Baby sleep: Helping baby sleep through the night

Tired of being awake at all hours with your baby? Use these simple tips to help your baby sleep through the night.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you haven't had a good night's sleep since your baby was born, you're not alone. Sleepless nights are a rite of passage for most new parents — but don't despair. You can help your baby sleep all night. Honestly!

Developing a rhythm

Newborns sleep 16 or more hours a day, but often in stretches of just a few hours at a time. Although the pattern might be erratic at first, a more consistent sleep schedule will emerge as your baby matures and can go longer between feedings.

By age 3 to 4 months, many babies sleep at least five hours at a time. At some point during a baby's first year — every baby is different — he or she will start sleeping for about 10 hours each night.

Have your baby sleep in your room

Ideally, baby should sleep in the same room as the parents for the first year of life — or at least for the first 6 months — to decrease the risk of SIDS. This can also make feeding easier.

Your baby should sleep alone in his or her own crib, bassinette or other surface designed for infants. Adult beds aren't safe for infants. A baby can become trapped and suffocate between the headboard slats, the space between the mattress and the bed frame, or the space between the mattress and the wall. A baby can also suffocate if a sleeping parent accidentally rolls over and covers the baby's nose and mouth.

Nov. 23, 2016 See more In-depth