When Will Newborn Sleep Longer?

When Will Newborn Sleep Longer?

Newborns typically begin to sleep longer stretches around three to six months of age. While every baby is unique, most infants start consolidating their sleep and may even begin to sleep through the night during this period. However, there are multiple factors that can influence a baby’s sleep patterns, such as their development, environment, and individual needs.

The First Few Months

In the first few weeks of life, newborns generally sleep a lot, but their sleep is often fragmented. This is because their tiny stomachs can only hold small amounts of milk, necessitating frequent feedings around the clock. During this time, your newborn may sleep for 14 to 17 hours a day, usually in stretches of 2 to 4 hours. Understanding that this fragmented sleep is normal and expected can help set realistic expectations for parents during the early months.

Growth and Development

As your baby grows, their ability to go longer between feedings increases. This is because they can intake more milk or formula at each feeding, which helps keep them fuller for longer periods. Physiological development also plays a crucial role. Around the 3-month mark, babies begin to develop their circadian rhythms, the internal biological clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles. With this development, you’ll notice that your baby may start sleeping longer during the night and remain awake more during the day.

Sleep Cycles

Newborns have shorter sleep cycles, which means they move between deep and light sleep more frequently than adults do. However, by around three months, their sleep cycles start to lengthen and become more like those of adults. This means fewer disruptions, allowing for longer stretches of continuous sleep.

Creating a Sleep-Friendly Environment

One of the keys to helping your baby sleep longer is to create an environment that is conducive to sleep. Here are some recommendations:

Consistent Bedtime Routine

Establishing a calming bedtime routine can signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep. This might include activities like a warm bath, gentle rocking, or reading a short story. Consistency is crucial because it helps your baby know what to expect, making it easier for them to wind down and fall asleep.

Optimal Sleep Conditions

Making sure the room is dark, quiet, and cool can help your baby sleep longer. Some parents find that using white noise machines or blackout curtains can make a significant difference. Moreover, a comfortable mattress that provides proper support is equally important. Always ensure that your baby’s crib meets safety guidelines to minimize risks.

Nutritional Factors

Feeding your baby adequately before bedtime can help them sleep longer stretches. Whether you’re breastfeeding or using formula, ensuring that your baby is well-fed and burped can make them more likely to sleep longer.

The Role of Solids

Around six months, many babies begin to eat solid foods. This can sometimes help them sleep longer because they feel fuller. However, always consult with your pediatrician before introducing solids. Each baby is different, and what works for one might not work for another.

Sleep Training Methods

Sleep training can also help your baby sleep longer. Various techniques teach your baby to fall asleep independently, which can lead to longer stretches of uninterrupted sleep. Popular methods include the Ferber method, which involves letting your baby cry for increasing intervals before offering comfort, and the gentle or no-tears approach, which focuses on minimizing crying and staying close to your baby as they learn to fall asleep.

Gradual Withdrawal

This method involves gradually reducing parental involvement in helping your baby fall asleep. For example, you might start by rocking your baby until they’re drowsy but not fully asleep, then progress to just holding them near the crib, and eventually to leaving the room while they fall asleep on their own.

Pick Up/Put Down

This method involves picking your baby up to comfort them when they cry but putting them back in the crib while they are still awake. Over time, your baby learns to self-soothe and fall asleep independently.

Recognizing Signs of Sleep Readiness

Understanding your baby’s cues can also help them sleep longer. Babies give signals when they’re ready for sleep, such as rubbing their eyes, yawning, or becoming less active. Putting your baby to bed when they display these signs can make it easier for them to fall asleep quickly and sleep longer.


Babies who become overtired often have a harder time falling and staying asleep. This is because they become stressed and produce higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make it difficult for them to settle down. Paying attention to sleep cues and putting your baby to bed before they become overtired is crucial.

Parental Well-being

Lastly, it’s important to remember that parental stress can impact a baby’s sleep. Babies can sense stress and anxiety, which might make it harder for them to calm down and sleep. Ensuring that you’re also taking care of your well-being is vital. Accept help when it’s offered and take breaks when you need to.

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Finishing Thoughts

Seeing your newborn begin to sleep longer stretches can be incredibly relieving and joyful. While the timeline can vary from one baby to another, you can generally expect to see improvements around the three-to-six-month mark. By understanding factors like developmental milestones, creating a sleep-friendly environment, paying attention to nutritional needs, and considering sleep training methods, you can support your baby in developing healthier sleep patterns. Remember, each baby is unique, so it’s essential to be patient and responsive to your child’s individual needs.


  • Dominic Johnson

    Hello! I’m Dominic Johnson, the whimsical wizard behind the world of sleep at GoodSleepHub.com. With a background in Sleep Psychology and a quirky love for all things dozy and dreamy, I bring a sprinkle of fun to bedtime blues. I've spent my career unraveling the mysteries of the Sandman, turning dense science into cozy bedtime stories. When I'm not buried in research papers or testing the fluffiness of the latest pillows, I'm usually found playing impromptu lullabies on my old guitar for my twin daughters or teaching my labrador, Rocket, new tricks. My approach to sleep is simple: blend science with a touch of magic and a hearty laugh.

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