When do babies sleep through the night ? Tips and tricks !

Published : 12-05-2022 14:40:56
Categories : baby-sleep

When do babies sleep through the night ? Tips and tricks !

When we talk about sleep and newborns, an expression immediately comes to mind: “sleep like a baby”. This ready-made phrase indicates a deep and pleasant sleep. However, the reality is quite different! At home, baby's sleep is rather choppy, he wakes up at night and often has difficulty falling asleep. A real paradox, this sentence refers more to what we hope for from a baby than to reality. If baby sleeps well, it's because our mission as a parent is somehow accomplished! However, it is not so easy for your little one to finally manage to sleep through the night.. Behind a baby who sleeps soundly hides many mechanisms. Let’s come back together to a question that torments all parents: “When do babies sleep through the night?”

When will my baby sleep through the night?

First of all, let’s define what “sleep throught the night" mean. Nowadays, a baby who sleeps through the night in popular imagination is a baby who sleeps between 7 and 9 hours in a row without waking up. But to achieve this and for parents to be able to rediscover the happiness of long, uninterrupted nights, your little one must learn to adapt to the day/night rhythm!

For this, the child must already be able to last a night without needing a feed or a bottle. We do not expect a baby to be clean when he is still not able to control his sphincter! It's the same for sleep: the baby must be able to store enough energy to sleep through the night. The baby is therefore only able to sleep through the night after 3 to 4 months after birth.

Yet, every child is different. Other biological constraints or contextual factors may prevent them from sleeping through the night. Your baby needs to regulate their internal clocks, temperature, and cardiovascular system. On average, a baby sleeps through the night after 6 to 8 months after birth.

The evolution of baby's sleep

A newborn, between 0 and 1 month, has a somewhat special sleep. Indeed, it does not make a difference between day and night! The periods of wakefulness and sleep are therefore regulated by hunger, just like in mommy’s womb. An infant needs between 16 and 20 hours of sleep. This type of rhythm is called an ultradian rhythm.

It is only from 2 months on that the periods of sleep slowly lengthen. The baby then sleeps between 3 and 4 hours in a row. It is only at around 6 months that your little one's sleep rhythm really begins to adjust to the day/night rhythm that we all know with a night duration between 7 and 8 hours.

Bébé qui fait ses nuits

Sleeping needs to be learnt

There are biological skills to obtain in order to be able to sleep through the night. Yet there are no “good babies” who can sleep through the night and bad ones who don’t. Sleep is above all a learning process. However, this idea is not very widespread! Ask parents why their 2-year-old toddler wears diapers, and they'll probably say he's potty training. Conversely, there is a good chance that by asking the same parent if their younger brother sleeps at night, the answer will be a simple: “no”. Learning to sleep well does not happen right away and your baby needs your help to do so.

After 4-5 months, your little one needs you to create an environment conducive to sleep. On the web, there are many articles and blogs offering miracle solutions to get your little one to sleep. Indeed, there are many ways to get your baby to fall into Morpheus' arms but to see your kid fall asleep calmly in their bed, it is necessary to turn the question around! The important thing is not to make baby sleep but to teach them to sleep. To put the odds on your side and on baby's side, let's take a look at some essential elements of sleeping well.

Identifying sleep cycles

It is very helpful to spot when your kid needs to be put to bed. There are signs known to all of us such as yawning, eye rubbing, or decreased temperature. But others signals may be more specific to your child! They touch their ear, feel too excited, cry a little, want to cuddle, etc. All these signs must be taken into account and baby must then be put to bed without further delay!

To improve sleeping, babies need regularity. They need to be able to associate what they feel with the actions you teach them. If you put your baby to bed when they are tired, they will go through the necessary learning process to understand when they need to sleep. If you wait until your child falls asleep to put them in the crib, they may associate other elements with his sleep. Your arms or other elements other than the signs of sleep will then be essential for them to fall asleep. He or she then risks waking up once in bed, or not being able to fall asleep when you are no longer there! Baby needs consistency to successfully sleep through the night. By putting him to bed as soon as they show signs of fatigue, you are already doing a lot to help them enjoy long nights of sleep.

Beware of disturbances: Learning to sleep through the night can happen at around 4 months. Babies are then very sensitive to any change! Changes in the rhythm of family life can lead babies to associate other elements with sleep. It is therefore important to try to return to normal as soon as possible.

The importance of regularity and security

To learn to sleep, babies need regularity and security. If your little one's sleep is still difficult after 6 months, there might be a sleep disorder (night terrors, nightmares, etc.). These disorders can have different origins: traumatic childbirth, changes in the rhythm of family life, a lack of autonomy, or even the parents' relationship with sleep.

But don’t worry, these “sleep disorders” are not insurmountable! For baby to sleep through the night, it is necessary to find a stable and safe environment. Here are some tips to help baby have a good night's sleep:

- An environment conducive to sleep: banish screens in the evening, do quiet activities and respect a day/night rhythm with regular hours for getting up and going to bed, even on weekends.

- Observe and recognize the signs of fatigue to put the baby to sleep at the right time.

- Establish a bedtime ritual to ease the transition to sleep. This ritual is a moment of sharing and must have a well-defined beginning and end.

In conclusion, a baby who sleeps through the night depends on two elements:

- His biological ability to sleep through the night. The child needs to be able to store sufficient energy to enjoy a full night. This skill is generally acquired around 4 months but can vary from one baby to another.

- Baby needs a lot of help ! A favorable framework and a stable and safe environment form an essential base so that your little one can learn to sleep well.

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