleep and be in a deep snooze for the rest of the night.
You need to use some self-soothing and sleep training techniques. It generally starts from 3-4 months of age. It is good to start early because they will learn to self-soothe. If you are making them get used to you holding them then it will develop into a habit.
Respond to the needs of the baby in the initial months, but start using Ferber method or the camping out method after 4 months of age. This is the right time to train them to sleep without being held. The baby is going to sleep at a stretch of 5 hours, but the 8-hours deep sleep will happen after 6 months of age.
If you wish to sleep through the night and want the baby to go into a deep slumber, then sleep training will always help.
Routines work wonders!
Developing a routine is a necessity. Firstly, you need to set a fixed time for the baby to sleep. Put him/her in the crib or the bed at 7:30 PM. Do not put the baby down late in the night because it gets difficult for them to sleep. A baby gets over tired in case they are up till very late in the night.
If they are in the crib by 7-7:30, you will get enough time to finish your kitchen/office work and then going to sleep. In case it is late in the night, then it will get difficult for you to sleep in time.
Establishing a bedtime routine is a must! The baby requires some comfort and assurance. Read them a bedtime story or a sing a lullaby. These days there are white noise musical tracks that help in soothing the baby.
Do not expect the baby to self-soothe before 4 months of age. The sleep training should start after 4 months. Put him/her in the crib fully awake and let them fall asleep on their own.
Watch out for the Red Flag
What if the baby is not sleeping through the night even after 12 months? This is a red flag and you need to contact the health care provider immediately.
In case the baby is snoring or has difficulty in breathing then there is a health concern. The baby does not know your language and will communicate to you through loud cries.
If they are getting fussy and are unable to eat then get him/her checked. These are some of the signs that something is not right with his/her health.
Sleeping through the night refers to the ability of the baby to sleep for 8-12 hours without the need to get up for milk feeding. Majority of the babies will start sleeping for these many hours after 6 months or it might even take 9 months.
Do not fall for the ‘feed your baby rice cereal and get them to sleep’ tactic. Never feed your baby anything that your doctor has not recommended.
However, develop a sleeping routine for the little one. They are unaware of your schedule and as soon as you train them to sleep, they will learn that putting them down on the crib means snooze time.
Lastly, be patient with the baby because they are new to the world and it will take time for them to get used to routines. Do not give up!