Posted on May 09, 2012 | Comments 0
As new parents, the question when will my baby sleep through the night is probably a recurrent one. Harried and sleep deprived due to a new baby who seems to have no notion of daytime and nighttime, new parents can think longingly back to a time when they took their 8 hours of nighttime rest for granted!
So when will my baby sleep?
Unfortunately there is no concrete answer to that question because babies can be so very variable. You may hear stories about a baby who was angelic enough to sleep through the night as soon as a few days after birth, whereas the same set of parents will tell the story of another of their own children who kept them up all night, each night for the first several months!
However the rule of thumb, to answer the question when will my baby sleep through the night is most likely to be about 6 to 8 weeks.
Most babies develop some sort of pattern by this time and start to sleep more during the night and less during the day.
Why babies have such erratic sleep
When your baby was in the womb, there was no concept of day and night and there was obviously no pattern of sleep. Now that your baby is on the outside, he still follows his own internal body rhythms and there is very little that you can do to get him to sleep whenever you want him to.
To understand the answer to the question when will my baby sleep through the night, you also need to know the fact that newborn babies have tiny little stomachs. Those tiny stomachs can consume only very small feeds at a time and they then empty out frequently and so need to be refilled every 2 hours or so. This is another reason why babies will not sleep through the night in the first weeks or months.
Babies’ sleep cycles are also shorter because they spend more time in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. This is lighter sleep which is necessary for baby’s very rapid brain development, but which may also be more easily disrupted unfortunately.
What does “sleep though the night” mean?
When you ask the question when will my baby sleep through the night, you also need to understand the concept of sleep though the night. If you’re thinking that you will get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, well don’t expect this to happen regularly until your child is several years old.
You will be lucky if by 6 to 8 weeks your child sleeps for about 4 to 5 hours at a stretch during the night, followed by a feed followed by several more hours of sleep. If this has been achieved, you are very lucky parents indeed, because even this amount of uninterrupted sleep is a blessing for sleep-deprived souls.
When you have found the answer to your question, when will my baby sleep through the night, don’t presume that any future babies you plan to have will behave the same way. They may take far less time to sleep through the night, but equally they could take a lot longer!
Posted in: Baby Sleep