“Does your baby sleep through the night?” That is clearly a question you most likely dread answering if your baby is still waking up. Lots of people believe that the baby must be sleeping through the night by the full time he’s 90 days old, so if your baby isn’t, you could naturally feel frustrated and worried. Losing sleep is one of many hardest adjustments new parents need certainly to make.
Actually, it’s rare for an infant to consistently sleep through the night. Some babies do, but many are still waking up at ten months and others are two or three years old before they sleep all night. The frequency of waking varies from child to child and depends on many circumstances.
A child may get up at night to be fed, changed, or held. A somewhat older baby may turn himself over throughout the night, waking up in the process. If a baby has new teeth to arrive, he might be uncomfortable and wake up to be comforted. And if he’s developmentally at the stage when he believes people exist only if he can see them, he might wake up to see his parents and be reassured. Parents sometimes think about this last kind of wakefulness to be manipulative because their baby stops crying the moment they come into his room. But he doesn’t want to manipulate—he just desires to see his parents and be close to them.
Basically, your baby wakes up when he must be comforted, fed, or helped. He doesn’t realize that you prefer to meet up his needs through the day and sleep during the night. A wakeful baby can be difficult and frustrating. If you obtain up at night to respond to your baby, you lose sleep and suffer the physical and emotional consequences of being tired. You may even face the criticism of others: “The only way your baby will learn to sleep is if you let him cry it out.” Such comments are unfortunate, because parents who do get fully up at night with their child need support and encouragement. Many parents eventually become secretive about waking up because they don’t really desire to be ridiculed by friends and relatives.