Wondering when your baby will start sleeping has to be one of the most frequently asked questions when mums all get together. Because inevitably we’re all tired! We have spent all those years leading up to becoming mothers sleeping however we liked. Most likely without interruption. And once we become mums, BOOM, this all changes!
I think it’s a question most of us ask, because we need to know how much longer it will go on. The special forces use sleep deprivation as torture and this becomes as way of life for us, so no wonder we need to see an end in sight!
But as you will discover the rather unsatisfactory answer is… there is no real answer to this one!
So to help get you through these tough nights when you’re looking for all sorts of remedies, I thought the best thing to do was to bring you some wise words from mothers before you.
Things to remember about our baby sleeping through the night.
- You can’t set a time limit on these things.
As we have just discovered, there is no real set time frame the sleepless nights will go on for. Katie from Gullivers says it ‘varies so much depending on so many things’.
We need to remember our babies are developing all the time and their little bodies are going through so much. All we can do is continue to provide the love and support they need and just hope that tomorrow you will get a good rest!
- They are hungry
We sometimes forget that we have trained ourselves for years and years not to eat throughout the night and we’re used to waiting for our breakfast, but we have to remember, our babies don’t know these rules yet! Your baby sleeping through the night would probably result in one ridiculously hungry baby in the morning!
When they’re hungry they’re hungry. Lauren from Adora Birth and Baby says ‘All babies are different and some may sleep through early on whilst others will still wake a few times up to the age of 1 years old. Most babies under the age of 1 need at least one feed during the night’.
- Prioritise yourself over the chores.
This is such a hard one. We’ve all heard the saying ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’. But did the person who came up with that have housework to do, meals to prep and possibly a business to run?? I doubt it.
But in all honesty, if your baby is in the thick of not sleeping well at night, you really must follow this advice.
Karen from Tiger Stripes tells us, ‘it is really normal for babies to still be waking in the night up to 12 months. This can be very challenging for parents as lack of sleep can affect your ability to cope with life’s ups and downs – and any new parent knows life can be a rollercoaster! In the early days, do your best to prioritise your own sleep as much as possible over housework or other tasks. As your baby gets older, establishing a consistent bedtime routine can be an effective tool in creating a sleep inducing environment and weaning off night feeds, when your baby is ready, can encourage babies to sleep through the night’
- Don’t put yourself under pressure
As new mums we can often judge ourselves against social norms and external pressures. When we meet up with other mums and find out their baby sleeps from the moment their head hits the pillow, right the way through to breakfast, that’s just not helpful.
Hayley from Love Mama advises, ‘They all sleep differently and the last thing you need is pressure from someone telling you what and when your baby should be doing something’.
You will find that some babies absolutely thrive from a routine. If you can establish a routine and adapt as they need to, you might find yourself setting up for more success for your baby sleeping through the night. But this doesn’t work for everyone.
Sometimes the trigger of bath time a story, milk and bed is absolutely perfect, but for another baby a bath might be too stimulating.
Laura from Little Discoveries says, ‘Every child is different, but with a good routine most babies have some sort of routine by 3months old.’
- The harsh reality
Sometimes we just have to accept our little bundle of joy isn’t a good sleeper and that is a fact. So how can you adapt to this and not go mental in the process?
Jeanette The Mindset Nutritionist reminds us ‘They might not start sleeping for years! That doesn’t make a “bad” baby, it makes tired parent/s. Take time out for self care. Even a 5 minute hot tea makes a world of difference when exhausted.’
Remember to lean on those around you and ask for help so you can catch up on some much needed rest is absolutely ok.