When do babies sleep through the night?
Babies can sleep through the night from around 3 months of age, but this can vary a lot.
If you have a baby or young child that is not sleeping through the night, then you are not alone.
The good news is that there are some simple things you can start doing straight away to help your baby sleep through the night and enjoy some much needed and deserved sleep yourself.
The ONE Thing, no-one, tells you before you have a baby is that …
BABIES DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SLEEP.
The fact is babies need to be taught how to sleep.
7 Simple Tips
TIP 1 – Have an Earlier Bedtime
Stick to an appropriate bedtime. Please do not put your child to bed later in the hopes they will sleep longer or wake up later. Sometime between 6 pm-7.30 pm is the best time to put your little one to bed. Newborns will not have a set bedtime as they still do not know night from day and tend to only be awake for short periods. Around 3 months old, your baby should have a set bedtime that works around your family.
TIP 2 – Put Your Child to Sleep in the Same Place Every Night
Putting your child to sleep in the same place every night (and for naps where practical) helps them feel safe and understand that this is the place where you expect your child to sleep.
TIP 3 – Create a Bedtime Routine
Your child is never too young to start a bedtime routine. The routine should be simple and easy to maintain every night.
Babies and toddlers love consistency and predictability. When they know what to expect, it makes the transition from wake time to sleep time so much easier. Your bedtime routine shouldn't take more than about 30 to 40 minutes, and the routine must be the same every single night.
6:20 pm Bath time
6:30 pm Put on pyjamas
6:35 pm Nursing or bottle (NOTE: Do not let your child fall asleep while feeding!)
6:50 pm Story or songs
7:00 pm Into cot or bed
By doing these things predictably every single night, these things will act as “signals” to your child that bedtime is coming and his body will start getting ready for sleep.
TIP 4 – Create an Ideal Sleeping Environment
Your child's room should help promote sleep. Try to keep their room dark (lights dimmed at the very least), quiet and cool.
TIP 5 – Never Let Your Baby Fall Asleep while Feeding.
Always make sure you put your baby to bed while they are awake. Do not you feed your baby to sleep. If you do this, then your baby will associate feeding with sleeping, and when they wake in the night, they will be looking for a feed to get back to sleep. In other words, they will not learn the vital skill of how to put themselves back to sleep.
TIP 6 – Get Rid of Sleep Props/Aids
If your child is relying on ‘sleep props' to go to sleep (rocking, white noise, pacifier, bottle, singing), they will not learn how to fall asleep on their own and stay asleep. Your child needs to be allowed to learn how to fall asleep on their own.
TIP 7 – Wait a Few Minutes
If your baby wakes up during the night, wait a few minutes before going to them. If you have been helping your baby get to sleep, they still have to learn how to get themselves to sleep.
Falling to sleep on their own is a skill that your child has to practice. For your child to start sleeping through the night, you need to give them time to figure out how to get themselves back to sleep, when they wake up during the night.
If your baby does cry for more than a few minutes, go to them and comfort them but try not to pick them up and do not rock them back to sleep.
As parents, we want to help our children grow and develop into happy, healthy, funny, and intelligent adults who will take on the world.
The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman is a program that shows you how to teach your child to fall asleep independently and stay asleep through the night, you can read our review of the program here.
Giving them the gift of a good night's sleep is an essential part of their development, so by teaching your child to sleep well, you are preventing potential issues later in life.