When Will My Baby Sleep Through The Night?
The answer to this question may surprise you!
More on that in a minute because I have news to share!
I’m writing this blog post early in the morning before my kiddos wake up and I go into “teacher” mode for a few hours. I know so many of you can relate right now.
Well, I just opened my sleep logs (it’s this cool log we keep to see how well the babies I’m working with sleep) because I love to check every morning to see how my client’s babies slept last night. I’m currently working with a 4-month-old and she slept through the night, 12 hours!!!! on night 4 of her plan!
This little girl had never slept anywhere but her mom or dad’s chest for 4.5 months of her life and with a clear, consistent plan that’s just right for her, HUGE success on night 4! Ok, just had to share that awesome news with all of you!
Back to when YOUR baby will sleep through the night…
When parents ask me this, I know what they’re looking for is a quick answer that probably includes a precise timeline.
“2 nights from now” or “when your baby is this exact age” are the kind of responses I wish I could give them and I’m sure are the answers they want. But, sleep is complicated, and there are many factors you have to consider before you can answer this question at all.
The thing I want parents to understand is that…
Your baby will never sleep through the night!
That’s right! There, I said it!
A baby that will NEVER sleep through the night might make some of you decide you’re going to toss in the towel and give your baby up for adoption but stick with me.
Not only will they never sleep through the night now, but they also won’t sleep through the night when they’re toddlers, teenagers or grown-ups because nobody ever does.
Why Won’t Your Baby EVER Sleep Through The Night?
Human beings sleep in cycles, which vary from light sleep to deep sleep, and round and round we go all night long.
Do you ever remember something vaguely from the night? A dog barking, a telephone ringing, or adjusting yourself in your bed? These little things are often us between a sleep cycle and sometimes enough to wake us up.
As adults, we have experienced this so many times, and we don’t notice much and go back to sleep. Often, the wake-up is so brief that we don’t even remember it the next day.
Does Your Baby Use A “Sleep Prop”?
It’s very different for babies who are used to something external “helping” them to sleep such as being rocked, sung, bounced or nursed to sleep. These are called “sleep props”.
The 4-month-old that I mentioned in the beginning, her “sleep prop” was sleeping on her mom and dad’s chest.
This type of baby will require external help to get back to sleep peacefully in the night.
I think the question that parents should really be asking is, “when will my baby fall asleep on their own and sleep ALL night long without waking me up?”.
Well, that’s a much easier question for a sleep consultant to answer!
Quite simply, your baby will fall asleep quickly at bedtime and sleep all night long without waking you when you teach them how. Teaching a baby this skill is one that they’ll use every night, all night long, for the rest of their lives.
Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!
How To Teach Your Child Sleep Skills
There’s a lot more to teaching your baby this skill than the traditional Cry-It-Out approach where you leave your baby alone in their crib to figure it out.
Although this approach has worked for many people, it’s not one I find most people to be comfortable using. It’s also not the most gentle or effective way of teaching your baby great sleep skills.
I think the traditional Cry-It-Out approach is a lot like leaving your child in front of a guitar with some sheet music and saying, “Figure it out.” They might figure it out, and you could even have the Jimi Hendrix of sleep on your hands. But, assuming your child is like most, they could probably benefit from some lessons.
Sleep Is A Skill
With any new skill, we learn we know that practice is important.
So, let them try to fall asleep independently and put themselves back to sleep in the night. There’s probably going to be a bit of protest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go in and support, encourage and reassure them.
I would discourage you from playing the guitar for them! That’s not going to teach them much. Whatever it is that you’ve done to “help” your baby to sleep at bedtime or in the middle of the night are “sleep props” that are the equivalent of playing the guitar for them.
Change Is Hard
They’re going to be frustrated. Change is hard, and it’s also challenging to learn a new skill.
I can’t give you an exact date or age when your baby will sleep through the night all night long without waking you. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that it will happen much, much sooner if you stop doing it for them.
As for if your little one will play guitar like Jimi Hendrix, one can hope!
Have questions about your little one’s sleep? Book your complimentary sleep evaluation today.
Here’s to a well-rested family,