Tiny one has a cold (again) and isn’t sleeping very well. Well worse than normal. She was up every two hours last night and it got me thinking about when children sleep all night. From almost the moment they are born we, as parents, get bombarded with the “are they sleeping through yet?” question but are children this young meant to sleep all night?
I have had 3 children that slept through (i.e. from 7pm til 7am) from about 8 weeks old and one that at 21 months still wakes up at least twice for a feed. This has been a bit of a shock to the system but it’s just part of our life now. She goes to bed at 7pm and I know she will wake about midnight for a feed and usually again at about 3am. Then she sleeps until about 7 when we’re all up for the day. She has taken to napping at about 3pm for about an hour and I know this isn’t helping but it’s the walk to school that does it and there’s nothing I can do about that.
So are babies meant to sleep all night and if so when?
Having read this article - http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/why-nighttime-breastfeeding-so-important/ I have realised that no they aren’t really meant to sleep all night & if you’re breastfeeding then it’s really important to your milk supply if they don’t. Also if you are co-sleeping and therefore feeding in bed then you will get more sleep, as you will probably nap while baby feeds. I do this occasionally, especially if she decides to wake at 5am instead of 3. I am sure that these night feeds, or lack of them, are what led to my other daughter’s shortened breastfeeding time and the weight loss but I can only ponder on that with hindsight and I suppose I will never know and it’s not worth losing sleep over. She’s healthy and happy and that’s all that matters now.
I have come to the conclusion that if you have a baby that sleeps through quite early then you are lucky but if you don’t then you are lucky as well. Ok so the mum’s of sleepers get some extra sleep but we get extra cuddles.