When, oh when, Christ on a bike when, will my baby sleep through the night?
It’s the question we ALL ask multiple times during the first year. When is this hell of sleep deprivation going to end? Shouldn’t it have got better after the six-month point? What the hell am I doing wrong?
The answer is that you are doing absolutely nothing wrong. In fact, many babies are still not sleeping through by the age of one, a new study has announced.
Canadian researchers found only 57 per cent of babies stay asleep for eight hours straight at age one.
It’s normal to blame yourself for every little perceived “flaw” in your parenting journey. If Susie’s twins are sleeping through already, then shouldn’t my little poppet be giving me 10 hours a night as well?
It’s a sad truth that in Western society, we see 12 hours a night by six months as the “gold standard”. Anything less than that just feels like we’ve failed, and that is so so sad, because being a mother is hard enough without us pressurising ourselves to change something we have zero control over.
The truth of the matter is that we expect too much, and society piles pressure on mums to get the baby sleeping through immediately so that they can return to “normal”. News flash, things won’t be returning to “normal” until the kid is 18, and even then they’ll still be turning up unannounced at all hours wanting to borrow some money.
Check this quote out from one of the members of the study team: “If there was only one thing I could tell parents, it would be do not worry if your infant does not sleep through the night at six months of age,” said Marie-Hélène Pennestri of McGill University.
Mums, if you are struggling through with an 11-month-old and people are dishing out advice left, right and centre about how to “fix” your baby’s problem, please block out this noise. There is no problem.
I know that you are exhausted. Lack of sleep is an absolutely killer. But please don’t beat yourself up because your child is pushing one and not sleeping through yet.
I had a child who slept through at eight weeks and one who didn’t sleep through until 13 months when I started sleep training.
I promise you that you’re doing nothing wrong and it absolutely WILL get better.
Until then, I know you will keep asking yourself “when?”. My only answer to that is, hopefully sooner rather than later, but in the meantime tell your partner to take the baby out for the morning and catch some extra zzzs in bed. You deserve it.