Will your baby sleep through the night

When do babies sleep through the night?

Sleep | Newborn | infant

Newborn babies cannot yet distinguish between waking and sleeping states. Between sleeping and being awake, they are often in deep sleep phases, during which many maturation processes take place in their body. It is perfectly normal for newborns to wake up every two hours because they are hungry and want to drink.

The time between meals is crucial

Babies who weigh less than 5 kg have a maximum of 5 hours between meals. So expect to be woken up to feed at least once - if not more - during the night. This is especially true during the first six weeks, when the child still has to learn to distinguish between day and night.

The Intervals between breastfeeding meals or scooping gradually become more and more longerthe older your baby gets. In the fourth week of the baby's life, you will probably feed about every three hours, and in the 8th to 12th week only about every four hours.

A day-night rhythm develops

At the age of three months (approx. 100 days of life) - statistically speaking - 70% of all infants can sleep through the night if they are given the breast or bottle again shortly before going to bed. So you've learned the day-night rhythm. The babies register that everyone around them is awake in the light and everything is quiet in the dark and nothing happens and then sleep for about six hours at a time. This may seem short to you, but this is how experts define sleeping through the night.

The sleep behavior of a six-month-old baby is more like that of an adult, even if it still often has restless phases. By one year, all children should be able to get at least eight hours of sleep on most nights.

Parental sleep also plays a role

An objective assessment of the sleeping behavior of their baby by the parents is hardly possible. If a baby sleeps very restlessly and the parents are light sleepers, they are more and more likely to think that their child does not sleep through the night. Parents with a somewhat more robust sleep, on the other hand, easily ignore a brief "nudge" and believe that they have a particularly calm child.

Frequent question on the subject

If your baby is only feeding, i.e. making dissatisfied noises, you can wait until it cries. It learns to occupy itself a little. And babies of a certain age sometimes just have fun making sounds, that doesn't mean that they have to intervene.

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Night meals?

It is not unusual for a child to need a night meal for more than six months. It depends a lot on how much your child likes to drink each time. Also, keep in mind that if the night break becomes too long, your milk production may decline.

If you give your child bottled milk, your partner can relieve you by taking turns feeding them at night. However, this is also possible if you are breastfeeding. You can organize yourself so that your partner gets up, changes the baby and brings it to your bed.

However, you can also express milk in advance, refrigerate or even freeze it. Breast milk can be frozen for up to six months. So your partner can give the baby a freshly warmed-up one during the night Baby bottle with breast milk give. This is particularly helpful when you are sick and need rest. Remember, however, that expressed breast milk should not be stored in the refrigerator (at 4 - 6 ° C) for longer than three days.

It becomes problematic if your child has teeth and wants to drink every three hours at night, because breast milk (and bottles) also contain lactose, a basis for tooth decay. Dental care is important from the first baby tooth.

Frequently asked questions on the topic

In special situations it may be necessary to wake children to breastfeed. This is the case when children are not gaining enough weight. Even in newborns with jaundice (increased bilirubin levels), regular breastfeeding must be ensured, because a lack of fluid and food ...

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There is no need to worry if your baby is kicking violently while sleeping. This trains his muscles and also his gray cells. Parents shouldn't run to the cot every time they kick or briefly open their eyes.

Prof. Annette Karmiloff-Smith from the Institute of ...

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News ticker

Rest through porridge | 15.09.2018

In the hope of quieter nights, some parents introduce complementary foods earlier than recommended by experts. British researchers have now used data from over 1,200 children to examine whether this actually improves sleep. Babies who were slowly given complementary food in the form of baby rice and later yoghurt after the 3rd month in addition to breastfeeding slept about a quarter of an hour longer and woke up less often during the night (only 1.74 times compared to twice) than babies who were exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life. Since baby sleep has a direct impact on the quality of life of parents, the previous recommendations in Great Britain need to be reconsidered. Until then, however, the researchers advise following the applicable guidelines. In Switzerland, the official recommendation is to fully breastfeed up to the 6th month and not to give any complementary food to infants before the 5th month. An earlier start of complementary foods is associated with later obesity. When it comes to allergies, too, starting at 4 - 6 months is best for the child.

Last update: 25-01-21, BH