Why do babies wake up so often during the night?
How many times does a breastfeeding mom have to wake up for a newborn baby?
When does a breastfed baby sleep through the night?
Babies wake up often throughout the night because they need something. Usually, they are hungry; sometimes, they have a dirty diaper that needs to be changed. Sometimes they simply want attention, and it can take a little while to learn the difference between each of these.
A newborn baby who is breastfed usually wakes up every two to three hours for a meal. This means a lot of sleepless nights for the parents, but eventually, the baby will start sleeping longer through the night.
So when can a breastfed baby sleep through the night? In this article, we’ll explain the basics of breastfeeding babies sleeping through the night and help you answer this question as well as many others.
Read on to find out more!
When Will Breastfed Baby Sleep Through the Night?
1. Does a breastfed baby ever sleep through the night?
- Yes! Just like a bottle-fed baby, a breastfed baby will eventually start sleeping through the night, and you will soon look back fondly at the times when you woke to feed your child.
- Until that time comes, however, it can be very stressful as a new parent to try to figure out the best sleeping and eating schedule for yourself as well as for your baby. When you’re breastfeeding, you may feel like your child never sleeps long enough, and you may wish for more chances to sleep longer yourself too. Just remember to hang in there and be as patient as you can!
2. When will breastfed baby sleep longer at night?
- Most of the time, babies will start sleeping longer at night starting at around 3 to 4 months. This is the first point at which parents may notice their babies sleeping four or even six hours without waking up during the night. However, if your child doesn’t reach this point by four months, that doesn’t mean there is necessarily anything to worry about. You can ask your pediatrician for more information.
- By about six months of age, your baby should be able to sleep through the night. In baby terms, this means sleeping for six to eight hours uninterrupted. Although this may vary depending on the individual baby and on other factors in your baby’s life, six months is the general target for better sleep.
3. Until then, is there anything you can do to help your baby sleep better during the night?
- Help your baby learn how to fall asleep on their own as soon as possible. This means that you should teach your baby that you won’t be there to coddle them every time they have trouble falling asleep. The sooner you stick to this, the better off you and your baby both will be. Of course, you can still spend time with your child getting ready for sleep!
- Create a nighttime routine and stick to it. Try not to deviate at all from this routine whenever possible. The more closely you stick to a nighttime routine, the more easily your baby will associate this routine with sleep. Your child will be able to fall asleep and stay asleep more easily on a routine.
4. Why is it important to breastfeed when your baby is hungry, even in the middle of the night?
- Keeping your baby healthy and well-fed: Of course, the most important reason to respond to your baby’s cries and feed your child during the night is to help keep them healthy! Your baby will be well-fed and will weigh a healthy amount when you keep up with these feeding sessions.
- Keeping your milk supply steady: Additionally, you can keep your milk supply steady when you breastfeed your baby as needed throughout the night. You might also choose to pump and save milk for nighttime feedings, and if you do, this will still help ensure you have enough milk for your child.
5. Should you try to set a schedule yourself, or follow your baby’s?
- This really depends on your child’s needs, and will vary depending on what your pediatrician tells you. For the vast majority of circumstances, however, you should feed your baby on their schedule when it comes to nighttime meals. This means that if your baby is sleeping for eight hours through the night, you should not wake them to feed them until they are ready.
- However, there may be times when your baby isn’t growing quite enough or may have some developmental issues along the way. If this happens, you might need to wake your baby up for nighttime feedings. Your pediatrician will be able to tell you for sure.
6. When should a breastfed baby sleep through the night? Is this the same for all babies, or are they different?
- All babies are different, and advice that works for one baby may simply not work for the next. This is one of the many reasons why it’s crucial to work with a trusted pediatrician every step of the way.
- You can speak to your pediatrician for more information about your specific child’s needs, milestones, and more. Your pediatrician will be able to give you advice that is custom tailored to your situation and your child’s wellbeing, which can be much more valuable than generalized advice in some situations.
So when does a breastfed baby sleep thru the night? As you can see, every baby is different, but you can probably expect to see some changes in the length of time your baby sleeps at night by around four months of age.
Your pediatrician will give you more information about whether or not you need to wake your baby up for additional feedings throughout the night or let your child sleep (and get some much-needed sleep yourself). Be sure to always work with a trusted pediatrician and ask them any questions you might have for individual feedback about your own child.
When did your breastfed baby sleep through the night? Do you have advice for parents who are struggling to get enough sleep with a breastfed baby? Here are a few tips for the sleep-deprived parents out there to stay motivated for nighttime feeding schedules:
- Remember how important breastfeeding is to babies. It helps improve their immune system, reduces the risk of SIDS, and provides plenty of chances for the two of you to bond.
- Try to get as comfortable as you can to feed your baby during those nighttime meals. The more comfortable you are, the less you will dread it.
- Talk to other breastfeeding moms. They may be able to give you advice or just listen to you when you need a shoulder to cry on.
- Get some help from your partner. You may be the one in charge of the nursing, but you can ask your partner to tackle some other tasks throughout the day.
The next time you find yourself wondering, “When will my breastfed baby sleep through the night?” you can remember the information you’ve learned here.