Want baby to sleep through the night right away?
You’re desperate for sleep and the title of this post seemed liked the Holy Grail. You want to believe it could be true, that there is a magical answer out there. When our own sleep is compromised we can barely think of anything else but our tiredness. I understand. I have four children and I have been where you are once or twice in my life. Well, several hundred times, more like.
If this title above read, “Teach your baby to talk in ONE day!” or “Give your bald baby a full head of hair in ONE day!” you would laugh and expect the article to be comedy. The truth of babies and sleep is this: It is not entirely up to you. It’s also about biology.
Seriously, parents. Don’t get duped by anyone who promises an instant one-day or one-week solution. If such a thing existed everyone would know about it by now. But we are dealing with unique human beings. There is no miracle answer to all-night sleep! And no baby changes their sleep patterns in one day, or even one week.
Unrealistic expectations about Baby’s Ability to Sleep through the Night
Unrealistic expectations are the perpetuation of the myth that children should sleep independently through the night from the time that they are a few months old. Sure, a handful of babies do sleep through the night from the start (I had one of them! Just one out of four, though!) but most do not.
Sleep patterns, and the ability to sleep all night, have a powerful biological foundation. We can affect this somewhat with routines and our actions, but just like your child’s eye color, height, and the amount of hair on their head, much of your child’s sleep patterns are out of your control.
Babies have immature sleep systems
Babies have very tiny tummies. They grow rapidly. And their liquid diet digests quickly. Although it would be nice to lay your little bundle down at a predetermined bedtime and not hear a peep from him until morning, even the most naïve among us know that this is not a realistic goal for a baby. During the first two years, your baby will have tremendous growth spurts that affect not only daytime feedings, but nighttime feeding needs as well.
This means that it is perfectly natural, absolutely normal, and totally expected for your baby to wake up in the night and need nourishment or your help to fall back to sleep.
Patience, patience and a little more patience
The ability to sleep through the night, all night, every night, without needing a parent’s assistance, is like learning to walk or talk or drink from a cup — all kids get there, but they do so at their own speed, a little bit at a time, and in their own unique way.
I suggest that you learn to relax about night waking right now. Being stressed or frustrated about having to get up won’t change a thing. The situation will improve day by day; and before you know it, your baby won’t be so little anymore — your little one will be walking and talking and getting into everything in sight … during the day, and sleeping peacefully all night. But you’re in this no-sleep stage now, so do what you can to get through it as comfortably as you can. Take naps. Accept help. Relax your standards. And most of all, enjoy your baby.
This article was originally published on the author’s blog.