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Nearly all babies are able to sleep through the night by 6 months, but when they do is very different depending on the child.
Some infants as young as 3 months old can snooze for six to eight hours at a stretch. Others won't sleep this long until they're 12 months old. But most babies (70 percent) do sleep through the night by the time they hit 9 months, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Sleeping "through the night" usually means sleeping for eight to 12 hours straight without needing a nighttime feeding.
You may have heard that bigger babies and babies who eat solids are better sleepers, but it's not true. Your baby's ability to sleep through the night depends on age, not size or diet.
There's also no research to support the claim that adding rice cereal to your baby's evening bottle will help her sleep better or longer. This is a choking hazard, and offering solids too early can deprive your baby of the necessary nutrients in breast milk or formula. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
And just like adults, it’s perfectly normal for an infant to wake up briefly several times a night to stretch or take a deep breath. But you can help your baby learn to settle herself back to sleep.
"Put her to bed drowsy but awake by the time she's 4 months old," says Judith Owens, a pediatrician and director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. "This will help her avoid developing a dependence on you to fall asleep and make it easier for her to fall back to sleep on her own when she wakes at night."
Get help with bedtime routines or sleep training.