Most of the mothers are worried when their babies do not sleep during night time. It is because they are not aware of the natural sleep circadian rhythms of newborns and infants. You need to learn about your baby’s sleep cycles at different ages, which are necessary for their physical, cognitive and emotional growth.
When Do Babies Start to Sleep all Night?
For a newborn, do not expect more than three hours of continuous sleep as their requirements for feeding are generally higher than sleeping. At 2-3 months of age, your baby begins to sleep a slightly longer i.e. 5-6 hours; however, they still have shorter sleep cycles than adults and they often wake up for nibbling milk. When do babies sleep all night? Between 4-6 months, most babies sleep for a longer duration of 8-12 hours through the night. However, some of them do not achieve this milestone before six months and a quite few continue to have disturbed sleep into toddlerhood. Try to develop good sleeping habits and avoid bad ones.
Be realistic with your baby:
You baby will have unpredictable sleep circadian rhythms. Be realistic and do not expect him to sleep according to your convenience. If you notice unexpectedly different sleeping behavior, then it indicates some sort of illness or it can be a new change in his development.
Methods to Help Your Baby Sleep all Night
Establish bedtime schedule
Babies with a proper bedtime schedule generally sleep better and are less likely to disturb you through the night. Try to develop a consistent bedtime schedule especially when your baby is older enough and do not need frequent feeding through night i.e. after 4 months. Ideal bedtime for children younger than one year old is between 7-7:30 pm. But if you allow your baby to remain awake late, they become exhausted which disturbs their sleep patterns and they tend to wake up more often during the night.
Change feeding habits
Although you cannot restrict your newborn baby from feeding every 2-3 hours, try to prolong the interval between feedings after 3-4 months of age. Start by increasing an extra 30 minutes and gradually stretch out more between feedings
Keep your baby active during the day
During the day, keep your baby alert and engaged into his surroundings. You can do it by playing and interacting with him, making sounds, turning on music or by keeping the room bright. At night, minimize the activities and turn off the lights. This will help your baby to distinguish the day from night and promote timely sleeping. This will also answer your question when do babies sleep all night.
Identify signs of tiredness
Learn to recognize the common signs of fatigue or sleepiness of your baby before he gets grumpy and annoyed. Put him down into the cradle, preferably on his back if he starts rubbing eyes, pull his ears, gets fussy or yawns more than normal.
Do not let your baby depend on you while he is tired and sleepy
At the age of 6-8 weeks, your baby’s sleep-wake cycle gradually develops into a mature pattern and this is a time when babies are learning. Therefore, let you baby fall asleep on his own by putting him on his cradle and avoid feeding or rocking even at an early age.
Avoid separation anxiety
Your baby can easily get panicked if he does not find your presence in the middle of the night when he suddenly wakes up. At the age of six months, give him a blanket or a stuffed toy each day, in order to make him familiar with those objects. This will give him the feeling of security and comfort. If that doesn’t work, then reassure your child by patting, kissing or holding him for few minutes. You can also calm your baby by expressing your milk into some cloth and keeping it near to him. The smell of your milk will give your baby a feeling of your presence.
Increase the daytime intake of milk
When do babies sleep all night? Adding some extra calories (one or two ounces of milk) during the day would fill your baby’s appetite and he doesn’t crave for milk during night time.
Do not rush to solids or cereals
Starting solid diet or adding cereals into your baby milk too early can lead to allergies, indigestion, and diarrhea. It also poses a risk of gagging or inhalation into the trachea. As a consequence, the baby will stay irritated and awake during night.
Avoid frequent changing of diapers during the night
Do not change diapers in the middle of night unless your baby cries or is already awake. If it is really needed, then try to change it calmly with little noise and interaction.
Let your baby develop a habit to sleep in his cot or cradle
Sharing a bed or closeness to your baby will make him more dependent on you and your smell. This will make him clingy in case you change your place or go away for a while.
Understand your baby’s milestones
Your baby wakes up through the night especially when he is working on a new skill. If your baby is learning to roll on his stomach but he finds it hard to go back to original position then he cries as a response. It is better if you avoid using stroller or car seat all the time during the day. Instead, let your baby enjoy practicing new skills until they master it.
Keep watching your baby’s napping time
Newborn babies require frequent napping. However, with age, they need fewer naps. This sudden change in the napping schedule may disturb their sleeping schedules. If your baby is sleeping very close to the bedtime, he will remain active and alert while brief naps can make him feel over-tired. In both scenarios, your baby will remain awake during the night. Keep a tight check on their sleep times by jotting down in some notebook and adjust the routine and nap times accordingly.