be close to your baby

Teach Your Baby to sleep – should you?

Newborn babies very often do not sleep all night, they can wake up several times, but they can wake up also hundreds of times during the night. Ofcourse there are some babies, who start to sleep all night very early.

Parents often ask, is it OK or not, is everything good with my baby, maybe something is wrong?
I know how can it be narrowing – to not be able sleep during night for long period, mums start to feel nervous and look bad

Shortly about Baby Sleep

First of all, I would like to mention that infant sleep cycle is far different from adults one. It is much shorter and infants spend more time in Rapid Eye Movement (REM), often called “light sleep”, which is necessary for infants brain development, also during this part of sleep we are seeing dreams. Also, your baby spend some time on Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) or “deep sleep”.

Cycles of “deep sleep” and light sleep for infants last 20-50 minutes. (at least 2 times shorter, from adults sleep.

Infant should sleep 15-17hours per day (including day sleeps), some babies sleep less, and some could sleep more.

Till 3 month – Infants are mostly sleeping. They are awake for 1-1,5 hours, and get back to sleep. it is constant during the day and night, somethimes, babies mix up day with night (sleep longer at day and stay awake during night)

From 3-6 month – deep sleep becomes longer, during the day baby stays up longer and even could have only 2-3 naps, and during the night they could have longer sleep intervals.

from 6 month babies should be able to sleep all nigh or at least 6-8 hours and then if they wake up, parent need to take them back to sleep.

Very often those wake ups are related with that baby is missing parent, and wakes up to check is he/she nearby.

From 12 months most babies start to sleep much better, but they resist going sleep and want to spend time with family. But some babies still will wake up several times during the night

from 3 to 5 years kids already should sleep 10-13 hours.

From 6-9 years kids start to sleep less (only 9-11 hours) and in this age usually they don’t sleep day nap anymore.

This is a bit of theory and how it should look like. You could hear that babies till age of one wake up only once. Or even you have heard that infants are sleeping all night. Yeah. Right..could be true, but not for our family.

Should I TEACH baby sleep?

We have told that we need to teach our son (when we had one son) to sleep, otherwise he will never learn that. We need to work on it, that it is not normal that baby is waking up each 2 hours, and only way how to get him back to sleep, was to feed him.

Me and husband were tired, constantly not sleeping more than 2 hours in one step, and with that pressure, we decided to start “teach” Robert to sleep.

OK we have read some books and sources, how to “teach” baby sleep.

The main idea was, that first-need to calm him without feeding, second stage is that Robert can’t “feel” me, then he won’t need eat.

So we started- Robert woke up as usually, I tried to calm him down without feeding, he was crying more, more and then critically, I was trying to calm him with walking, swinging, sitting on ball, singing, but nothing worked and after 1-1,5 hour just fed him (he were almost all that time crying), and he satisfied fall a sleep.

After several weeks, we tried one more time, and then one more time. Techniques were different – you can find them in internet a lot, but main idea was the same.

Father needed to participate a lot, he tried and really did a lot, but all our trays stopped with crying till sickness.

OUR story with a follow up

My oldest boy slept 5-8 hours till age of 3 month (then eat, and slept more), after age of 3 months, he started woke up each 2 hours (if he was ill, even 1,5 hours), for eating. YES, so often. I was quite tired and nervous that time. Started to feel very weak, and noone could help me, as nothing except brestfeeding calmed him.

We fixed that when he turned 11 months. (starting from this age, we both with husband started to sleep much better, as woke up only once)

Our youngest son didn’t sleep longer than 2 hours at nights, since hi was born.  Even more, first week we was mostly up during the night (and it was crazy), good thing is that it bacame better each day (first several nights he was mostly awake from 3a.m till 6 a.m, then from 3:30 till 6 a.m., then from 4 and so one till he woke up- I brestfeeded him, and he falled in a sleep again.)

First time he slept 3 hours during the night only in age of 10 months (so intervals increased from 2 hours to 3 hours). Most of the times, woke up for eating.

Starting from 11 months, he started to sleep also 4 hours.

Now our almost 3 years old son is waking up 1 time per night or sleeps all night,

Younger, 1 year old, started to wake up once.he can sleep from 8 p.m. Till 4 a.m. And then fall asleep till 8-8:30 a.m. this became naturally, without pressure. We didn’t do anything (with him nothing worked)

Brilliant IDEAS come when you don’t expect

One night my husband offered, maybe we can give him baby milk formula instead?

That was the best idea ever and starting from that night we started sleep :). Robert woke up only one time per night, got his bottle, and slept till morning (I stopped to brestfeed him during nights). We were happy.

We planned to do the same with Timur (give him baby milk instead of breastfeed during night) Our surprise was that this didn’t work for our second son. After 2 hours, he woke up as usually. OK. What to do? we gave him baby milk, in 2 hours I fed him, and after 2 more hours, he got baby milk again.

Then, after some time he didn’t wake up for breastfeeding, or wake up less, and suddenly he started to wake up only once.

Will my baby sleep all night one day?

Shore, he/she will.

You can try to teach your kid what you want, and most probably you will succeed after some painful time, you will be stressed, your baby will be stressed, but if you will be strong on that, you could succeed. But you could also not reach anything.

I am suggesting to put your baby needs first. You can let your baby decide, listen him. It is better Not only for baby, for his nerves system, but also much easier, and our nerves are safe as well 🙂

Lets by honest – it is so small period, while your baby needs you so much during the time, its year or maybe two years and that’s it..its so special, that your baby is so addicted from you. I try to catch each moment of that.

Also, each baby is different, and what suits for one, could not be good for another. So – decision is made by you

Hope your found this useful

Will be happy for your comments and questions


6 thoughts on “Teach Your Baby to sleep – should you?”

  1. This is a really interesting article. I have a 2 and a half month old so any and all sleeping tips and tricks are always welcome. It can be such a challenge to know what the right way to handle a baby’s sleep is and there’s so much conflicting information about it.

    1. thsnk you Briana. Yes. I agree- there is a tonns of information availible and it is hard to understand where the truth is. But also-you choose what suits for you from that. As there is not only one truth. The best is listen your hart and your baby (what suits for him)

  2. Hi
    My friend has a 6 month old and she is having lots of sleepless nights as you do when you have a child, i think she is having more than normal:(
    Your post will really help as i have been trying to find a little advice for her, i dont want her to think i am intruding to much.
    She does tend to go in the room everytime she cries is that something she should stop? she thinks she is a bad mother if she doesn’t go to see her, what would you suggest?
    Thanks for the info:)

    1. Hi Sharon, I am sure, that your friend is great mum! First of all, baby should sleep with parents at least till one year. this helps her feel parents close to him, when she wake up, and baby doesn’t feel alone, and is not so skeared, and also, it is easier for parents- to wake up during the nights to calm the baby. but this is only my appinion. i have read a lot information that baby should start to sleep in his own room as soon as possible.

       in age of 6 month it is only normal, that baby wakes up several times. I suggest to try to check.. if baby start to cry, let him try to calm by her self (wait for 1-3 minutes), if baby is not calming down, then go and help her (but if she cryies very much, ofcourse, need to go and calm her). its from theory  again I have read a lot. personally I would go to the baby and calm him each time, baby cry.

  3. This is an interesting post and as we are currently thinking of starting a family now, it comes very timely as lack of sleep is one of the hurdles I know we would have to tackle! Thank you for the advice and all the best with the kids!

    1. Hi Rox,
      it just seems that lack of sleep is so painfull, it is not so hard and it wont last forever, and I am considering that as baby need – to be with me (or my husband). now we have only 1-2 stand ups during the night and it seems so good 😀 imagine what will be when we will be able sleep all night 😀 thank you and I wish you to find the best way for you and your future family

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