Sleeping through the Night

by Sheryl Berk

Sleeping through the Night

Here’s how to get your newborn sleeping for longer periods of time.

Most parents assume that “sleeping through” means their baby will snooze past dawn. But at this stage, a solid five hours is all you should expect. It’s usually not until the 6-month mark that a baby can sleep for a longer stretch, says Sue Zafarlotfi, Ph.D., clinical director of the Institute for Sleep-Wake Disorders at Hackensack University. If you’re frustrated by your night owl (or early bird), try taking a few steps to improve his snoozing habits.

First, keep him active when he’s awake, then follow a consistent sleep schedule so he’ll learn when to wind down. Finally, put your baby down in the crib when he’s drowsy and let him drift off on his own. (We know — it doesn’t always work!) If he wakes, give him a few minutes to settle back down. When you do have to intervene, keep the lights low and your voice soft. Eventually a new day will dawn — and you’ll realize you both slept through the night that came before it.