Why won’t my baby sleep through the night like others?

The range of ‘normal’ baby sleep is enormous. Anywhere from 20 minutes to 5 hours is perfectly normal for a baby at any given time.

Babies are not born with the ability to regulate their body - not even their own temperature - so it's unlikely they can wake after 20 minutes and decide those hunger pains or that bubble of wind is something that can wait.

Some babies sleep for hours overnight, but it really doesn’t start to happen reliably until the hormones that influence day and night sleep start to kick in and regulate their sleep. This happens around 5 months when you will see a baby maybe have a 5 hour sleep overnight on a relatively predictable basis.

News flash

5-6 hours sleep is actually the definition of sleeping through the night in much of the research. Not sure about you, but I'd like it to be a little longer! 

Also when someone says their baby sleeps through the night, before you cringe and start asking yourself what you're doing wrong, ask yourself, “Do they feed overnight?" You may be well surprised that the answer is YES and even a few times, but some parents don’t count that as waking.

So keep in mind, you're most likely doing everything right and so is your baby, as you grow together.

Get more baby sleep tips, including step-by-step guides for settling your baby and getting them off to sleep in Helen's book.


Author: Helen Stevens. RN. RM. MCHN. Manager of Clinical Services, Education and Research. Parent Infant Consultants. 0411880720.