When will my baby sleep through the night?
Newborns should be woken up every 3 to 4 hours until their weight gain is established, which typically happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it's OK if a baby sleeps for longer periods of time.
But don't get your slumber hopes up just yet — most breastfed infants won't snooze for extended periods of time because they get hungry. Remember, breast milk is much more easily digested than formula, so it passes through babies' systems faster and, therefore, makes them hungry more often.
Newborns' longest sleep periods are generally 4 or 5 hours — this is about how long their small bellies can go between feedings. If newborns do sleep for a while, they'll probably be extra-hungry during the day and may want to nurse more frequently.
And just when parents think that sleeping through the night seems like a far-off dream, things start to get a little easier. At 3 months, a baby averages a total of 5 hours of sleep during daytime naps and 10 hours at night, usually with an interruption or two. Most babies this age sleep "through the night," meaning 6 to 8 hours in a row.
It can help to stimulate your baby during the day, keep things calm at night, and have a regular bedtime routine. But every baby is different so don't be surprised if your baby sleeps more or less than others.
Will it hurt my milk supply to let my baby sleep?
Letting your baby sleep through the night (usually around 3 months old) isn't going to hurt your breastfeeding efforts. Your body readjusts your milk supply based on when you nurse and how much your baby needs. Some babies will sleep through the night early but will make up for it during the day, so your breasts will accommodate that.
As your baby matures and starts taking solid foods, the need for breast milk will diminish and your body will adjust for that too.
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