Adjusting Expectations Of Babies Sleeping Through The Night

It’s a question we’ve all asked our family, friends, and pediatrician: when will my baby sleep through the night?


It begs another question too, what does sleeping through the night really mean? And, is it realistic to expect a baby to sleep 8 to 10 hours without waking? A new survey suggests, probably not. If sleeping through the night meant your little one slept 6 hours in a row, would that change your perspective? 


A recent survey of 388 Canadian mothers found that many babies don’t sleep through the night. At 6 months of age, 43 percent of infants were sleeping an uninterrupted 8 hours during the night. That means that more than half were not. When researchers shifted their “overnight” definition to mean 6 hours of sleep, 62.4 percent of mothers reported their baby slept that long.


Adjusting expectations of babies sleeping through the night

In addition, the researchers found some differences between sleepers and non-sleepers, some that may not be too surprising. Breastfed babies were less likely to sleep in long blocks of time compared to formula baby food fed babies. And, baby boys seemed to sleep less than baby girls, with fewer sleeping 6 hours or more at a stretch at 6 months.


Most parents can relate at one point or another to frequent wakings, night feedings, etc during the first year with their baby. While “sleeping through the night” is something we all strive for, remember that sleep patterns change frequently and night wakings may soon be in your rearview mirror. 

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