Getting baby to sleep through – the undesirable truth

baby sleeping through the night

As soon as you realise that sleep deprivation is the root of all evil – which pretty much occurs the minute you come home from the hospital with your little miracle – your greatest aspiration in life becomes getting baby to sleep through (*translate* –Β youΒ want to sleep through).

getting baby to sleep through

It becomes a bit of an obsession in fact, an ongoing quest to seek out that magic formula as though there’s some ‘cure’ to get your baby to ‘sleep through’ – if only you could work it out. The idea that your baby is actually capable of sleeping through – but just isn’t doing – becomes all-consuming. You quiz your friends who seem to have sussed it – they must not be telling you something. You change your mind about what the magic formula must be for getting baby to sleep through on a weekly basis. Our journey has gone something like this:

One week: “Perhaps she’s sleeping too much in the day, let’s try cutting her naps”
The week after: “Sleep most definitely breeds sleep”

One week: Let’s just top her up with as much milk as possible before we go to bed”
The week after: “She still wakes up at the same time anyway, let’s not disturb her”

One week: “Just keep putting her dummy back in, she’s not hungry”
The week after: “Now she’s just crying for her dummy – I think we should take it away”

baby sleeping through

Just a pipe dream

One week: “Maybe she is hungry after all, perhaps we should just offer her a feed again every time she wakes up”
The week after: “She’s definitely not hungry, let’s try hot water.”

When Taylor hit five months we thought we had finally cracked it. She actually slept through. And I’m talking 7pm to 6am sleeping through, so definitely something to celebrate. We started to stay up past 10.30pm to watch ‘just one more episode’ of House of Cards and even indulged in a second glass on wine on some nights. We thought we were one of the lucky ones.

This lasted for an entire six nights…

And then on the seventh night, Taylor woke up and exclaimed “Ha! Not really! I was just playing with you guys!” Not quite, but she may as well have done. And now we’re up every couple of hours again, adamant that we’re not going to feed her (“she’s not even hungry!!!”) until I finally give in (following nappy changes, cuddles, teething powder, hot water, Calpol and every other remedy in that book), knowing that a little milk is the only thing that will get me one more hour of sleep (“but she’s not hungry – look she’s just fussing.”) Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

And it’s not the first time she tricked us. At three months she went for a whole two weeks of just waking up at 4am, feeding and then going back to sleep until 7am. I felt normal again. Fresher than ever in fact. Until again, she decided that ‘actually mum, I quite liked being fed every three hours afterall’. What the hell????

So my dear friends, do not let them trick you. Just when you think you’ve finally cracked it, your little bundle will probably have other ideas. I’ve finally accepted that I just need to go with it, not over-analyse and enjoy those good nights while they last.

Who needs sleep anyway?

Are you getting baby to sleep through? Have you discovered the secret formula??

Super Busy Mum


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28 Comment

  1. Kaye
    June 10, 2015 at 8:22 am

    They love to trick us, don’t they? I literally thought A would never consistently sleep through but at just over a year he started to, I didn’t know there were kids that did it before that! 😱 #MMWBH

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 10, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Haha! Yes I feel tricked every night! Good to know that yours got the hang of it in the end – there is hope for me yet! πŸ™‚ thanks for commenting x

  2. motherhoodtherealdeal
    June 10, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Oh my gosh sleeping through really is the wholly grail but the joke of it is nothing we can do really changes it – babies are a law unto themselves and will do what they want when they want when they are good and ready including tricking you haha! Ahh I remember those days fondly…#MMWBH

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 11, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      So so true – and I think the earlier us parents learn that the better! Alas, I’m sure one day I will look back on these days fondly too so I shouldn’t wish them away. Thanks for posting πŸ™‚

  3. jeremy@thirstydaddy
    June 10, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    The lack of sleep is the #1 reason I never thought seriously about having another

  4. jermbarnes
    June 10, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    The lack of sleep is the #1 reason I wouldn’t consider having another

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 11, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Haha – that’s exactly what my husband says every morning!

  5. Kirsten Toyne
    June 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I remember this so well. with my first I had read so many books and I thought that at 3 months baby would sleep through and that would be it, forever. Sure enough 3 months came and went and I wondered what I was doing wrong. I find it so funny now that I could even think that. going with the flow is best. We had no illusions for Child No.2. Great post. I will put it on my Face book page (The Guilt Free Guide to Motherhood) for other mums to read.

    1. Kirsten Toyne
      June 10, 2015 at 3:38 pm


    2. Mum in Brum
      June 11, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      Yes you are so right – going with the flow is definitely the way to go. I made the mistake of reading Gina Ford which made me think that there was a science to it – but thinking that only stresses you out more when you think you’re doing something wrong. I will definitely take a totally different approach if there’s a baby no.2 :). Thanks so much for sharing x

  6. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    June 10, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Awww this is one of the hard part of being a mother. I hope that you will get a chance to get some rest and sleep. This is where I am so happy before that my relatives lives near me. They really helped me a lot. Taking care of my baby so that I can get some rest =) #mmwbh

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 11, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Yes it definitely is the most difficult part isn’t it – all is forgiven in the morning though when they give you a cheeky smile. Taylor is nearly 6 months now so it is getting a little better with every passing week! I think I need to call on the relatives a bit more until then! πŸ˜‰

  7. Debs @ Super Busy Mum
    June 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Lol! Loved reading this and being a Mum of five, I know how those hopes get lifted then flop like a flan in a cupboard because we JINX IT! lol. They’ll sleep through once they’re ready! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for linking up! #MMWBH

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 17, 2015 at 9:02 am

      Haha wow I cannot imagine going through it 5 times – I think you must gradually get used to functioning on no sleep!! She’s sleeping through again now, but I’m not getting any hopes up this time πŸ™‚

  8. Kelly
    June 23, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Oh dear lord. I think I’m in the happy phase, Georgia is 11 weeks old and has been sleeping 8-5.30 for weeks now. Although last night she did wake at 1, 2, 3 and 3.30 (dummy fixed it)… Who knows what’s in store… #twinklytuesday

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 24, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Ah, sounds like you’re one of the lucky ones! Dummies are a godsend in the early weeks aren’t they? Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  9. Silly Mummy
    June 23, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Haha. Yeah mine have been terrible. But the eldest became very good and very consistent with her sleep when she reached about a year old. I know so many people who excitedly told everyone their baby was now sleeping through, only to discover two days later that they had been a bit premature & were back to square one! #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 24, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Ha! Yes, I don’t think we can every take it for granted that they have started to sleep through. Mine is doing well again now, but I’m not getting my hopes up this time!

  10. Stacey
    June 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    For my second child I’ve just given up hope of him ever sleeping through the night. My first however, he was the tricky one. He’d sleep through for a few weeks, then not, rotating like that until he was two.

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 24, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Yes, perhaps I need to be more patient – although two years does seem like a very long time right now! We need to make the most of those good weeks accepting that they won’t last forever…

  11. mummascribbles
    June 23, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Oh this is so true. We have been tricked so many times, once for months and then suddenly, with the flick of a switch, sleepless nights were back. He goes through phases of absolutely loving his sleep or waking lots. I’m not going to comment on how he is now, because I find that as soon as I start discussing it, it all switches up again! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 24, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Haha yes that sounds all too familiar! I feel the same right now since we are going through – dare I say it – a ‘good patch’. Fingers crossed for a few more weeks of this, but I’m not holding my breath! x

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