The most talked about topic in mothers groups and on online forums today is baby sleeping patterns.
Your baby sleeps through the night – does that make you a better parent? Or just plain lucky?
When you are pregnant, you read every book and every article you can find, all telling you that establishing good sleep patterns from birth are a must for your baby. You’ve read about swaddling, routines, how much sleep is needed, which sleeping method is right for your baby. You’ve listened to experts and friends and parents and mother-in-laws and in your mind you are all set.
THEN, along comes baby. Perfect sleeper in the hospital, everyone commending you on what a good baby you have. The baby rarely cries and just sleeps. Perfect! Until you get home. The first couple of days, still perfect, then BAM! Awake all night or all day. You’ve tried swaddling, tried feeding one million times, questioning whether they have wind, do they need more food or maybe overtired? Nothing seems to be working.
Most people have misguided thoughts that babies should sleep through the night and it is our fault if they don’t.
A newborn baby’s sleep is erratic. Some sleep all night and wake during the day, some party all night and sleep all day and then there are the ones that just sleep perfectly all the time. If you received one of those, you are damn lucky.
Babies are not meant to sleep for long periods of time without waking, it is not normal. Most babies do wake every 60 minutes, some fall straight back to sleep, while others wake up. It is more natural for them to wake often, feed, seek comfort and then return to sleep. That is mother natures way of keeping baby’s safe. Babies have shorter sleep cycles than adults. Generally, a baby has a 60 minute sleep cycle. Adults have around 90 minute cycles and normally completely wake several times a night but we go straight back to sleep before we are even aware we have woken.
Between two to six months old, a baby’s timing system should be developed enough that they establish clear sleep patterns. Before then, its all luck.
Most baby’s don’t sleep through the night at a young age. The ones that do are rare and a GIFT for their parents, who get to sleep at night. If we go into motherhood believing all babies should sleep through the night from birth, we are just setting ourselves up for failure.
The best piece of advice I ever had with my babies is to do whatever is best for your baby. Don’t stress about your baby sleeping or whether they wake at night or wake all day. They will get into a routine before you know it. Do what you feel is the right thing to do, not what people, articles or well to do parents tell you you should be doing. Grab sleep for yourself whenever the baby does sleep, as you need it as much as they do.
If you are unsure of anything to do with your baby, then talk to a professional or seek medical help.
Lastly – ENJOY your baby, they are a miracle
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