It is the eternal question that 90 per cent of parents have asked at some stage – when will my baby sleep through the night?
Although being with your cute little baby is lovely, magical, precious, a thing of wonder to treasure forever and ever, blah blah blah, after being woken up multiple times a night for weeks and months, you are well within your rights to wonder when you’ll get your nights back.
It’s worse still if you have a little one who doesn’t nap well in the day. One of mine would only nap in the buggy or car for weeks on end.
The other liked to sleep on me for the first four months. If I dared to move an inch she woke up screaming.
Or maybe you have a baby and an older child, one who does not nap during the day and requires you to be the perfect playmate between the hours of 7am and 7pm.
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Whatever the reason why you are asking this question right now, I totally get it. You are human, you need a reasonable amount of sleep to survive.
So when will your baby sleep through the night? Well I’m afraid it’s not a straightforward answer, which is something you probably already had an inkling about.
Here are the potential answers to your question:
At a few months. Once your baby has settled into a daytime feeding routine, they are big enough to drop the night feeds and easily go 12 hours a night.
After weaning. Once your baby has begun eating solid food three times a day, their tummies will be content to rest through the night.
At age one. When your baby starts to walk and be more physically active, they will sleep far more restfully at night.
From birth. The people who have these kind of babies are also known as lucky, lucky bastards.
The fact of the matter is every single baby and every single parents is different. Your choices and views on raising kids will impact on the action you take to encourage your child to sleep through.
Some people swear by sleep training from an early age.
Some people co-sleep and eventually just switch their child to a bed of their own.
Some people fork out thousands of pounds on sleep consultants who stay up all night helping you to teach your baby the art of snoozing for 12 hours in a row.
And yet some babies will outright refuse to sleep no matter how many resources their parents throw at the problem.
If you are a member of an NCT group of friends, or part of a similar social group of mums where everyone’s child seems to be doing so much “better” at sleep than yours, do NOT let it make you think you are doing anything wrong.
Sleep deprivation, it is so so painful, but it will not always be this way.
Above all things remember this:
All babies sleep through eventually.
That baby who slept through from birth, could go through the mother of all sleep regressions at 18 months.
Comparison is the thief of joy. So stop comparing notes on when your baby will sleep through the night and start accepting that no one can answer this question for you.
In the meantime: Nap when you can, ask for extra help whenever you can, ditch the housework when you’re over tired, and pat yourself on the back for being an amazing parent.