Babies and sleep; you want your baby to sleep through the night, but many moms go into parenting knowing it’s not likely to happen right away. However, other parents spend years waking up throughout the night with children thinking it’s completely normal and that everyone whose babies have slept through the night since they were only a few months old are either exceptionally fortunate or that they weren’t doing something right (I think this stems from mom-petition, in which moms who have sleeping babies are automatically assumed to think they’re better than moms who don’t and moms who don’t automatically think moms who do have sleeping babies must just let them cry it out for hours at a time when they really don’t – I mean, I’m sure some do, but you know what I’m saying).
All babies are different and all parents are different. There is no right or wrong time for a baby to sleep through the night, but there is a time in which you should take notice that your baby is up when he or she should not be.
How Much Sleep Baby Needs
Babies need approximately 16 to 17 hours of sleep per day. However, how they sleep is really up to them. Some sleep one or two hours at a time and wake up. Others sleep three to four hours and wake up. Others can sleep six to seven hours without waking up. As long as your pediatrician feels your baby is gaining enough weight and is in the healthy range for his or her age and size, you can let baby sleep through those nighttime feedings other people keep telling you that you need to wake him or her up to enjoy.
Sleep by Age
By the age of three months, babies are perfectly capable of sleeping a minimum of five hours at a time. If your baby is not sleeping five hours at a time, it’s nothing to worry about. Some children simply don’t get enough to eat before going to bed and wake up from hunger. Some moms choose to fight this battle by measuring exactly how much baby is getting to eat at this time so that she knows whether or not to make adjustments so that baby will sleep.
By six months, your baby should be sleeping anywhere from 9 to 12 hours according to the Mayo Clinic. Again, it’s not the end of the world if he or she is not. However, if your baby is still waking up multiple times a night to feed after this age, it could indicate that your baby is using you as a comfort tool or not getting enough to eat and supplementing or upping his or her feedings is necessary.
By one year, your child should easily sleep through the night. If he or she is not sleeping through the night, it’s an indication that perhaps your baby is not used to a schedule and it’s time to start working on one. It’s not typical for a child this age to wake for feedings throughout the night. Of course, it’s always best to discuss this situation with your pediatrician.
Image via Thinkstock