A newborn baby needs lots of sleep. For the first three months, many babies nap up to 16-18 hours a day. This sleeping time is divided into five or six phases. By the time your baby is four months old, their sleep patterns will have already changed significantly. At this point, 12 to 15 hours a day is often enough, and a large portion of this sleep shifts to nighttime. However, the way babies sleep cannot really be compared with the sleep of an adult. A baby's sleep stages are shorter and their sleep is lighter overall. Babies often wake up because of this at night and want to be comforted or fed. Each baby also has their own schedule and individual needs. So don't be worried if your baby's sleep patterns differ from this description. You can always discuss anything that worries you with your paediatrician. This can be done, for example, at one of the free medical check-ups for children that you’ll attend with your baby.

Even though you love your baby, you'll probably find it exhausting to be woken up by screaming and crying all the time. Many parents and their relatives suffer from the fact that they don’t get a proper rest for weeks. However, you can rest assured that your child's sleep patterns will continue to change. Many babies sleep five to six hours at a time by the time they are six months old. That’s when you could say that your baby sleeps through the night.

If your baby is taking a particularly long time to get to find their rhythm, it's not because you're doing something wrong. Babies, just like adults, have different needs when it comes to rest. Some need little sleep, others are frequent sleepers. One baby might settle down quickly in the evening, while another is a little night owl and has some energy before bedtime. You can help your baby find a rhythm that is good for both of you.

Babies don't fall asleep at the drop of a hat. And they may not sleep through the night for months, even if you fervently wish they would. Please try to stay calm. Unfortunately, there are still people who recommend just letting the baby cry it out. This is definitely not advisable. This is enormously stressful for the crying baby if they are left all alone in their distress. Although they will then eventually give up and fall asleep, this approach is very bad for a baby’s development. It damages the bond between you and your baby. Help your baby drift off to sleep gently. For example, you can make it happy with a warm bath or a little massage in the evening. Most babies relax and fall asleep well afterwards. Such an evening ritual can also help your baby understand that it’s bedtime.

Your baby will be comfortable in a room that is not too hot and not too cold. Different light conditions show your baby when it is day and when it is night. Therefore, your baby should nap during the day in a bright room or, if possible, outdoors. Then they can enjoy the night's rest in a darkened room. If your baby already sleeps in their own crib, they shouldn't feel lost in it. A baby sleeping bag, for example, helps with this. But do not use pillows - they can be dangerous for babies. The bed should also be absolutely free of cuddly toys or blankets for a safe sleep. A lullaby, music box or soft humming can also be comforting.

If your child wakes up and cries at night, they are probably at the end of a sleep phase. You should soothe it extra gently so that it can continue to doze. Refrain from bright lighting when feeding your baby at night. If possible, don't get your child used to getting a drink every time they wake up. Otherwise, they will want to do this again and again in the future, whether they’re hungry or not. If your baby cries because he needs you to be close, you don't necessarily have to lift them out of their crib at night. Many babies calm down with a gentle touch or when they hear the voice of a familiar person.

If your baby keeps crying at night for long periods of time and is hard to calm down, you should contact your midwife or paediatrician. Then you need to find out what is behind your baby’s sleep problems. Get support if you think something is wrong or if you're afraid you might be reaching your limit. Take advantage of available help in your area. The Early Help Network (Netzwerk Frühe Hilfen) will listen to you.