When Can a Baby Sleep Through the Night?

On the topic of when a baby “can” sleep through the night… We often hear that babies “can” sleep through the night at a certain age or a certain weight.

“Can” means he can safely sleep through the night if that’s what he’s doing, not that he has the ability to do so.

“When you turn sixteen you can get your driver’s license” doesn’t mean that when you’re sixteen you magically have the ability to drive and a drivers license in your birthday card. It means that it is generally the age at which you can start to drive. As in before that age you COULD NOT.

So yes, a four month old who is above a certain weight can now safely sleep through the night. Before this he COULD NOT because it wouldn’t be safe for him to do so as it would likely hamper his weight gain too much.

So yes. A four month old who is above a certain weight “can” sleep through the night. But he hasn’t learned how.

Some sixteen year olds are natural born drivers that take to driving like a fish to water.

Some babies are naturally born sleepers that zonk out happily as soon as they hit some magic age.

My babies require a bit more time. Just like some people need a lot more time to practice parallel parking and three point turns.

Personally my babies sleep through the night around two years old.

People took something that was originally meant to be “At this age and weight if the baby is sleeping you no longer have to panic that they are going to starve to death because they’re sleeping for too long.” and changed it into “At this age babies magically acquire the ability to stay asleep despite humans having no ability to self regulate until they are two or three YEARS old.”

Yes. At four months a baby “can” sleep through the night. But that doesn’t mean that at four months old that baby will be able to do so.

  2 comments for “When Can a Baby Sleep Through the Night?

  1. Alina
    September 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    The ability to fall asleep and stay asleep is also pegged to neurological development. “Sleep spindles” begin to appear on eegs near 3 months. Children who are in some way impaired will not show these.

  2. Simone
    September 8, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Good one!

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