As a sleep consultant, the number one most popular question I’m asked is, “When will my baby sleep through the night?” and if I knew the answer I think I could probably retire right now! The thing is, it’s one question that every parent asks themselves at some point or another, and it will continue to be so for many, many generations to come. Sleep is the number one hot topic for parents, and yet we still seem to know very little when it comes down to it. There are still so many myths circulating on focus and in books, and still so many frustrated parents wondering what they’re doing wrong and how they can get some sleep. So here it is folks, your guide to when to expect your baby to sleep through the night…
Ok, so this is probably not what you want to hear but it has to be said… your baby will sleep through when your baby is ready. Sorry!
There is no age limit, weight limit or time restriction on when your baby will sleep through the night. And actually, nobody- not even you- sleeps through the night anyway. We all wake up at some point as we move through sleep cycles, the difference between a baby that ‘sleeps through’ and one that doesn’t it whether or not an adult is needed to ease them back into the next sleep cycle, or if they can manage it themselves.
There are so many sleep myths out there (read this post, and this post to see what I think of them) and the fact is that throughout your parenting life you will encounter many a person who will tell you to try this method, or that their little one didn’t sleep until the age of 8, or that you need to do this or that… like I said, sleep is a hot topic!
The important thing to remember is that your baby is unique, and you are the only one who knows them inside out. No book or sleep consultant is ever going to be able to tell you with 100% certainty what is going to get your baby to sleep and when they will be sleeping through! And no, rice cereal in your baby’s bottle definitely won’t help, and no you really can’t spoil a baby with too many cuddles.
Sleep training and sleeping through
When your baby is old enough (over the age of at least 6 months) you can use gentle sleep training methods to help you reach your goal of sleeping through. But how long that will take can totally depend on your baby. If you’re consistent, patient and dedicated towards gently teaching good sleep habits to your baby then it will happen, I just can’t say when.
Lastly, it’s worth nothing that your baby’s temperament plays a huge role in when they will sleep through the night. Its only part myth that some babies are born good sleepers. In reality, some babies are better sleepers than others, and some will need more help learning how to sleep through. You know your baby; their temperament is going to have a lot to do with when they finally sleep through the night.