Most Babies Sleep Through Night at 3 Months
Study Shows 3 Months Is Most Likely Age for Babies to Sleep From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
When Parents Can Expect Relief continued...
"Further, by the end of the first year, 87%, 86%, and 73% of infants had met the criterion, respectively."
The practical applications? "This is a developmental guide for parents of the capability of healthy, typically developing infants for sleeping through the night," Henderson tells WebMD. "Please remember that each child develops at their own rate as reflected in the different and increasing rates of sleeping through over the first year."
"Parents should not be worried if their infant has not begun to sleep through the night at 2 and 3 months," she says, noting that not all did so.
The new research adds some additional data to previous research and conventional wisdom, says Judith Owens, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics at Alpert Medical School at Brown University and director of the pediatric sleep disorders clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital, Providence, R.I.
Sleep consolidation, she tells WebMD, "is an important developmental 'sleep milestone' occurring in the first four months of life."
"While two months is perhaps a bit earlier than typically predicted for 'sleeping through the night,' the findings in general are in agreement with previous studies," she says.
Common wisdom has it that an infant will begin sleeping through the night at around age 3 months, Owens says. Before that, short periods of sleep, typically three or four hours, interspersed with short periods of wakefulness, two hours or so, are normal. "At around three months we start to see this ability to consolidate sleep."
Using the criteria of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., she says, is more helpful as it is more practical for most parents.