The following story was doing the rounds on Facebook again recently:
Sleep expert Alison Scott-Wright claims all babies should be sleeping through the night by three months.
My first thought was what a load of old bull. My second thought was that I knew a lot of new parents would be reading this in desperation trying to find the all important magic formula that makes a baby sleep.
As a dad of a baby that point blankly refused to sleep longer than a couple of hours for the first 8 months of his life, this post irritated me for a number of reasons.
Firstly, nobody really sleeps through the night, even adults. But I’ll put that aside.
Secondly, parents of a newborn baby, as a general rule, are trying to find their own ways with parenthood, pretty emotional and undoubtedly tired. Getting your baby to sleep and to sleep well is one of the hardest challenges parents have to face and many of us, including myself, have struggled.
When you read that all babies CAN sleep through from 12 weeks you begin to question yourself and your parenting, wondering why your baby is the baby that doesn’t. Parents do not need this sort of nonsense to add to their already growing parent-guilt.
All parents are doing their best to gently encourage their baby to sleep. The problem is it doesn’t always work. The reasons for this are plentiful but fall under one key factor… all babies are different. Just as all adults have different sleeping habits, not every baby will fall under the umbrellas that some sleep experts believe they should.
Jo Tantum, a leading UK sleep expert, also agrees with me, stating: ‘Some babies are great sleepers from the start and others are more tricky.’ Turns out we had one of those more tricky ones, along with a lot of other parents.
Alison Scott-Wright is an advocate for controlled crying without the use of dummies. Something that many people, including myself and Jo Tantum, would not support.
Teaching your babies how to learn to love sleeping gently and without distress is possible. In a time frame of 10 days my son Ted went from waking hourly to sleeping 7pm-7am. All without the use of controlled crying.
But Ted was ready. He was the right size, the right weight and he was feeding well. Ted was nearly 9 months old by the time he learnt to sleep through the night. He is now 18 months and is a confident sleeper that has been taught, at the right time, how to sleep without being distressed.
Other babies don’t sleep through the night until they are much older. Some parents we have talked to said their baby did not sleep through the night until 18 months, 2 years old and even school age!
Articles telling parents that their baby could have been sleeping through from 12 weeks cause a lot of upset, guilt and confusion. The last thing any new parent needs.
Does your baby sleep through the night? Leave a comment
This post was first publsihed on Baby Centre