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My baby is one month old. She wakes up every two hours.
Is there something wrong?


Dear Sheila,

No, there is nothing wrong.

Young infants tend to sleep for around two to four hours at a time, and then wake for short periods, often to be fed.

These patterns of sleeping and waking can vary, and they go on around the clock.

At first, these short stretches of 2 to 4 hours of sleep may be frustrating for you as they interfere with your sleep pattern. Have patience — this will change as your baby grows and begins to adapt to the rhythms of life outside the womb.

Some nights you need to get up and soothe a crying baby three, four, or what seems like ten times a night. You're not used to waking up this often and you're tired. It's one of the most challenging parts of having a new baby. It can affect almost all aspects of your life: your health, mood, relationships, career, and sometimes even your sanity.

For the first few months of life, 95% of infants cry when they wake up. And most of them need someone to soothe them before they can get back to sleep. But as your baby gets older, she may simply go back to sleep on her own.

Several studies have found that by eight months, over 50% of infants who wake at night go back to sleep without any soothing from parents or other caregivers. In fact, sometimes their parents didn't even realize they'd been awake.

All babies are unique, and sleep patterns vary greatly from infant to infant. Even though typical sleep patterns don't apply to all babies, researchers have identified general patterns that you can look for as your child gets older.

When you hear that cry in the night, remember these things:

Your baby doesn't know the meaning of the phrase "sleeping through the night.
"Don't expect her to sleep through most of a night before she's three to six months old.
Even then, remember that it's normal for babies to wake up several times during the night.
Every baby is different, and your normal, healthy baby may have different sleep patterns than other children.

Be patient and hang in there. Your baby will probably begin to sleep for longer stretches of time when she's developmentally ready.

There are so many wonderful changes in babies during the first six months. Sleep is one of them, as babies develop more adult-like sleep patterns. So hang in there. Sleep is on the way.

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