Why won't my baby sleep through the night?
Let me be honest here and we both know that if you are reading this Blog then this is the holy grail of answers for you?
I am guessing that your Little Darling is waking up in the night on a regular basis and when they do wake, they need you in some way to help them get back to sleep?
I know that this level of broken sleep can leave all of you feeling exhausted and that is including your baby!
Sadly, there is not a one size fits all solution to this problem, if there were then I would not have a job.
However, there is a single cause for a baby or toddler not being able to sleep through the night, and it’s the same reason in about 90% of the cases I deal with.
Let's rule out other factors before I tell you that cause. The other reasons why a child could be waking are:
If your Little Darling is less than six months old, then they will probably still need a night feed to get them through the night. This is not a rule which is set in stone but on average a baby can last 11-12 hours without eating at around 6 months of age.
Things like acid reflux or indigestion , being too hot or too cold, or even as simple as being laid in an uncomfortable position can cause a baby to wake in the night.
If you feel that your Little Darling is in discomfort then you will need to address that before you start attempting to get them sleeping through the night.
That is literally the other two major reasons why babies wake in the night.
Ok so now you know your baby is not hungry and they are not in discomfort, why are they waking?
It’s because they don’t know how.
I know you have probably read on social media things like:
“Babies will sleep when they’re ready!”
“Sleep is developmental!”
“ It won’t last forever.”
I honestly go into rage when I read these comments and here is why: 1) It doesn’t really help an exhausted family
2) It actually tells people to avoid fixing an issue why can be fixed.
Here I caveat what I am saying by pointing out that I have zero judgement about how and where you get your child to sleep. So long as it is working for you!
If you are happy with things the way they are then sure, you keep doing that and I am not ever going to tell you not to!
However, I am guessing if you are reading this then your current sleep situation is NOT working for your entire family and you are looking for help as to how to fix it!
Let's discuss what I mean when I say that babies wake up because they don’t know how to sleep through the night?
All humans, babies includes sleep in sleep cycles.
At the end of one sleep cycle we come out of a deep sleep and wake up briefly before returning back into the next sleep cycle. This happens around 8 times each night.
If you know how to get back to sleep then you simply drift back into the next sleep cycle.
However, if your Little Darling does not know how to do this without being rocked, fed, held or co sleeping then they won't be able to move into their next sleep cycle without that thing.
We need to see sleep as a journey.
Point A is wide awake and Point B is fast asleep and whatever your child has in order to get from A to B they are going to look for between each cycle.
This usually starts as newborns as they are rarely given any time to practice falling to sleep on their own, and very often, I mean VERY often, they get a lot of help when it’s time for sleep. They get bounced, shushed, cuddled, rocked, sang to, taken for car journeys, pushed in the pram, or most often than not, fed to sleep.
This means that when they wake up after a sleep cycle and as I mentioned, is going to happen often for their entire lives, they can’t get back to sleep again without that extra help. That is why caregivers need to repeat whatever process that baby has become accustomed to.
This tends to be the main issue which I see with 90% of the babies I work with.
How do you fix it?
This is where things get tricky as each child is different. As I mentioned, there is not a one sized fits all approach to sleep.
There are various approaches to resolving the problem, but the cause is almost always a dependency on sleep assistance from a caregiver.
When you read or hear someone saying that babies don’t sleep through the night, or that it’s natural for them to wake up several times, that’s absolutely correct.
When they tell you that all you can do is wait it out, that’s not always what you need to do!
You can absolutely teach your Little Darling the skills they need to sleep through the night and I would be happy to discuss this with you.
Book in with me for a call to discuss how I can transform your family from sleep deprived to well rested: