When will my newborn start sleeping through the night?
Babies differ widely in their ability to sleep for longer stretches in the night, the main reasons for night waking are hunger or the inability to settle and resettle by themselves.
Regarding night feeds; in most cases babies will need one feed between bedtime and morning wake up until they are up to 6 months. This could be a late evening or dreamfeed, or a feed between approximately 2-4am, but if your baby is feeding well during the day there should only be one.
Some babies do sleep through before this age but – providing your baby is healthy and gaining weight well once they’re established on solids at 6 months – you can start to wean them off the night feed.
Regarding settling difficulties; if your baby is older than 3 months and waking often not for hunger then there is a settling issue that needs to be addressed. This is particularly the case if your baby will only sleep when held/rocked/fed and wakes on average every 1½ – 2 hours throughout the night.
Most babies who feed well in the day and are self settlers will be able to sleep from around 7am-7pm or similar by 6+ months of age, if not sooner.
Deborah Taylor is a UK trained paediatric nurse and health visitor who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for the past 9 years. She has specialised in infant and toddler sleep for many years, initially in London, UK and in 2004, founded the first infant and young child sleep clinic in Hong Kong. Following the success of the sleep clinic, Deborah now has her own company Infant Sleep Resources offering a range of sleep services and packages to suit your infant and toddler sleep and settling challenges.