Why isn’t my baby sleeping through the night?

There is so much pressure on us mums about how much babies sleep. Specially after baby reaches the age of 3 months most people will ask: Is your baby sleeping through the night? Because you also have friends with babies that do indeed sleep through the night from 3 months onwards you will feel depressed. Yap, this is clearly me.

As you know, we’ve been battling reflux, which obviously affected her sleep. She would wake up in pain and need lots of cuddles and love to feel protected and go back to sleep. During the first few months I’ve only managed to sleep 3 to 4h a day and she was sleeping a total of 8h total max, mostly broken down by 30m naps on my lap. At 2 months she started to sleep longer and currently she can sleep 10 to 11h at night with lots of breaks in the middle. I am exhausted and feel I don’t have a life. All I do is function around making her sleep and trying to sleep myself. What I call a really good night many mums would say it’s a bad one.

As I write this, I’m over the moon that she had 3 good nights in a row (at 6 months). A good night for me sounds like this:

  • 19h Bath and final play time
  • 19h30 Feeding
  • 20h After a few tries and lots of cuddling she’s in bed
  • 00h Wakes for feeding back to bed before 00h30
  • 03h Wakes up again, feeding and more cuddle and goes to be before 03h30
  • 07h / 07h30 Wake up, nappy change, feed and take her to nursery

I’ve only moved her to her own room at 6 months, as the recommendation is for babies to sleep in the same room as the parents for the first 6 months. I found out that she’s a really light sleeper like both of us, so she was benefiting for a bit more quiet. Both her door and our room is opened so at the minimum noise I can hear her, but she’s not bothered if one of us snores or moves a bit more aggressively in bed. She still wakes at night, but it’s ok. When she’s ready to sleep through the night I’m sure she will because she loves sleeping, it’s just she can’t do it for long yet.

Most people are telling me to give her formula (which I’ll have to since I’m running out of frozen bags as I can’t pump as much as she feeds) or to let her cry out to see if she learns to sleep herself. When she’s happy she can fall asleep on her own, so if she gets distressed she’ll end up getting awake and then harder to help her sleep, so I don’t do let it cry it out (CIO).

Also, wanted to share with you a really interesting video I just found out which gives us a bit more comfort that is normal for babies to wake up at night, but it also prevents SIDS. At some point before she’s 3 years I hope she will be ready to sleep through the night, until then I need to be ready for boobing and extra cuddles.

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