When will my baby sleep through the night?
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question….
It is important that we have realistic expectations. Infants are growing at a very fast rate and are in need of night time feeds for the first several weeks of their lives. When I get asked this question, my answer is usually something along the lines of “Sometime after 2 months old.” We want babies to be healthy, gain weight, and thrive. This means checking in with your pediatrician and being sure that your baby is maintaining his/her growth curve when you start to cut back night time feeds. In the meantime, the following tips will help lay a great foundation for healthy sleep habits in your baby:
Make it Dark
Like DARK, dark. Black out curtains are your best friend; night lights are NOT! Babies are not scared of the dark and they will sleep much better with no lights in their room. When you need to go into your baby’s room to soothe/feed them in the night, be sure that the room remains dark.
Make it Noisy
I’m not talking about throwing a loud cocktail party in the next room over. I’m talking about white noise. A white noise machine, fan, or loud humidifier will do the trick. This will help baby fall back asleep as he/she cycles through lighter sleep throughout the night.
Make it Consistent
One of the most overlooked, but most important factors in a good night’s sleep is ROUTINE. Your bedtime routine does not need to be (and should not be) lengthy or complicated. But it should be the same Every. Single. Night. This bedtime routine should last you through the toddler years (and perhaps beyond) so do not add something to it that won’t be able to be enforced long term (think baths.) Something as simple as entering the nursery, changing diaper, putting jammies on, reading three books, and nursing/taking a bottle in the glider is perfect!
If you would like more nighttime support in the way of overnight care and/or implementing a sleep schedule, please contact us