How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Parenting Tips: How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

With so much talk about sleepless nights, it can be surprising to most new parents how much their newborn sleeps! Although every baby is different, according to Stanford Children’s Health, most newborns average between eight and nine hours of sleep during the day and eight hours at night, waking up every few hours to eat.

Some babies begin sleeping through the night around 3 months, but others may not develop consistent sleep patterns until they reach one year of age. Fortunately, there are guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics about how much sleep babies (and adults) require.

The recommendations endorsed sleep schedules by the AAP are:

  • Infants four to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Children one to two years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Children three to five years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Children six to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours

Signs of Your Baby’s Sleep Readiness

It can be challenging for babies to develop their own sleep patterns, especially falling asleep. For this reason, it’s important for new parents to help their little ones drift off to dreamland by recognizing signs of sleep readiness. Signs of sleep readiness include:

  • Rubbing eyes
  • Yawning
  • Looking away
  • Fussing

How Often Should a Newborn Eat During The Night

During the first few months of your baby’s life, it may seem like all he or she does is eat, sleep and poop (and, for the most part, it’s true). The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and then balancing the consumption of solid foods with breast milk until age one. Despite the benefits of breastfeeding, every family is different and it’s important to do what’s right for you and your child.

Not sure how much milk baby needs? Not a problem! Try this quick, easy calculation: Multiply his or her weight by two and a half. For example, an eight-pound baby should be eating about 20 ounces a day.

It’s important to talk to your baby’s pediatrician to ensure he or she is eating enough, but fortunately, the number of times you’ll wake up during the night for feedings will decrease as your little one grows and begins to give you signs that he or she is full.

Below is a breakdown of how many feedings a baby typically should receive during the night, broken down by age. However, keep in mind that every baby is different and you should always check with your pediatrician to ensure healthy growth and development.

  • Newborns to 3 months old: Feedings every 2-3 hours, on demand
  • 3-4 Months: 2-3 feedings per night or every 3-6 hours, on demand
  • 5-6 Months: 1-2 feedings
  • 7-9 Months: 1, maybe 2, feedings
  • 10-12 Months: Sometimes 1 feeding
  • 2+ Months: Generally no feedings

Develop A Bedtime Routine

Creating a bedtime routine can be one of the essential ways to help babies sleep. Bedtime routines signal to your baby that it’s time to start winding down and will make it easier for you both to catch some much-needed shuteye.

Keep these tips in mind when starting a bedtime routine for your baby:

  • Start early. Begin winding down 20-30 minutes before bedtime by engaging in quieter, more relaxing activities.
  • Start with a bath. One of the most popular bedtime routines is a bath. Soaking in the warm water can help relax your baby and ease him or her into bedtime. For some babies, bath time can actually be stimulating. If it seems your baby is wound up by a bath, consider integrating bath time earlier in the day.
  • Don’t overdress your baby. The ideal sleep temperature for babies is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. For newborns who are swaddled, dressing them in a onesie underneath a sleep-and-play outfit should be enough. For unswaddled newborns, consider using a sleep sack.
  • Read a few bedtime stories with your baby. Studies have shown significant benefits to reading to your child, including fostering conversations between parents and children, which primes their brains to speak and read.
  • Give your bedtime routine a definite end. It’s important to end your routine the same way each night by using a certain phrase, singing a specific song or turning on the same night light. This will form a strong sleep association for your child and signal that it’s time to go to sleep.

Delta Children Are Sleep Professionals:

Like most things, developing healthy sleep habits takes time. Be patient and get creative with your bedtime routines! Learn more about establishing bedtime routines for toddlers here.

Also, explore our industry-leading safe cribs for infants and toddlers, which paired with a firm crib mattress will only further facilitate a productive sleep schedule for you and your child!

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