What Age Do Babies Start Sleeping Through the Night?
Most babies sleep throughout the night by 6 months. But sometimes the age can vary quite a bit. Some babies can sleep for about six to eight hours at a stretch; some won’t sleep properly until they’re a year old.
Sleep Patterns in Babies
Sleeping throughout the night usually means sleeping for around eight to twelve hours straight. It’s a misconception among most women that bigger babies or babies who eat solids are better sleepers. It’s not about your baby’s size or diet, it depends on your baby’s age.
In order to make a baby fall asleep properly, you must establish a proper routine for your child. Do make sure the child does not stay up late as it might take him longer to fall asleep, the baby will feel restless throughout the night. The baby needs consistency to settle down and feel secure. Just like a full-grown adult, it is perfectly natural for a child to wake up during the night. Therefore you must also adopt a technique that will help your baby go through the night. Do remember this whole process takes a few weeks or months and a great deal of consistency.
Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding?
Many mothers are worried about their baby’s sleep cycle. They often wonder which form of nutrition will benefit their child’s sleep. Let me tell you this as a mother myself, whatever kind of milk you choose for your child, it will get the same amount of sleep. Moreover, within nine months of a child’s life, he will begin to sleep properly throughout the night and any differences in the sleeping habits are most likely to disappear.
Although the amount of sleep is the same, formula-fed babies tend to wake up less often because the formula milk takes more time and effort to digest, unlike normal breast milk. On the other hand, breast milk is very nutritious. Breast milk contains all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals a baby needs in order to grow properly. The formula doesn’t have exactly the same kind of nutrition and in some ways not perfectly compatible with the child’s digestive system.
Even though formula milk helps your child sleep, both the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of your child’s life.
Reasons why babies wake up crying or screaming at night
Babies usually have a stage in their lives when they wake up crying at night even when they are the best sleepers. They can have trouble with either falling asleep during bedtime or abruptly waking up during the night. As a mom, this can make you very anxious and worried but once you understand why it happens, you will be in a better position to help your baby out.
Besides hunger and the need for a diaper change, in most cases, babies start waking up suddenly when they are around six months and are no longer sleeping with you. The separation anxiety can cause the baby to wake up and start screaming at night more than once. Don’t be surprised when it happens. At that time, your baby may want to be held by only you or your partner.
The other reason that could make your baby wake up crying at night is if he or she is sick. Illness makes a baby very uncomfortable. Fever and throat or ear pain are some of the illnesses that can make your baby wake up suddenly at night and start crying.
Sometimes, it could be a looming developmental leap that is causing your baby to be all hysterical. For example, if your baby is growing teeth, they can have some sort of discomfort and pain which causes them to cry.
What can you do?
First, you should make sure that your baby is getting enough sleep every day. While it sounds like it beats the purpose, getting enough sleep reduces the chances of your baby having trouble with settling down at bedtime and staying asleep through the night. Ensure consistency in your bedtimes especially day time naps for your baby. Also, get your baby to bed on time in the evenings.
When your baby wakes up crying during the night, soothe and calm him or her. Make sure the diaper is dry. If it is because of separation anxiety, let your baby know that everything is okay but that he needs to sleep. It is better if you stay with him until he is calm. Nevertheless, minimize any conversations and make the lights dim. After a few nights or weeks, your baby will get back on track and will have no issues. The best thing is to stick to your baby’s regular sleep routine because it alleviates the problem much faster.
If you suspect that your baby is not feeling well, you can check her temperature. If he looks too bad then you can rush to the hospital but if not, you can monitor him through the night and make a decision in the morning.
We hope this article was of benefit to you. Moreover, always consult your pediatrician beforehand just in case if there is any serious disease involved. Cheers!