Can We Stop Telling Parents Their Baby Needs to Sleep Through the Night

sleep through the night

Can we stop telling parents their baby needs to sleep through the night?

Please. PLEASE. Can we stop telling parents this?

I see it all the time on these mommy Facebook groups…

When will my baby sleep through the night?

Can anyone recommend a good sleep trainer?

My son/daughter still has a night feed, can I ween them?

Y’all, please. I know I sound harsh but can we stop?

I was that mom, too.

With the busy fingers.

Googling all the things that could possibly be wrong with my child because he simply would. not. sleep.

Seriously.

You know my postpartum depression I talk so loudly about?

I’m fairly certain a year and a half of major sleep deprivation had something to do with it.

Not just because my baby wouldn’t sleep..but because everyone and their mother was telling me there was something WRONG with my baby And I had to FIX him.

So, I obsessed about sleep.

OBSESSED about it.

Don’t cosleep.

Cosleep.

Don’t sleep train.

Sleep train.

No soother.

Soother.

No night feed.

Night feed.

Oh holy night, guys. ENOUGH.

I confused the poor guy and quite honestly made it worse for the both of us.

Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental psychology at the University of Bristol, says the idea that babies should sleep through the night is a 21st-century idea. It’s more natural for them to wake up, often.

Adults don’t sleep through the night either.

Gosh darn it. Leave parents alone.

Some. Babies. Don’t. Sleep.

Look, I get it. Sleep is magical. It’s needed. We miss it. Lack of it can honestly make us batty.

I get it.

But let us do what we need to do to make it through those first tiresome years of our child’s life.

sleep through the night

We don’t need to feel like we’re creating a dependent little munchkin that will one day roll into med school with a binkie and a lovey.

I’m over it.

We don’t need to fix our baby’s sleep.

We need to listen to their requests.

They want to be held? Hold them.

They want to sleep next to you because it makes them feel safe? Let them.

They actually sleep? AMAZING. Don’t check on them. They’ll smell you the second you step into that room and it’s game over.

And to the folks with ALL the advice….(I guess I’m one now, aren’t I… Oops.)

Just bring coffee.

Bring the damn coffee.

And praise those parents for doing the best darn job they can.

Because sometimes, you just end up with the kid that doesn’t sleep.

***

This piece originally appeared at Grown Up Glamour by Anneliese Lawton, published with permission.


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Anneleise Lawton
Anneliese is a Canadian wife, mother, and writer. She has one handsome hub, a spunky pooch, and two rambunctious boys (ages three-years-old and nineteen-months). By day she's a wife and mother - by night she's an ambitious woman with big dreams for herself and her family. She's the voice behind the popular blog, Grown Up Glamour by Anneliese Lawton, where she leaves no topic off-limits.  It is her hope in her writing to inspire, empower and help other women find joy and peace within themselves.