Some time between 4 and 6 months, your baby should start to be able to sleep for longer stretches of time, and by 6 months, many babies are ready to start sleeping through the night. Unfortunately, though, it’s completely normal for babies to take much longer to reach that milestone. You can encourage your baby towards these longer stretches of sleep at night by putting her down to rest while she is sleepy and relaxed but still awake, instead of soothing her all the way to sleep. This will help your baby learn how to fall back asleep in the middle of the night when you’re not there to soothe her. Try to be patient, though - all babies develop at their own pace, and are ready to sleep through the night in their own time. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 70 to 80% of babies sleep through the night by 9 months, but it can happen as early as a few months old, or as late as over a year.
A quiet crib or nursery might seem like a breakthrough, but be sure to check in on your baby after the room goes silent. Sometimes babies will ditch dozing off and spend their private time practicing physical skills like crawling or rolling over. This can be avoided by making sure that she gets plenty of activity time during daylight hours. If you notice your baby snoring or wheezing after falling asleep, mention this to your doctor at the next checkup, since irregular respiration can be a warning sign for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Sleeping helps the human body heal and grow, so perhaps it’s no surprise that doctors routinely observe well-rested babies vastly improve their ability to crawl, handle objects, and even walk. Once your baby adjusts to a more prolonged sleep cycle, you might start witnessing new developmental milestones within the first few weeks!