When will my baby sleep through the night?

Posts Tagged baby sleep

When will my baby sleep through the night?

I remember the disturbed sleep was the hardest part about being a new Mum. I was shocked! What’s this? Broken sleep nearly broke me and I got to the point where I was exhausted. It did end, finally, when my daughter was about 12 months old and the wake ups slowed right down to just once a night and sometimes not at all.
It should be said that broken sleep and babies waking regularly during the night is completely normal.
You haven’t done anything wrong, and neither has your baby. Its normal.

It might help you to know that “sleeping through” means 5 hours of straight sleep, not 8 or 10 (sorry!).

For many parents and caregivers, even if you don’t have to get up to go to work in the morning, the question you will ask yourself more than any other may well be will this baby ever sleep through the night?

The answer is yes – sort of. The truth is, few babies truly ‘sleep through the night’ in the same way an adult does. In fact, sleep researchers have found that little people under 12 months old will normally wake up an average of three times during the night. For the first few months of life, 95% of babies will cry when they wake up and they’ll mostly want some help from you getting back to sleep. But eventually, they’ll learn to just nod back off to sleep on their own.

Several studies have found that by eight months old, over 50% of infants who wake at night go back to sleep without any attention from parents or other caregivers. In fact, sometimes their parents didn’t even realise they’d been awake.

All babies are individuals, and sleep patterns vary greatly from child to child. Even though typical sleep patterns don’t apply to all babies, researchers have identified general patterns that you can look for as your child gets older.
Sleep for newborn to six months

It might seem hard to believe when you don’t get enough sleep yourself, but wee babies sleep around 18 hours a day. It’s also ok if yours sleeps more than that, or less than that. Generally speaking little babies will sleep in batches of a few hours at a time, between 2 and 4 then wake for short periods (quick feed, change, cuddle and back off to sleep). The pattern may vary and change somewhat, and it does go on around the clock. A newborn doesn’t know that people sleep when it’s dark, and a baby’s ‘circadian rhythm’ – the 24-hour internal clock that controls our sleeping and waking patterns – is still developing.

By around six months of age, babies may have their big sleep at night and have some pattern with darkness and light. At six months, your baby will probably still wake a few times a night, and that’s ok.

Researchers using video recording in nurseries found that babies vary a lot when it comes to waking and crying – or not crying – at night. They found the biggest changes in infants’ sleeping and waking patterns happen between three and six months. Six-month-olds sleep longer at a stretch than three-month-olds. They’re also more likely to go back to sleep on their own when they wake.

There are so many wonderful changes in babies during the first 12 months. Sleep is one of them, as babies develop more adult-like sleep patterns, so hang in there. Sleep is on the way.

And remember, when you hear that cry in the night:
  • Your baby doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase ‘sleeping through the night’.
  • Don’t expect your baby to sleep through most of a night before 3-6 months.
  • Even after 3-6 months, it’s normal for babies to wake up several times during the night.
  • Every baby is different. Your normal, healthy baby might have different sleep patterns from other children.
  • Be patient and hang in there. Your baby will probably begin to sleep for longer stretches of time when the time is right developmentally.

If you’ve never had a period of bad sleeping before, you might get a shock at just how much lack of sleep can affect your life. It’s important you still look after yourself during this time, and try to get the sleep you need to feel rested. So leave the housework, rest when your baby does, catch a lie down together when you feed and accept all offers of help from friends and family.

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10 tips to help you get your baby to sleep

Just like us, babies are people too and individual people so sadly there’s no one size fits all method of helping babies get to sleep. It may help you feel a little better to know that “sleeping through the night” in baby terms means 5 hours straight. If that’s not happening for you and you’re feeling exhausted and sleep deprived, there are some gentle strategies you can try to help your baby get to sleep and sleep longer.

  1. Know your baby’s tired signs
    Getting your baby to bed before they’re overtired makes the process so much easier. Tired signs include staring, becoming quiet, losing interest in people, rubbing her eyes or ears, jerky movements (particularly hands or arms), yawning or starting to grumble or grizzle. As soon as you see the first tired sign start the getting into bed process to avoid trying to settle an overstimulated, overtired bub.
  2. Have a bedtime ritual or routine
    Babies love repetition and a simple set of “its bedtime” cues will help your baby to understand its time for bed. This may be a deep warm bath, then a bottle or breast in the darkened bedroom, a cuddle, wrap and off to bed.
  3. Sounds of sleep
    Babies are used to hearing the sounds of your body in the womb so baby music that incorporates sounds that mimic their time in the womb can be very settling for babies. CDs of white noise are also available and are very effective for some babies.
  4. Rock-A-Bye Baby beds
    Baby hammocks such as our Amby Baby or our hire Miyo baby hammock are great tools for settling your baby off to sleep. As your baby moves around the spring in the hammock is activated rocking and bouncing your baby gently back to sleep.
  5. Teach your baby day from night
    Teach baby the difference between night and day by keeping the lights low and attending to him quietly during night feeds. Save play and chatter for daytime.
  6. All Wrapped up
    The startle reflex, a primitive survival reflex that produces spontaneous, jerky movements, even in sleep, can be disturbing (literally). Provide a sense of security by swaddling your newborn – wrapping her firmly in a gauze or muslin sheet (in summer) or a soft shawl in winter. Gradually wrap more loosely and discard the wrap as this reflex disappears (by around three months). There’s a range of wraps for sale that are specifically made for swaddling for sleep.
  7. Try a Tool
    There’s quite a few sleep tools on the market, and the Baby Shusher is being called “The Sleep Miracle”. The Baby Shusher is a revolutionary new tool for parents using an ancient but doctor-tested and approved technique to help soothe your fussy baby and get some much-needed sleep (for both you and baby). You can set the timer for 15 or 30 mins of shushing and there’s an adjustable volume dial. Hey – whatever works right?
  8. Temperature control
    Its simple but easily overlooked – is your baby warm enough? Or too hot? A cold or hot baby won’t sleep as well as a comfortable one.
  9. Gentle massage
    Most babies love to be touched so a gentle pre-bed massage is a great way to bond and settle your baby down for a good night’s sleep.
  10. Nightlights
    A nightlight in your baby’s room is okay, but choose a small, dim one with a bluish tone that’s cool to the touch. To induce nighttime sleepiness, consider installing dimmers on the lights not only in your baby’s room, but also in other rooms where you both spend a lot of time. Lower the lights in the evening to set the mood. Darkness triggers the brain to release melatonin, a key sleep hormone – which is just what you want – sleep.
  11. Avoid night changes
    Resist the urge to change your baby every time she wakes up – you’ll just jostle her awake even more. Instead, dress your baby in a high-quality, nighttime nappy at bedtime and change only for #2, #1 can wait. For sleepy nighttime changes, nothing wakes a baby faster than a cold, wet wipe. Try using a warm washcloth instead.

Hopefully one or a combination of these tips will help you get your baby off to sleepyland. G’night.

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Try before you buy

Try before you buy is really one of the many (and varied) reasons people choose to hire baby equipment. As we all know, what Mum and Dad like, it doesn’t necessarily follow that baby will like that too – no matter how shiny, how fashionable or how expensive the product is. Babies just don’t care. The same principles apply with baby’s first bed. Babies have grown and developed in a snug, warm, cocoon like womb for 9 months. Upon arrival babies are probably rather surprised to realise that:

  • they’re now expected to sleep alone
  • they’re now expected to sleep at a set time
  • they should sleep for set periods of time in each 24 hours
  • and they are now being put to sleep in a rather cold flat bassinet or cot.

Some babies do sleep “like a baby” but many don’t. Some babies are unsettled and can be difficult to settle and resettle to sleep during the day and night. This experience, of having an unsettled baby who was struggling with colic and sleep, is what spurred Ambrose Hooi to develop the Amby Hammock. Ambrose’s little girl slept wonderfully for the first 4 weeks of her life and then developed what is termed “colic” – that often misunderstood syndrome that results in babies crying inconsolably for hours on end. The Amby Air hammock is a great help for these babies and their parents, with the gentle bouncing and swinging of the Amby spring moving baby in both horizontal and vertical directions, naturally mimicking “the colic dance” movements that the colicky baby wants and needs. You could say the Amby is a baby colic home remedy.

The Amby Baby Hammock Air is also the only baby hammock on the market that can be used up to 12 months of age. It is also larger, safer and has an adjustable incline unlike any other.


Here at Rock-A-Bye Baby we suggest you to hire for a week or two, and if your baby loves the Amby Hammock we can replace it with a brand new hammock delivered to your door – yours to keep – and we’ll pick up the hire one once your new one has arrived and is set up. Hire-Try-Buy is 100% risk free – just hire your Amby, if you love it, we’ll get you a brand new one to keep.

Ambrose says: “Today, many thousands of parents in Australia and Europe have finally come to terms with the fact that for babies, to sleep, grow and feed well, they need a sleeping environment that has at least some ingredients of the maternal womb. The use of Natures Nest by hospitals and child care centres in Australia and Europe is extensive and growing rapidly.”

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