Sleeping All Night
Sleeping through the night could be different for different age groups and babies are in a group of their own. Generally sleeping through the night means a period of at least six to nine hours. Children and adults would normally sleep for this period, but babies are different and sleep differently. At times through the night they may need to feed, due to shorter intervals in between feed.
Though babies awake during the night, they may promptly go back to sleep soon after. This is so since sleep is so important for the development needs of growing infants. But as babies grows, they would begin to sleep longer periods and eventually sleep through the night. During the first three months of life, they must adjust to life outside the womb. They continue to sleep through both day and night and need to be fed every two to three hours.
3 Months Old
At around three months babies may begin to sleep longer each time and so need fewer feed time in the night. By six months they may need to have feed every four to five hours and so at night sleep for baby will be for longer periods. Babies’ Moro or startle reflex reduces by three to six months so this aids in babies being able to sleep for longer periods. It is at this stage where they begin to gain more control over their reflexes and movements.
At around four to six months you will start seeing self-soothing behavior in babies. At this stage you can start training for falling asleep without your aid. Babies start falling asleep on their own. While still awake and drowsy parents can put them down quietly and carefully. Also, they can help induce sleep by limiting the light in the room. After this six-month stage, babies should fall asleep on their own.
At this stage you will be able have your little one in a regular schedule for sleep and naps. Babies will be taking fewer sleep and nap time sessions during the day. This reduced daytime sleep will be made up for during the nighttime. So, your little one will start sleeping as many as 10 or 11 hours during the night. Babies will be more involved in their own activities and self-soothing where your role can be to just encourage and make sure the little one is comfortable.
Also, around six months babies may feel separation anxiety and even if having been good sleeper, may experience sleep regression. They may cry and not sleep without parent being in the room. It is a normal part of babies’ development and if you think you need help it may be a good idea to consult your pediatrician for ways to deal with it.
From nine months to a year, with right parenting, you should have your baby on a set sleeping schedule. Daytime would be for nap time and at night for sleep. At this stage babies will sleep for longer periods and through the night.