When will my preemie sleep through the night?
In the first couple months, all newborns will sleep for about-equal amounts of time during the day and during the night, and each of their sleeping periods may be pretty short – even just minutes at a time. Babies start getting the bulk of their sleep at night once their “circadian rhythm” (internal body clock that controls our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle) develops, and this usually happens around 3 to 4 months of age in infants who were born at term. This is when your baby starts distinguishing day from night. The length of the nighttime sleep period will gradually get longer as your baby gets older, and most term babies are sleeping through the night at about 6 months. If your baby was born 2 months early, for example, she may not start sleeping through the night until 8 months, since this is when her “corrected age” would be 6 months. It is important to remember though that every baby is different – and even some term infants may not sleep all the way through the night until they are 12 months old – and that can be perfectly normal.About Dr. Stephanie Jackson