How to Get a Baby to Sleep through the Night (Older than 3 Months)
Believe it or not, 90% of babies are sleeping through the night by three months. If you have a little night owl on your hands, here’s help.
Step 1: Be realistic Be realistic. Just because the know-it-all in your mommy group claims that her little angel was sleeping through the night by three weeks doesn’t mean yours should be. Nor does it mean it’s true!
Step 2: Understand baby’s needs Understand that for very young babies, sleeping through the night is directly related to how long they can go between meals. Breast milk is digested quickly, so it will take longer for a nursing baby to make it through the night than a formula-fed one.
TIP: Despite the link between a full belly and a full night’s sleep, don’t give your baby solids or add cereal to her bottle. Neither will work—and both could be harmful.
Step 3: Feed baby well Make sure your baby eats enough during the day. If she takes formula, she should get about two to two-and-a-half ounces per pound of body weight every 24 hours.
Step 4: Fill her up before bedtime At bedtime, don’t let your baby fall asleep until she’s full. If she drifts off before she’s done, jiggle her awake and try to get her to finish.
Step 5: Give her a snack At your bedtime, wake your baby up for a snack.
Step 6: Let her wait a bit If she’s waking up during the night as often as every two hours, don’t respond right away. She may not be hungry—but she’s come to expect a breast or bottle every time she wakes up.
TIP: If you do wind up nursing or feeding your baby during the night, don’t make a party of it. Don’t play with her, turn on unnecessary lights, or even change her diaper if it’s only wet.
Step 7: Move baby Move your baby into her own room, if you haven’t already. Her close proximity to you (and her food source) may be part of what’s keeping her awake at night.
FACT: Giraffes sleep for only five minutes at a time, for a total of just one-half to two hours a day.