So here’s a bit of science about sleep. Just like adults, babies go through sleep cycles. We all heard about this and maybe learned it while we were in school. Sleep cycle basically means we go through stages of sleep, from light sleep, to deep sleep, and active sleep (basically period when we dream). During night, we go through multiple sleep cycles. Over time, adults learn to go from one sleep cycle to next seamlessly without waking up but since babies are not fully developed, they wake up in between these sleep cycles.
It is said that each sleep cycle lasts about 45 minutes. Have you had your baby wake up from exactly about 45 minutes from his nap? This just means that the baby went through one sleep cycle and woke up.
During night time, guess what happens when they wake up in between these sleep cycles? They want to fall asleep again but will look for the familiar sleep environment as to when they fell asleep. For example, if you rocked your baby to sleep, then they would want to be rocked again to fall asleep. If you nursed them to sleep, they would want to be nursed again.
In order to help babies fall asleep again when they wake up from their sleep cycles, it would be important to create sleeping environment same as when they fell asleep.
Marc Weissbluth in his book ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’ says this:
By about 3 months of age, most full-term healthy infants are able to sleep through most of the night. If your baby has more than one or two nightly wakings at that age, or if he still hasn’t “settled” (started sleeping through the entire night) by five or six months, then you should take a close look at his bedtime routines.
Of course all babies are different but knowing that babies do have the ability to sleep through the night at such a young age, gives us hope and encourages us to teach them healthy sleep habits.