If you’re anything like me, you probably started wondering, “how can I get my baby to sleep through the night,” about 2 weeks after giving birth (if not sooner). Good news for you, I have all of the answers to your problems right here with The Ultimate “How To Get Baby To Sleep Through Night” Guide.
First, A Little Bit About Myself
When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I decided that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom, and I remember that I thought it was going to be so easy getting up with a baby throughout the night, because I no longer had to wake up for work in the morning.
I think back about this, and I laugh, because I couldn’t have been more wrong. 🤣
I was completely losing my mind trying to get my son to sleep for even an hour straight. Breastfeeding wasn’t working, so to add to being awake with a baby all night long, I had to add pumping into my nighttime schedule too.
When my son was 7 ½ weeks old, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I spent days searching every blog post, website, forum, and social media site looking for an answer on how to get baby to sleep through night.
We tried everything! I followed all the guidelines I read online, I tried all the recommended schedules, and nothing worked!
Until I finally put my phone away, and created my own plan on getting my baby to sleep through the night.
To my surprise, what I created worked! My son was sleeping through the night by 10 weeks old, and when I say sleeping through the night, I don’t mean 6 or 7 hours. He was sleeping for 12-13 hours every night.
This plan works for long term success. My son is now almost 2 years old, and he:
- Has slept in his own bed every night since he has been 10 weeks old.
- Goes to bed and wakes up at the exact same time every day.
- Doesn’t get out of bed once we tuck in him and say goodnight.
- Goes to bed without a fight.
Will This Method Work For Your Child?
Throughout my son’s 2 years, people have me asked me, “does he sleep through the night yet,” countless times. When I tell them he has slept through the night since he was 10 weeks old, people act completely shocked.
People told me I must have gotten lucky with my son, and have warned me to prepare myself if I ever planned to have another baby, because I would never get that lucky again.
Well sure enough, my second child was born 14 months after my son was born, and I was terrified of never getting any sleep again.
My daughter was not as bad as my son when it came to waking up during the night, but I still couldn’t take in much longer. When she was 10 weeks old, I decided it was time to implement my sleeping method to see if it would work a second time.
Guess what?? By 12 weeks old my daughter was sleeping 12-13 hours during the night.
I wanted to rub it in everyone’s face; I didn’t just get lucky, my sleep method actually worked!!
Here I was, with a 12 week old and a 17 month old, and they were both going to bed by 8:00 pm, and waking up around 8:30 am.
Since then, I have shared this method with countless family and friends, and they are always so thankful that I was able to help them get their baby to sleep through the night.
Does this sound like something you want to happen in your household? If you said yes, then scroll down to read The Ultimate “How To Get Baby To Sleep Through Night” Guide.
Implementing this method could take around a few weeks, so make sure to save this post, so you can refer back to it!
The First Few Weeks
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Check out our Privacy Statement for more information.
The few weeks after your baby is born, you need to feed them on command. Do not try to use this method when your baby is only a few weeks old, because at this point, you need to feed your baby right when they are hungry or about every 2-3 hours.
Your pediatrician will tell you when your baby has reached the weight requirements to not have to eat every 2-3 hours.
During these first weeks, there are a few things you can do tell help get your baby prepared to sleep through the night, and this will make the transition easier on both you and your baby.
Decide What Time Bedtime Is
When your baby does start sleeping through the night, what time do you want bedtime to be?
Whatever time you decide on, put your baby to sleep at that time every day. It doesn’t matter if they just ate, or are going to need to eat soon, they need to stay in their crib or bassinet unless they are eating.
Next, decide what time you want them to wake up in the morning. Most 2-3 month old will sleep about 15-16 hours a day, so getting 12 hours of sleep every night is normal.
Now do not get your baby out of their crib or bassinet, for those 12 hours unless they need to eat.
I am not a fan of the cry it out method, especially at such a young age. So if your baby is crying, pick them up, calm them down, but always put them right back to bed, even if they stay awake.
This will get them in the routine of staying in bed during these hours.
Quiet and Dark
When you put your baby down for bed, make sure the room is quiet and dark.
I had multiple mothers tell me to be loud when my baby was sleeping, because it will get them used to the noise. Well guess what? It doesn’t work!! You will just wake your baby up, and you do not want that.
Would you want to sleep with the lights on, the TV volume all the way up, and people talking super loud? No, you wouldn’t.
About a half hour before bed, start your bedtime routine. This lets your baby know that bedtime is coming soon, and it will get them in the habit or calming down and getting ready for bed.
It doesn’t really matter what your bedtime routine is, just make sure it is the same thing every day.
Have Them Sleep In The Same Place Every Night
This goes along with the bedtime routine idea; put your baby down at the same place every night, so they know it is bedtime.
You can skip the bassinet all together and put them in their crib. This will make getting your baby to sleep through the night in their own room much easier.
Or you could have them sleep in a bassinet in your bedroom. A bassinet is the method I used, because I liked being able to grab my babies as soon as they woke up, and get them back to sleep as soon as possible.
Plus, I am a worry wart, and I wanted to be able to keep an eye on my babies at all times.
Keep Your Baby Asleep As Much As Possible
When your baby does wake up throughout the night, keep the noise and lights down, and try to keep them as sleepy as possible. You can do this by:
- Having their food ready, so they don’t have to wait.
- Don’t change their diaper, unless it is absolutely needed.
- Don’t talk to or play with them.
Have Your Baby Eat As Much As Possible At Every Feeding
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, make sure your baby eats as much as possible every time you feed them (during both the night and day).
This makes sure your baby is not just snacking, and they will not want to eat as many small meals throughout the day and night.
Let Them Fall Asleep On Their Own
I know it is difficult to put your baby down, and let them fall asleep on their own, because you just want to hold them and rock them to sleep!
The more you hold and rock your baby to sleep, the more they are going to get used to this, and refuse to fall asleep on their own.
Put your baby down for bed when they are awake, and if they cry, try to soothe them when they are still in bed. If they are still crying, pick them up, calm them down, and immediately put them back in bed.
Are you ready to get your baby to sleep through the night? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! 😀
When you get the go ahead from your doctor, that you do not have to feed your baby every 2 hours, you can start step #1.
You will want to feed your baby every 4 hours during the day.
Let’s think about this for a minute…When your baby wakes up, they will eat ‘breakfast,’ then 4 hours later, they will eat ‘lunch,’ another 4 hours later, they will eat ‘dinner, and 4 hours after that, they will have one last bottle before bedtime.
For example, my baby eats at 8 am, 12 pm, 4 pm, and 8 pm.
So How Do You Do This?
First thing is first, you will feed your baby at these times…NO MATTER WHAT!
Continue to feed your baby whenever they want a bottle, but make sure to feed them at these 4 times every day. So let’s say your baby eats at 11 am, you will still offer them a bottle at 12 pm.
You will want to this for 2-3 days. Keep track of the times that your baby is eating, and find the average amount of time between each feeding. For most babies, it is about 2 ½ hours.
Note: Make sure your baby is eating full bottles or having full breastfeeding sessions. Always offer them more than what they usually drink, to make sure they are not still hungry.
For the purpose of this example, let’s say the average time between each feeding is 2 ½ hours (you can adjust based on your own situation).
The next day, do not separate feedings by any less than 2 ½ hours. This means if you feed your baby at 8 am, and they start fussing around 10 am (2 hours later), hold them over until 10:30 am (which is the 2 ½ hour average time between feedings).
You will then feed them at 10:30 am, but remember to also feed them at 12 pm.
When you start adding more time in between your baby’s feedings, they will eat larger meals, which will take longer to digest, which means they will automatically go longer in between feedings without your help.
The next day, add 10-15 minutes to you average time between feedings. So instead of waiting 2 ½ hours, wait 2 hours and 45 minutes between feedings.
You can push back the average time between feedings every day or every other day, whatever you and your baby are comfortable with.
Continue to do this until you have reached the 4 hour mark in between feedings.
You will be surprised at how fast this process is, once you start pushing your baby’s feedings back, they will eat more, and push their feedings back themselves. So this will only take a few days to a week to accomplish.
If your baby does push their own feedings back themselves, follow their lead. If you plan on feeding your baby every 2 hours and 45 minutes, and they go 3 hours and 30 minutes in between feedings, then this is your new average time between feedings (Do not go back to 2 hours and 45 minutes).
Once your baby is eating every 4 hours, you will want to focus on nap time.
It is important that your baby doesn’t sleep too much throughout the day, because they will not sleep throughout the night if they are sleeping too many hours during the day.
If is also important that your baby is not napping right before bedtime, because they will not be tired when bedtime does roll around.
Like I previously stated, babies around 2-3 months sleep an average of 15-16 hours per day. So if your baby is sleeping 12 hours at night, that leaves 3-4 hours of naps during the day.
You will want your baby to take 3 naps each day, in between each feeding. So your day will look something like this (change the times based on what time you chose to feed your baby):
8 am (feed), NAP 1, 12 pm (feed), NAP 2, 4 pm (feed), NAP 3, 8 pm (feed).
Keep the morning and evening naps (Nap 1 and 3) around an hour, and have the afternoon nap (Nap 2) be the longest (1 ½ – 2 hours).
Make sure Nap 3 is about an hour after the feeding, so it is not too close to bedtime.
Once your child reaches 9 or 10 months (sometimes sooner), you can eliminate Nap 3, and once they are 12 months old, you can eliminate Nap 1.
So How Do I Do This?
When it is nap time, put your baby down and keep them in their crib or bassinet. If they cry, try to soothe them without picking them up. Once you do this, If they do not calm down, pick them up, calm them down, and put them back down.
If your baby will not nap in their bassinet or crib, try to get them to nap in a rock ‘n play or swing. The important part is that they are sleeping on their own.
If your baby is getting tired before it is nap time, keep them awake by playing with them or singing to them.
Now that you have your daytime routine down with your baby eating every 4 hours and napping 3 times a day, we can finally get to the part you have been waiting for…eliminating the nighttime feedings!!!
At this point, your baby is probably used to eating every 4 hours during the day, and has most likely been eating about every 4 hours at night as well. This means on average, they will be eating about 2 times during the night.
If not, do not worry!
The first thing you are going to want to do is keep track of how much your baby is eating at each feeding during the night. For bottle fed babies- measure the ounces your baby is eating, and for breastfed babies- keep track of the amount of time they are eating.
So How Do I Do This?
Once you find out the average amount your baby is eating every night. Do not let them eat more than the average amount. So if your baby is eating 6 ounces on average, do not let them eat more than that during one feeding at night.
Next, you are going to want to track the average time between each feeding. Like I said, it will probably be around the 4 hour mark, because that is the schedule they are used to eating on during the day. Once again, do not separate feedings by any less than the average time between each feeding.
This means if your baby is eating about every 4 hours, never feed them any sooner than this. If your baby wakes up at the 2 hour mark, get them to go back to sleep for another 2 hours.
For the sake of this example, we are going to say your baby wakes up 2 times each night around 12 am and 4 am, and eats about 6 ounces on average or 20 minutes breastfeeding (please adjust for your own situation).
From this point forward, never feed your baby before 12 am. When your baby does wake up at 12 am, feed them 5 ½ ounces or only 18 minutes breastfeeding.
Once you put your baby back to bed, do not feed them until 4 am, but let your baby eat their normal 6 ounces or 20 minutes breastfeeding during this feeding.
The next day, feed your baby only 5 ounces or 16 minutes breastfeeding at 12 am, but keep the 4 am feeding the same.
You will start to notice that when you decrease nighttime feedings, your baby will start eating more during the day, so make sure you are offering them as much milk as possible during daytime feedings.
Continue to decrease the amount you feed your baby during this first feeding until the feeding is completely eliminated.
Only once the first feeding is eliminated, should you start decreasing the amount fed at other nighttime feedings.
Note: Never take steps back. This means if your baby is sleeping until 4 am every night, but wakes up at 2 am and is acting hungry, get them to go back to sleep and wait until 4 am.
Once the first nighttime feeding is eliminated, then move onto the next feeding and do the same thing. Continue to do this until all nighttime feedings are eliminated.
And then…BOOM, your baby is sleeping through the night.
Things To Keep In Mind
Make Sure Your Baby Is Eating Enough
When you are pushing feedings back and decreasing the amount you are feeding your baby, you want to make sure they are getting enough food. Getting your baby to sleep through the night is not worth risking their health.
With this method, you want to change their eating schedule, not limit their intake of food.
If you are bottle feeding your baby, make sure they are eating at least 6 ounces at every feeding.
Measuring how much your baby is eating while breastfeeding can be difficult, but make sure:
- Your baby has a good latch every time they are eating.
- You keep a close eye on the clock to measure how much they are eating based on the time.
- You measure their weight gain
- Make sure they are having wet and dirty diapers everyday.
Getting a Breastfed Baby To Sleep Through The Night Is More Difficult
It is harder to measure how much a breastfed baby is eating, so decreasing how much milk you are giving them can be challenging. Check out The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class for tips on breastfeeding.
Also, breastfed babies wake up, not only because they are hungry, but because they like the comfort of their mother. Breastfed babies will use mom as a pacifier during the night, because they know they have that option.
Although this method does work for breastfed babies, it works much better for bottle fed babies. If you are breastfeeding, consider pumping and giving breast milk in a bottle during the nighttime. You can check out a pumping breast milk course over at Milkology here.
Change This Method Based On Your Situation
One reason I had trouble finding schedules and methods to get my baby to sleep through the night online, was because I wasn’t catering the method to mine and my son’s needs.
Lucky for you, I have laid out exactly how you can change this schedule to fit your needs.
I have two babies, and I have had to tweak this plan for each kid, although it did work for getting two babies to sleep through the night, that are as different as different can be.
For example, my daughter sleeps in her crib at night, but refuses to sleep in her crib during nap time (and she still does at 8 months old). So she naps in her rock ‘n play, and guess what? It works for us. She falls right asleep and we have no problems.
Also, my son took 3 naps until he was 9 months old, and then 2 until he was 12 months old.
This was just too many naps for my daughter, and she wasn’t sleeping through the night. So at about 6 months, she started only napping once a day, and it works perfect for us.
My point is, this is a guideline to help you get your baby to sleep through the night, but no one knows your baby better than you do, so make some small changes based on your child’s needs to make it work better for you.
This Method Is A Lot Easier Than You Think
You might read all of this, and say whoa Alison, this is just too much, but I promise once you get started, it is a lot easier than you think.
Your baby will start getting used to the changes you are making, and they will make it easier on you by adjusting the schedule on their own.
Keep in mind, I went from having my son wake up every hour to sleeping 12-13 hours every night in only 2 weeks. If I can do that, then you can do it too!
Let’s dig a little deeper, so I can tell you what I mean. Once I spaced my sons eating schedule to every 4 hours during the day, he automatically started napping 3 times every day. So with my son, I completely skipped step #2, he did all the work for me.
Or my daughter for example, once I decreased her first bottle of the night by just 2 ounces, she started sleeping through the first feeding, and it was onto tackling night feeding number 2.
It Does Take Patience
Although implementing this method only took me about 2 weeks with both of my children, I must warn you- it was a long two weeks.
Every time they would wake up, I would try and soothe them back to sleep while they were still in their bassinet. If that didn’t, I would pick them up, calm them down, and then put them back in their bassinet.
There were some night I where I did this 20 times in a row before they finally fell asleep. It was very hard and exhausting work, but it was much easier than spending months getting up every few months feeding them during the night.
It was worth it, because each and every night, I put my kids to bed, and I do not hear a peep until morning. This has made my life stress free!
As a mom of two, I get a full night of sleep every night, and I have time to myself every evening.
This Method Does Work
Now, I am not just telling you, so you will read what I have to say, because let’s face it, at this point you have already read what I had to say.
I am saying this, because I honestly believe this method could work for any mom and child, no matter their age or situation.
I am not allowed to say that I promise this will work for you, ya know, because of legal issues. Ha.
I don’t want to get sued, because your baby won’t sleep through the night, but I can almost guarantee that if you follow these steps your baby will be sleeping through the night in no time.
This will even work for a colicky baby (because it did for mine).
I Want To Help You
Moving Mountains With Motherhood is unlike any other site that you will find!
I want to help you, so if you have any questions, please reach out to me- drop a comment below, use the ‘contact me’ form on my site, or subscribe to my email newsletters.
Can I confess something? I am very proud of my work and being able to get my kids to sleep through the night at an early age, so if you would do me a small favor and share this, I would very much appreciate it! 😆