Some of the first things you’ll hear when you tell people you’re pregnant is to enjoy the peace right now. Sure enough, newborns cry a lot and often during the night. Many parents start to wonder whether they will ever get a solid night’s sleep again. Do babies ever sleep through the night?
The great news is they do. When they do it will depend on the baby. Some sleep through from just a couple of weeks old, while others will take months. And you can’t compare babies to their older siblings. All babies are different.
To try to help other I’ve done some research, however this is my work and I’m “just” a mum, not a doc or midwife. If you disagree please say.
Just Why Do Babies Wake During the Night?
There is one main reason for babies to wake during the night: they’re hungry.
Babies have small stomachs, so they can’t take in that much milk. The problem is the amount they do take usually isn’t enough to keep them satisfied through the night. They’re not like adults where they can just deal with it and sleep through until morning.
And they don’t realise that they’re interrupting your sleep. To them the night and day are the same things. They both involve sleeping for a few hours, getting a feed, getting a nappy change, and then usually going back to sleep while sucking on their paci.
Over time, babies learn that there is a difference between night and day. You can help with that by creating bedtime routines and making sure there is a change of clothes on a morning.
What Can You Do to Help Your Little One Sleep Through the Night?
While you can’t change the fact that your baby is hungry during the night, there are a few things that you can do to help speed up the process of your little one sleeping through the night.
- Make the night feeds quiet and calming, while making the day feeds lively. The change in atmosphere tells your baby that it is time to go back to sleep once they’ve had their midnight snack.
- Create a bedtime routine with bath, feed, and then bed. The act of getting changed and the realisation that it’s time to sleep will help with the process.
- Allow a little crying. Your baby will moan and can even have a few sobs in their sleep. Many parents want to jump right in there to stop the baby before waking up completely. Chances are that you picking the baby up keeps them awake. If you left the baby to settle alone, you’d have a better chance of getting them to sleep throughout the night.
Can Your Baby Have a blankie?
Sometimes babies need to have something that keeps them calm to help them fall back asleep. If your baby wakes up on a night, just having this blanket can let them feel less alone in their room.
From around six months, you can give your baby a security object. There is a lower risk of suffocating on the object, whether it’s a toy or blanket, from this stage. This is also the stage that your baby is more aware of separation and can become anxious, so the baby is more likely to get used to the object sooner than if you waited longer to introduce it.
Your baby will sleep through the night. They all do eventually, and you can help with this process. Just remember that the baby isn’t doing it on purpose to disrupt your sleep. When your baby does wake, remain calm and soothing to help your baby feel loved and secure.