What It Means When Your Baby Won't Sleep Through The Night

Everybody knows that when you have a baby, you are in for many sleepless nights. This is especially the case when your baby is a newborn. Don't expect your newborn to sleep through the night, as they need to be fed frequently, even when most people would be sleeping. Two or three hours is probably the longest stretch of time your newborn will go without waking up and crying to be fed (per What to Expect).

Between 2 and 3 months, your baby will be able to sleep for up to 6 hours at a time. At around 4 months, your baby should be able to sleep for up to 8 hours at a time, but may still expect a night-time feeding despite not technically needing one. According to What to Expect, it isn't until 5 or 6 months that you can reasonably expect your baby to sleep through the night. So what if yours isn't doing so?

Why your baby isn't sleeping through the night

If your baby isn't sleeping through the night after they reach the six-month mark, it is probably normal. In fact, a 2018 study published in Pediatrics found that 57% of 6-month-olds don't sleep a full 8 hours, and neither do 43% of 12-month-olds.

While it is normal for babies (and even adults) to wake up a few times during the night, they should generally be able to self-soothe and go back to sleep. If your baby cannot, What to Expect recommends looking into sleep training. Other potential reasons your baby may wake up in the middle of the night include teething, growth spurts, and illness. Your baby may also be experiencing a phase of sleep regression, which is normal and temporary. Meanwhile, if your baby is currently learning a new skill such as crawling, they may be too excited to sleep.

Ideally, your 4-12 month-old should sleep for 12 to 16 hours per day, including naps. According to What to Expect, you can promote restful sleep by keeping your baby in a quiet, dark, comfortable environment with a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Healthline recommends maintaining a consistent bedtime routine to get your baby into the habit of sleeping at a certain time.