Why Your Baby Will Never Sleep Through The Night

– Written by JoAnna Inks 

baby boy crawling on a bed - JoAnna Inks Sleep Solutions

Did you know that your baby will NEVER, EVER sleep through the night?

And, you don’t either!
I’m sure those two sentences are confusing because I’m always telling you that I can get your baby sleeping through the night in a few short days, which is true so stick with me.

Anyone who isn’t heavily sedated at bedtime will wake up many times each night.

You won’t wake because you had too much caffeine, had a stressful day, didn’t exercise, or any of the other things that can keep us up at night.  

These wakeups are a normal and a natural part of our sleep cycle.

If you think about your sleep for a minute, you can start to see that we cycle through sleep many times each night.  Even if you can’t put a name on it, I’m sure you’ve felt the difference between being woken up from being in light sleep or deep sleep.

When we fall asleep, we spend some time in a light stage of sleep and progress into a deep sleep.  We hang out there for a while and then slowly emerge into a light stage. It’s during this light phase of sleep that there’s a good chance we’ll wake up, even if it’s brief.

Amazing, right?  You fall asleep at 10 pm (not me, I go to bed much earlier, LOL), hit deep sleep by about 11 pm and hang out there until you slowly come to the surface in the morning…

Except, this entire process only takes about 90 minutes!

That’s right!  The entire human sleep cycle only takes about 90-110 minutes.

The good news is that for us adults, this entire process repeats itself all night long fairly easily.  We might wake for 1-2 minutes and fall immediately back to sleep, or we might not even wake at all.

In a perfect night’s sleep, this happens 5-6 times in a row.  We get a restful, rejuvenating sleep, and we enjoy the benefits of it throughout the day.

Are you wondering what this has to do with our children?

Babies, even though they need a lot more sleep than adults, actually have a shorter sleep cycle.
Infants go from very light sleep to deep sleep and back again in 50 minutes!

I think it’s safe to say that the term “sleep like a baby” came from someone that was misinformed.
These sleep cycles are where sleep training becomes essential for your baby.

My plans don’t teach your baby to stay asleep or spend more time in deep sleep.

What they do is teach your baby to fall asleep without “help” from anything external, and when they “wake up” between a sleep cycle we help your baby accept these as no big deal and get right back to sleep.

When a baby wakes multiple times each night, it’s between sleep cycles and how they put those sleep cycles together depends on how they fell asleep at bedtime.  

If you “help” a baby to sleep and they come to the surface between sleep cycles, they’re going to wonder where you are and who or what is going to “help” them back to sleep.

Once a baby has learned to fall asleep independently, their brain will signal them to go back to sleep between sleep cycles, and that’s precisely what will happen!

That’s the heart of what I teach babies every day!

Sleep training is important for parents to understand for a few reasons.  

We’re not altering your baby’s natural sleep.  We’re merely giving them the skills to put themselves back to sleep after a sleep cycle.  

And, now you know this happens all night long with their short sleep cycles.

I hear from critics sometimes that babies are supposed to wake up at night.

That, my friends, is 100% true!  Just like us, babies are designed to wake at night.  The truth is it would take some powerful sedatives to stop a baby from waking in the night.

However, you can teach a baby to stay calm, understand they know what to do between sleep cycles, and peacefully go back to sleep without your “help”.

Sleep training will not put your child at an increased risk for SIDS, alter their natural sleep, or damage them in any way.  You don’t have to believe me; I have the full support of the American Academy of Pediatrics to back me up. 😉

What sleep training will do is ensure that your baby AND you get the rest you need to be the happiest and healthiest people.

So, your baby is going to wake multiple times each night for the rest of their lives.  Teach them the skills they need to get back to sleep without “help” from you, and it’ll seem as though they’re sleeping through the night.

Imagine a full night’s sleep for the entire family!

Wondering how to get your baby sleeping “through” the night?

The 7 Sleep Tips For Sleeping Through The Night are a great place to start.

Sleep well,