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We as mothers question our parenting capabilities because our baby won’t sleep through the night.
The main reason for this because we have not been taught what to expect realistically.
We are bombarded with magazine articles and books that perpetuate the myth that babies should be sleeping through the night and if they are not it is because of something we are doing as moms.
Moms this is crazy! Don’t believe the myth, just believe in your self as a mother!
As baby grows they will hit developmental milestones along the way that will increase the number of hours that they will sleep in a stretch at night. Please don’t expect that they will just hit the 12-week mark and go from shorts spurts of sleep the suddenly sleeping 12 hour nights.
One old wives tale that I have heard is that all babies should be sleeping through the night by 12 weeks. If you are lucky enough to have a baby like that then praise be. But more realistically, night waking is just part of life with kids. From nursing and diaper changes to bad dreams and upset tummies.
When do babies Sleep Through The Night?
Honestly, there is no magic number that I can give you that will be when your baby will sleep through the night. Generally sleeping “through the night” means sleeping for 6 to 8 hours straight without needing a nighttime feeding session.
A newborn should be woken up every 3-4 hours during the night until they are back up above their birth weight. This usually happens after the first week or two. After that, there is no reason to wake baby for a nighttime feeding.
Breastfeed infants may wake a bit more often than formula fed babies because breastmilk is digested faster than formula. Breastmilk passes through the babies systems faster and therefore makes them hungry more often.
During the newborn stage, generally, the longest sleep periods are 4-5 hours. This is due to their small bellies and they will be waking because they are hungry.
The newborn stage is defiantly the hardest for parents and just as it seems like you have reached your lack of sleep limit the fog will start to lift.
At 4 months, a baby averages a total of 5 hours of sleep during daytime naps and 10 hours at night. Normally they will still be waking up at least a time or two but they will go longer stretches. Most babies this age start to sleep “through the night,” meaning 6 to 8 hours in a row.
Remember that every baby is different, so don’t be surprised if your baby sleeps more or less than others.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 70 to 80 percent of babies are sleeping through the night by 9 months. So you can hope that by then you should be getting those same 9-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
You may have heard that bigger babies and babies who eat solids are better sleepers, but it’s not true. Your baby’s ability to sleep through the night depends on age, not size or diet.
There’s also no research to support the claim that adding rice cereal to your baby’s evening bottle will help them sleep better or longer. This can be a choking hazard. And offering solids too early can deprive your baby of the necessary nutrients found in breast milk or formula.
The number one thing you can do to help your baby sleep better at night is to establish a consistent routine and try to stick with it as much as you can.
You can read about how to establish a good newborn and infant routine here!
Just remember during those long nights awake, this is just a phase and it will pass.