Sleeping through the night is sleeping 6 to 8 hours straight overnight. Newborn babies sleep about 14 to 17 hours in a 24 hour day. However, most of them have irregular sleep patterns and may not sleep many of those hours together dsluring their first few months. Some babies may even reverse their day and night sleep schedule and end up sleeping more during the day time instead of at night, and this 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, he 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 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 if 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 of your baby may also be an indication that your diet contains 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 why your baby can’t sleep through the night, then you can take some measures that may assist you in putting them to sleep. The following tricks help nudge your baby to sleep through the night:
- Observe your baby’s feeding and sleeping times and follow out these patterns instead of making your baby follow your schedule. Watch out for sleeping cues such as rubbing the eyes and yawning as this may assist decipher the right nap and bedtimes.
- Try to create a bedtime routine as early as possible with your baby so that he can get accustomed to it. You can start the routine as soon 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 and making every activity calm and peaceful towards the night. You can bathe your baby to calm him down before bedtime, and ensure the lighting is dim in his room so that in case if he wakes up in the middle of the night, he will find the same lights which were from before he went to sleep.
- When your baby is around 6 to 12 weeks old, soothe him until he is drowsy or on the verge of sleep and then put him down to a bed and let him drift off to sleep on his own. This is essential as your baby can develop the habit of soothing himself to sleep when he notices that he is not in your arms.
- If your little one gets up in the middle of the night, then do not assume that he is hungry or thirsty. Give him a few moments to settle on his own. Try other tricks such as soft singing or rubbing his belly instead of feeding.
- Avoid serving your baby with solid foods before he is 6 months old as it can hinder sleep, trigger food allergies, and other gastrointestinal issues.
- Train your baby to stretch out his night feedings by making sure he 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 might seem an easy task, but it has a lot of challenges.
- One of the challenges is that most parents feel guilty about sleep training 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 quickly.
- Being consistent in training is another challenge. Inconsistent may occur due to exhaustion of the parents, separation of the parents, 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 his parents’ room but in his crib.
- Some challenges occur when your baby is around 9 months old. This is when he starts to develop separation anxiety, teething, learning to move, nap resistance, early waking, and continued inability to self-settle.
Baby sleep patterns month-wise
The sleeping patterns of a baby may vary as they grow old. So here are some of the sleep pattern which most of the baby follows.
1 Month Old Baby Sleep
A 1 month old baby sleep may be about 14 to 17 hours a day. At this age, your baby may not sleep the whole night as he may wake up of hunger and so you may have to feed every three to four hours. As your baby can’t figure out night and day differences, so feeding and sleeping schedules may change from day to day as he begins figuring it out. If your 1 month old baby is not sleeping and crying, then soothing him to sleep may not work as sometimes infants feel the gastrointestinal discomfort. So you can give your baby gripe water, which is the best medicine for the baby for all types of discomforts.
2 Months Old Baby Sleep
A 2 months old baby sleep may not differ much from that of a 1 month old. This is because your baby may wake up at night due to hunger every 2 to 4 hours. A 2 months old baby 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. Even at this stage, your baby is still trying to adjust to the night and day schedule hours.
3 Months Old Baby Sleep
A typical 3 month old baby sleep may be about 7 to 8 hours with a feeding session during the night. Your baby may sleep mostly during the night at this age, so this is a perfect opportunity to make the baby’s transition to sleep training easier. This is because your baby will start adapting to his surroundings, including things like music and day/night time.
4 Month Old Baby Sleep
A 4 month old baby sleep should be 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
An average of 5 month old baby sleep is about 3 to 4 hours during the day and 11 to 12 hours during the night, however, he may wake 1-3 times to eat at night. In case your 5 month old baby is not sleeping for 7-8 straight hours, then you can begin the sleep training.
6 Month Old Baby Sleep
The average 6 month old baby sleep should be about 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and 3.5 hours daytime naps. If your baby is healthy, then he will not have any sleep issues. However, if your 6 month old is not sleeping through the night, then sleep training should be initiated or continued if it had been started earlier else you can consult your doctor.
7 Month Baby Sleep
A 7 month old baby sleep ranges from between 10 to 11 hours at night. At this age, if your baby is not sleeping at night, then he might not be feeling well and facing discomfort.
8 Month Old Baby Sleep
An 8 month baby sleep pattern may vary as per the baby. However, your baby should sleep for an average of 12 to 15 hours a day. If your baby is not able to sleep, then it might be due to thirst, hunger, or teething discomforts. One of the reasons for baby not sleeping at night may be due to sleeping regression caused by a lot of brain development at the time.
9 Month Old Baby Sleep
A 9 month old baby can sleep at night without feeding breaks. This should involve 2 to 3 hours of naps per day and 11 to 12 hours of sleep at night. If he is not sleeping at night, then it may also be due to teething, sickness, or sleeping regression.
The Bottom Line
Each baby is different, and so has different sleeping patterns. So, initially observe and your baby’s habits and then act accordingly. I hope these sleeping patterns have given you some idea of the sleeping patterns of babies in different months.