01 November 2010

Most Babies Start Sleeping Through Night at 2 to 4 Months

But doing so on family's schedule may take a while longer, researchers say

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

"The most rapid changes in infant sleep were found to occur over the first four months of life. Previously, we underestimated infants' capabilities for sleeping through the night, and we found that if an infant is sleeping for the traditional period of night sleep -- five hours from midnight to 5 a.m. -- then they are also sleeping for eight hours. Infants are most likely to begin sleeping through for this period at 2 months of age, with over 50 percent doing so at four months," said study author Jacqueline Henderson, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

  • Put your baby down in the crib when he or she is still awake -- drowsy, but awake.
  • Don't rock your baby to sleep, or let your baby fall asleep on you.
  • If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, don't immediately go to him or her. Give the baby some time to settle alone.
  • If the baby continues to cry, and you feel that you can't wait any longer, make your visit with your infant as limited and boring as possible. Don't pick the baby up. Instead, comfort the baby -- rub the baby's back, speak in a quiet voice -- and then leave.
  • If your baby simply won't be soothed this way, you can always give in for the night and pick the baby up, and then try again the next night.


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