A mother leans over her baby in a cot in a bright, modern bedroom and wonders, when do babies sleep through the night
Comfier Parenting by Alex Irving 4 minutes

When do babies sleep through the night?

When do babies sleep through the night? Hint: maybe never

Is there anything worse than going to a parents’ group and hearing the others gush about their babies sleeping peacefully into the night? This isn’t a story you care to listen to if all you got the other night was three hours of broken sleep and an evening spent googling ‘when do babies sleep through night’.

As good as they are at zonking out when they do, babies don’t quite know how to sleep as well as us adults. When younger than six months, most babies still need to feed and get help settling back to bed. Others can take years before they manage to get themselves back to sleep after their nightly stirs.

A good bedtime routine and a comfy but firm mattress are great places to start for getting our little bubs that sweet, night-long slumber. But we can’t leave the rest in their squidgy, little hands. We spoke to paediatrician Dr Sarah Arachchi for more advice on how to get baby to sleep through the night and what we can do to coax these adorable little sleep thieves to stretch their snooze that little bit longer.

When do babies sleep 7pm to 7am?

Keep dreaming. Unless you’ve managed to snag yourself one of those unicorn babies, infant sleep is usually all over the shop. And as parents, obsessing over when babies sleep through the night is totally normal. Thankfully, Dr Sarah has some reassuring words.

“There’s no definitive age when your baby will sleep through the night,” she says. “All babies are different. The majority of them can self-settle by the time they reach 18 months. But this depends on the baby and the settling strategies parents are using.”

For our bubs younger than six months, falling asleep can be pretty tough. “Babies under six months will have shorter sleep cycles, meaning they’ll wake up more frequently,” says Dr Sarah. However, the good news is that the older they get, the more likely they’ll learn to link their cycles. So for all the sleep-hungry parents out there, this means you’ll no longer need to mainline that espresso to get through the day.

How to get baby to sleep through the night

Agonising over when babies start sleeping through the night is probably doing your head in. To get these adorable little joeys hopping straight into bed, Dr Sarah has some tips that might help.

🍼 Learn their cues. As well as loving them and changing their nappies, we parents must become baby detectives. Cue the magnifying glasses. Your baby will send you signals that they’re tired, and acting on those signals may help them to get better sleep. Common tiredness cues include rubbing their eyes, making fists, jerky movements and fussing.

🍼 Set a schedule. Try to be consistent with baby’s bedtime. Even when it’s hard to get the timing right, having a nightly routine will help. Bathe them, feed them, read them a story or sing them a song — do whatever you need to do to help bub catch that elusive sleep bug.

🍼 Create a calm environment. Dr Sarah suggests having a dark, quiet space for baby’s sleep time. “This can help them form an attachment to sleep when they go into that room.” She also says to keep the lights low, the music gentle and other stimulations to a minimum.

🍼 Swaddle them. Babies are born with a startle reflex. And as cute as it may look, it’s also pretty pesky. Swaddling bub safely and on their back can help them from startling themselves through the night. It can also help put baby to sleep when they figure out that the swaddle equals beddy-byes. Do they make these in adult sizes?

🍼 Wait and see. Sometimes babies make noises throughout the night. Whatever the commotion, sounds in the night don’t always mean that babies need help getting back to sleep. Stay quiet and listen out for a while because, on a few glorious occasions, you’ll find bub dozing back to sleep on their own.

A baby lies on their back in a timber cot
Remember when choosing a cot and mattress for your baby firmness and safety are priorities

Getting baby’s bed just right

As adults, we love to be soft and cosy as we snuggle up for bed. But for our babies, it’s a little different. Firmness is the most important feature.

The best baby mattress is one that’s made to the highest safety standards while still being comfy enough to sleep on. With the right one in your nursery, you’ll be a little closer to figuring out how to get baby to sleep through the night.

So, what does a baby’s mattress need to be suitable? In Australia, we’re lucky to have stringent guidelines for all new and pre-loved baby mattresses that are sold. A baby’s mattress should be clean, firm, flat and in good condition. There should be no toys, blankets, pillows or obstructions in their cot. And always ensure you’ve chosen a mattress compatible with the cot or baby bed.

Sleep Easy with Joey by Koala

Need a baby bed today? You’ve come to the right place. Koala’s new Joey range meets all the necessary safety standards. So if you decide to do it the Koala way, know that you and bub can rest easy. Our kids’ furniture range has been built to Australian safety standards, while our Kookaburra Cot meets Red Nose Australia Safer Sleeping criteria. Plus, with tool-free assembly, you can save all your energy for the sleep your bub will eventually steal once they arrive. Bless.

So, when do babies sleep through the night? Possibly never. But hey, they make up for it with their cute rolls and chubby cheeks. A good mattress and cot from Koala’s Joey range, plus a gentle bedtime routine, is the best thing you can do to help your little one nod off into La-La Land.

Nervous about buying online? We hear you. That’s why you get 120 nights to try any Koala product, and if you’re not a fan, returns are easy and we’ll refund you in full.

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