When do babies start sleeping through the night?

While in the thralls of restless newborn sleep patterns, both new and experienced parents may ponder an age-old question: When do babies start sleeping through the night? And the questions keep coming! What is considered sleeping through the night, and when do babies sleep through the night without sleep training? If you’re a very tired parent, hang in there—at about 8 or 9 months of age is when many babies tend to snooze for longer periods, though every child is different. Read on to learn more about when babies typically start sleeping through the night and what you can do to help your little one catch those necessary Zs.

What Is Considered Sleeping Through the Night?

The question “When do babies start sleeping through the night” is somewhat misleading, as no one sleeps through the night completely—not even adults! There will always be periods of wakefulness and returning to sleep, which are part of normal and natural sleep cycles. But many children's health experts, as well as parents, consider a baby sleeping roughly six to eight hours at a time to be “sleeping through the night.” What’s more important to remember is that both daytime and nighttime sleep are essential for your baby’s development. So, if your little one isn’t catching all their necessary Zs at night, daytime naps can help make up for it.

When Do Babies Sleep Through the Night?

If sleeping through the night is defined as snoozing for at least six to eight hours at a time, then sleepy parents can look forward to when their child turns 8 or 9 months. This is when it’s typical for babies to start sleeping for longer stretches; if they do wake up, it’s more likely that they’ll fall back asleep on their own. Oftentimes, if babies can wake up during the night and soothe themselves back to sleep, experts might label them as “good” sleepers. But keep in mind that your baby’s sleep patterns may vary considerably throughout the first year, and getting to the point where your little one can sleep through the night is not necessarily a linear process! Your baby might be able to sleep for long stretches without issues for several weeks or even months and then revert to waking up in the night and crying out for attention—all of which is normal and expected behavior.

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How Do Babies Learn to Sleep Through the Night?

To sleep through the night, your baby must learn to self-soothe after waking. Self-soothing will help them fall back asleep without crying out for you. Every baby is unique, though, and many factors can affect your little one's sleep patterns, even things like your child’s genetic makeup and temperament. As you prepare to sleep train, which can start around 4 months, we recommend checking out the Sleep Fundamentals section of the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™. Co-created with pediatricians and sleep experts, this easy-to-use app teaches you everything you need to know about your baby’s sleep and how to work with their natural rhythms to help them fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and reduce night wakings.

When Do Babies Sleep Through the Night Without Sleep Training?

Sleep training can be a helpful tool to support and encourage your baby’s sleeping, but it’s not necessarily a requirement for your baby to sleep through the night. Your little one will sleep through the night eventually, regardless of whether or not sleep training has taken place. Many babies start sleeping for longer stretches at night around 8 or 9 months, and you can certainly help support this milestone with a few strategies. Watch the video below for some advice!

Don’t miss these must-watch sleep tips from a pediatric sleep consultant.

Nighttime Sleep Patterns by Age Group

Your baby's age is a key factor in how long they sleep at night and whether they can self-soothe when waking at night. We’ve described some typical scenarios below, but for more personalized advice, speak to your baby’s healthcare provider, who can address any questions or concerns about your their sleep patterns.

Your Baby’s First Month: Multiple Sleep Blocks at Night

During the first month, you may be wondering how much a newborn should sleep. Newborns tend to sleep most of the day and wake every few hours, day and night, to eat. Breastfed babies may wake up about every two to three hours, whereas bottle-fed babies may wake up every three to four hours. If your newborn stays asleep for longer stretches than this at night, their healthcare provider may suggest waking them for feedings until they start to gain weight consistently. After this, you can probably let your baby sleep for longer periods at night. Your provider will track your baby’s growth at your regular well-child visits and can advise you on weight gain.

1 to 6 Months: Longer Stretches of Nighttime Sleep

The first step of sleeping through the night is building up those blocks of sleep. Gradually, you’ll witness three hours of solid sleeping, then perhaps four or five hours. You might even be surprised with an even longer stretch from time to time!

  • At 1 month old, your baby may begin to sleep for longer stretches at night, perhaps including one long block of three to four hours. It’s during this time that your baby’s circadian rhythms are forming, and they’re getting used to the difference between day and night.

  • By 2 months old, your baby will likely be more alert and attentive during the day, which means they may end up sleeping a little longer at night. At this point, you may even choose to skip one nighttime feeding.

  • From 3 to 5 months old, your baby might be able to sleep for a stretch of about five to eight hours at night! This is a significant accomplishment, but it probably won’t be a nightly occurrence at first.

  • If by about 6 months old your baby still has trouble sleeping for longer lengths of time at night, you might consider shortening their afternoon nap. If this solution doesn’t help, talk to your child’s healthcare provider to get some personalized guidance.

6 to 12 Months: When Sleeping Through the Night Could Start

When do babies start sleeping through the night? You’re in the home stretch! Sometime between 6 and 12 months (often around 8 or 9 months) is when your baby might finally start sleeping through the night more consistently. Still, they’ll have to build up to this exciting milestone.

  • At 6 months old, the majority (between 60 and 70 percent) of their sleep in a 24-hour period might start occurring during the night.

  • Between 6 and 10 months is the stage when your baby will start being more active and mobile during the day, as they begin rolling over, crawling, and pulling up on furniture. All these activities will tire your baby out, possibly resulting in longer periods of sleep at night.

  • At about 8 or 9 months old, your baby might be able to sleep anywhere between 6 to 12 hours at night without waking up hungry!

Keep in mind that these typical scenarios don’t rule out your little one occasionally waking up during the night. And, depending on when you put your baby to bed, they may wake up very early in the morning after a long block of sleep—meaning that you, as the parent, won’t necessarily be “sleeping through the night” just yet. For example, if you put your little one to bed at 8 p.m., they may wake up between 2 and 4 a.m., which will still be an early wake-up call for you.

Tips for Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

First, it's important to remember that young babies can’t sleep through the night, as they need feedings, diaper changes, and the occasional cuddle from mom or dad. Still, there are several strategies that you can use to encourage longer snoozes after putting your baby to sleep.

  • Differentiate night vs. day. Help your baby understand the difference between day and night by keeping their environment bright and active during the day yet dark and quiet at night. For example, when your baby naps, put them down in an area of your home that has background noises, and at night, keep feedings and diaper changes calm and quiet.

  • Establish a low-key bedtime routine. Bedtime routines can include anything calming for your baby, such as a warm bath, baby massage, cuddling, bedtime stories, lullabies, and breastfeeding or bottle-feeding just before bed. Soon, your little one will start to anticipate the routine you’ve established and associate it with going to sleep at night. During this winding-down period, keep things quiet, calm, and relaxed.

  • Put your baby in the crib before they fall asleep. It’s beneficial for your baby to be alone in the crib, as it’s more likely they’ll learn to self-soothe over time and not rely on falling back asleep in your arms. At bedtime, it may help to put your baby in the crib once they’re drowsy and tired but not yet asleep, taking care to always put them down on their back. If you wake and find your baby sleeping on their stomach, just gently reposition them on their back.

  • Recognize the sleep cycle signs. Don’t mistake a little “restlessness” for your baby being awake. Babies often move in their sleep, perhaps twitching their arms or making little noises. This can be a sign of your baby moving between different sleep cycles and not that they’re awakening. There’s no need to respond to these movements right away; instead, wait a few minutes to see if your baby is waking for a feeding or diaper change or if they’re still snoozing.

  • Wait before checking on your baby. If your baby wakes up in the night, give them some time to settle before checking in. If they haven’t calmed down, a few reassuring words softly spoken from the bedroom doorway, or a loving pat, may be enough. If they need feeding or a diaper change, keep the atmosphere calm. Consider using a night-light, so you don’t need to turn any bright lights on, and place your little one back to sleep in their crib afterward.

  • Offer your toddler a security object. Once your child is older than 12 months, it’s generally OK safe to give them a small soft toy or security blanket that can help them self-soothe in the middle of the night. Read all about how to choose the best security blanket for your little cuddler.

Why Your Baby May Not Be Sleeping Through the Night

There are many reasons your little one might be waking up and crying at night. Perhaps they’re hungry and need a feeding or crying out because they’re uncomfortable and need a diaper change. Or they may be crying because they miss you when they wake up and experience separation anxiety.

Nighttime Feedings and Diaper Changes

If your baby needs a diaper change or a feeding, try to do so without disturbing them too much. As mentioned above, use a night-light or keep the lights dim, speak in a hushed tone, and take care of things quickly so you can put your little one back to sleep. Try to avoid picking up your baby for a cuddle, which can reinforce the nighttime crying. A Note About Breastfed, Bottle-fed, and Preemie Babies When do breastfed babies sleep through the night, and is the timing different than for formula-fed babies or premature babies? Breastfed babies tend to start sleeping through the night a little later than formula-fed babies, and they may require nighttime feedings for a longer period. Premature babies may also take longer to develop the ability to sleep through the night, but you can help them establish good sleep habits with the strategies mentioned above, such as putting them down in their cribs before they fall asleep and creating a bedtime routine. When weaning your baby (starting at 6 months or later), remember that bedtime and nighttime feedings are typically the last ones to eliminate. As you wean, your baby will gradually require fewer nighttime feedings.

Soothing Nighttime Crying

When your baby is still very young, experts recommend comforting them if they cry at night instead of letting them “cry it out.” You could do things like rocking your newborn for a few minutes, playing some calming music, or singing. It’s best to put your baby back into the crib and/or leave the room once they calm down but aren’t quite back to sleep yet. This will help your little one experience being in the crib alone and awake, which will help them learn how to self-soothe.

Separation Anxiety at Nighttime

Between 6 and 18 months of age, your little one might show signs of separation anxiety, which sometimes triggers sleep regression. Your baby is learning to recognize that you have gone away (even if you’re just in the next room), which may result in crying when waking up at night. At this stage, if your baby wakes up in the night crying, give them a few minutes to self-soothe and settle back down. If the crying continues, try calming your baby with a soft pat or some gentle words to help them settle back down to sleep. It’s best to resist the urge to pick your little one up, walk with them, or take them back to bed with you. Try to encourage self-soothing habits like thumb-sucking, but don’t give your little one objects like a favorite blankie or plush toy to sleep with until they’re at least 1 year old. Experts warn that leaving stuffed animals or blankets in your baby’s crib in the first year can increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

When to Consult Your Child’s Healthcare Provider

Besides anxiously wondering “When do babies start sleeping through the night?” many parents also wonder if they should worry when their little ones aren’t sleeping through the night. Remember that every child grows and develops at their own pace, so it’s OK if yours isn’t sleeping through the night yet at 8 or 9 months. Contact their healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns regarding your baby’s sleep schedule. It’s also a good idea to contact the provider if your baby is waking up frequently in the night at 6 months or older.

The Bottom Line

Sleeping through the night is a milestone that your child will eventually reach. It takes time and patience on your part, along with maintaining an environment that encourages your little one to sleep for longer periods at night. So, when do babies start sleeping through the night (and when will you start getting more sleep at night, too)? At around 8 or 9 months, babies may start to sleep for longer blocks of time more consistently. It will take time to string together multiple nights of longer sleep, but you can anticipate a gradual improvement over time. What’s considered sleeping through the night? Experts suggest that “sleeping through the night” means snoozing for at least five to eight hours without waking for feedings, diapering, or soothing. Even if your little sleeper reaches eight hours, putting them down at 8 p.m. means a 4 a.m. wake-up call for you! Remember to stay patient and try to take naps yourself during the day. Although you may feel sleep-deprived now, this period of sleepless nights will eventually pass. Hang in there! In the meantime, reward yourself for all the late-night diaper changes with the Pampers Club app.


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  • Healthy Children: Sleeping Through the Night
  • Healthy Children: Healthy Sleep Habits: How Many Hours Does Your Child Need?
  • Kids Health: Sleep and Your Newborn
  • Kids Health: Sleep and Your 1- to 3-Month Old
  • Kids Health: Sleep and Your 4-to 7-Month Old
  • Kids Health: Sleep and Your 8-to 12-Month Old
  • Mayo Clinic: Helping baby sleep through the night
  • Kids Health: Separation Anxiety