Sleeping through the night? Just Kidding…

When parents have a baby the first milestone seems to be the baby sleeping through the night. It’s the first question out of everyone’s mouth when they see new parents: “Are they sleeping through the night yet?” Do you feel that there’s something wrong with you if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night? Do, I’m a bad parent thoughts gush through your head, and the too familiar feeling that: “what if I’m not doing this right?”

Well here is some good news and some bad news. Maybe, just maybe getting your baby to sleep through the night isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. Sure for your own sanity it is but, maybe instinctively for you and the child it isn’t the best thing. In fact, according to Dr. Lane Volpe, president of the Parent-Infant Research Group, the very idea that a parent can put their infant in a crib, say “nighty-night” and have the child sleep soundly until morning is setting everyone up for failure.

In the early 1800s doctors began suggesting that babies be separated from their parents to sleep in order to lower communicable diseases spreading like wild fire. But according to Patience Bleskin, a postpartum doula and child sleep expert, it’s not a natural thing biologically. In fact some researchers believe that “all babies should sleep in the same room as their parents, since the kinds of sensory exchanges that occur have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.”

The bad news in this approach is that the parents won’t get a good nights sleep for awhile after the baby is born. The need for closeness in infants is instinctive in order to regulate their body temperatures, breathing and sleeping patterns, and heart rate.

So, buck up. Don’t feel like a bad parent if your infant isn’t sleeping through the night, and or, you’ve brought them into the bed or bedroom with you; that’s kind of the better choice anyway. But YOU can say GOODNIGHT to a full night’s sleep. That’s the bad news.

sleeping baby

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