Having baby sleep through the night is something of a pipe dream for us parents who’ve got a child under 12 months old, because we’re definitely lacking in the sleep department! We definitely love spending time with the little ones, but our bodies are cashing in sleep cheques that we can’t pay off.
The fact is, pretty much all babies are able to sleep through the night by the time they’re 6 months old, but it doesn’t mean that they will! Some babies will start to sleep for longer stretches when they’re 4 – 6 months old, but sleeping for more than 8 hours in a row typically happens around the 9 month mark.
When (and how) baby will be able to get good, uninterrupted sleep depends on a lot of factors – their age, weight, personality and temperament, environment, genetics, and your routines. It’s definitely possible for you to help baby along with their journey to a better night’s sleep through a bit of patience and hard work on your end.
Here are some milestones that affect their sleep pattern:
- Increased feeding during waking hours and weight gain
- Decreased feedings during the night
- Decreased startle reflex. The startle reflex causes baby’s limbs to jerk in response to certain triggers: loud noises, temperature changes, sudden movement, etc. This reflex tends to disappear when they’re 4 months old, as their natural preference after 4 months is to sleep more
- Learning how to self-soothe – this is a skill that babies need to develop, as it’ll help them get back to sleep if they wake during the night
How Can I Help Baby Get Better Sleep?
When they’re 4 months and older, you can try doing these things to help them sleep more:
1. Put them to bed drowsy but still awake so they’ll learn to avoid being dependent on you to fall asleep
2. Letting them cry it out (CIO) no matter how painful it is for you. This will teach them how to soothe themselves back to sleep, and same as point 1, will make them less dependent on you to return back to sleep
3. Use a fan or a white noise machine to create a gentle, soothing hum that masks other sounds – make it part of their bedtime routine and it’ll be a cue for them to fall asleep
4. If baby is going through a developmental milestone (where they’re learning how to crawl for example), they’ll be excited about a newfound ability and might find it hard to go back to sleep. Soothe them for a few minutes, tell them you’ll see them soon, and then leave the room. Try not make your soothing period too long!
5. Check with your paediatrician on when you’re able to start cutting down and eventually stopping night-time feedings. When you’ve been given the greenlight to do so, slowly reduce the feeds over a period of a week. After baby realises that milk supply is lessening, they’ll stop wanting it as much
If baby is around 12 months old, and they’re not sleeping throughout the night, do talk to your paediatrician to determine if there’s a cause for it.
Pregnancy To Parenthood Seminar Series
If you wish to know more about your journey through pregnancy, as well as detailed explanations of what to expect during labour and delivery, this seminar is for you!
Date: Saturday, 14th April, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm - 6:00pm
Venue: Singapore Expo Max Atria
Room: Peridot 201-203
Find out more about this helpful seminar for mums- and dads-to-be right here:
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