Is it true that bigger babies sleep better?

Is it true that bigger babies sleep better?

Not necessarily. Good sleep is less related to your baby's size or body weight than to the maturity of his central nervous system — in other words, his brain.

Every baby's sleep patterns are unique. And while some babies seem to sleep well from an early age, others seem to have more trouble settling down and sleeping through the night until they're older. No one knows why these differences exist, but pediatricians give an age range of 3 to 6 months for sleeping through the night, since that's the time when most babies are likely to accomplish this milestone.

Also, since healthy babies come in a range of sizes, some bigger babies will sleep better than some smaller babies, and vice versa. In general, though, the older your baby gets, the better he'll sleep. This makes sense: Babies grow — and mature — over time.

Keep in mind that while sleeping better over time is a general direction, it's not always a straight path. In other words, just because your baby has learned to sleep through the night doesn't mean he'll always do so.

For example, your baby may wake more often than usual if he has an illness, like an ear infection or a cold that makes him uncomfortable and disrupts his sleep. Once he recovers from the illness, it may take a while for him to relearn how to sleep through the night.

Your baby may even sleep through the night from age 8 weeks through 9 months and then start waking up several times a night. In fact, it's common for babies between 9 and 12 months to wake up at night.

Experts don't know why, but some think it may be related to separation anxiety — a normal stage of development in which a baby has begun to recognize and differentiate his parents from other people and becomes upset when he's separated from them. Once separation anxiety is over (it lasts longer for some babies than others), he'll learn to sleep through the night once again.

So we know that a baby's sleep has less to do with his size and weight than with the maturity of his brain. After the baby's central nervous system matures a little, the baby's sleep is more stable.

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