Sleeping like a baby

Sunday, 14 June 2015

At Moomin's 9 month review with the Health Visitor I was asked how well she sleeps.

I responded that she sleeps like a baby. I then expanded on this by explaining that she wakes when she needs to as is biologically appropriate for infants.

I'm so tired of the pressure parents are under to get their babies to 'sleep through' the night, like it's proof of good parenting or worse..... a 'good baby'. It's not only bollocks, it's dangerous bollocks.

Some babies do indeed sleep through the night (which technically only needs to be a 6 hour run of sleep to qualify as sleeping through) and some babies don't. Newsflash. ..many toddlers don't either.

And that's OK.

That's what they fail to tell you.

It's okay.

It's (dare I say) normal.

The problem isn't night waking. The problem is the ridiculous notion society propels that babies should sleep through. This in turn breeds unrealistic expectations in parents. You will find night waking immensely more difficult if you view it as a problem that needs to be fixed. Expect it. Accept it. I'm not saying you will then enjoy the night waking (unless you're a total masochist)  but you will eliminate the excruciating pressure on yourself and your baby if you just accept and expect multiple wakings.  Parenting isn't supposed to be easy.  One day you'll realise you can never comfort a baby too much.  No mother has ever declared she held her child too much.

They genuinely will sleep through when they're ready. It's biologically appropriate for them to wake until then. It's actually a terribly clever survival skill.

They're not supposed to sleep through the night. Hell, biologically speaking they're not designed to sleep alone either.

So yes, Moomin sleeps like a baby. She wakes. Sometimes to suckle, sometimes for contact. And that's okay with me.

Granted breastfeeding and Co-sleeping makes it more manageable, especially if like me you have m.e.
She will sleep through. When it's biologically appropriate. When she's physically, mentally and emotionally ready.

Don't be lured into 'sleep training' either,  You can't make a child be ready, you can however make them give up hope that their parent will comfort them.  Hopelessness and abandonment aren't things I want my children to grow accustomed to feeling, especially when their only 'crime' is to need me or even just want me.

Our jobs as parents isn't to fight against it. It's to expect it. Accept it. Deal with it.  Put your big girl pants on and get on with it.

The problem isn't that your baby doesn't sleep through. The problem is that society has led you to believe they should be sleeping through.

Your baby isn't broken and neither is your parenting.

Comfort and contact is a need just like food and clean nappies. Babies aren't manipulative.  You can't spoil a baby with comfort.

Don't be a twunt. Hold your baby.


  1. I can't agree more! All I ever heard with both of mine was "Isn't he sleeping through yet?" (And I got that from them being just a few weeks old!). No! I was exclusively breastfeeding and neither of my boys would take a bottle, even when filled with my own milk. My eldest never slept longer than 2 1/2 hours straight till he was 18 months old, and he would only catnap for 10-15 minutes at a time through the day from being about 8 months old (before that, he would maybe nap for around half an hour at a time if I was lucky!). My youngest is not 20 months, and he's only just started sleeping through from around 7.30pm to about 4.30am, at which point, he wants his milkies. We co-slept till he was 18 months and he still spends from 4.30am till "up time" in our bed, as it's easier for me to feed him lying down and half-snooze a little till it's time to get out of bed. I still get no end of, "Oh, he should..."s from people, but I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, he'll quit nursing when he's ready, and he'll sleep all night long when he's ready - he's not going to be asking for his milkies and and not sleeping when he's left home, I just nod and smile and ignore them. :)

    1. We need those bodysuits for our youngest that say 'My mum doesn't want your advice'

      Lovely to 'meet' another 'AP' :)


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