As the parent of a newborn, you may start to wonder when your baby will start sleeping through the night. This may be the result of your own sleep deprivation and desperation to finally get some sleep at night, or you may start to feel pressure from those around you who say that baby should be sleeping through the night at a certain age. The fact is, each baby is different and there are many factors that contribute to how often baby wakes at night.
- Hunger – Breastfeed babies are especially prone to frequent waking because breast milk is digested much quicker than formula. Also, babies have small stomachs so they will need to eat as often as every 2 – 4 hours. In the beginning, it is not advised to allow a baby to sleep longer than this so that their blood sugar doesn’t drop too low.
- Sickness – Just like an adult, a sick baby has trouble sleeping too. You may find baby waking more often and acting more fussy than usual due to discomfort, trouble breathing through a stuffy nose or perhaps a sore throat.
- Growth Spurts – If you notice baby eating more than usual and perhaps acting more cranky, then it’s possible he/she is going through a growth spurt. Growth spurts may also have sleep disturbances associated with them, so realize that baby will not likely sleep through the night during these periods.
Regardless of what you’ve heard, not all babies will sleep through the night at a certain age. There are many factors that may keep a baby waking up at night and each factor should be addressed and remedied individually. You may need to just feed and rock baby a little extra during these times, realizing that they are short term circumstances. Most importantly, remember that the lack of sleep won’t last forever and babies start to sleep longer the older they get.