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July 19, 2024

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When Will Baby Sleep Through the Night?

Sleep-deprived parents try everything to get a baby to sleep through the night.

When will the baby sleep through the night?! Babies arenโ€™t born knowing the difference between night and day, but you didnโ€™t realize it would take THIS LONG for your baby to catch on, did you? The good news is, it wonโ€™t last forever. Babies and sleep eventually even out, and a sleep schedule may emerge. By 8 months old, experts say, most babies will be experiencing nightly sleep-throughs much to their happy parentsโ€™ relief. But don’t hold your breath.

โ€œThe tincture of time, this too shall pass, they will sleep one day โ€ฆโ€ says a smiling Anna Morad, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. โ€œIn all seriousness, itโ€™s important to remember that babies are still little growing people who havenโ€™t developed the ability to do everything perfectly, and sometimes they need you.โ€

โ€œMost new parents learn quickly that a baby put to sleep on the breast or by rocking is prone to wake back up within a short period of time,โ€ says Lee Anne Oโ€™Brien, M.D., of Brentwood Pediatrics. โ€œAllowing babies to drift off on their own is the best way to train them to form good sleeping habits. By 2 โ€“ 3 months old, most infants start to have a predictable and hopefully nocturnal sleep pattern. I recommend parents make short, 10 โ€“ 15 minute adjustments to get the baby on a schedule that works for them,โ€ she adds.

Moradย encourages parents to establish a routine first. You might try playing the same lullaby or giving a warm bath as a bedtime routine. She says to pick a routine and be sure to stick to it. โ€œRealize that sleeping through the night is a developmental milestone that babies will reach at different time points,โ€ adds Morad.

Tips for Better Baby Sleep

  • Caffeine: If you are nursing, limit caffeine from coffee, tea and sodas. Caffeine is not only great at keeping us awake, it passes into breastmilk and does the same for babies.
  • A dark room: Put your baby to sleep in his crib in a relatively dark room (night lights are OK). Itโ€™s important, too, that the baby is familiar with his environment.
  • A white noise machine kept on low volume is soothing for babies.
  • Establish a bedtime ritual: Children who have the same bedtime ritual each night actually begin to feel sleepy during the last, brief bedtime story or lullaby.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics says to always put babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS).

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