Often, clients will ask me if sleeping through is a development stage. My answer is it isn’t a developmental stage. Developmental stages are things like walking, rolling over, crawling, starting to eat solids, reading, etc.
The ability to sleep through or the potential to sleep through without needing milk for nutritive purposes is a developmental stage. It’s generally medically accepted that this is around the age of six months.
Some children will organically do it earlier and some children will organically do it later. Some will do it at three weeks (like my second child). My second child slept through 11 hours at three weeks. He then made it up with horrendous toddler sleeping, so I got my juice.
Some children won’t sleep through until they’re four organically. Does that mean we have to just throw our hands up and wait for four? No. Absolutely not. It probably means that your little one is waking habitually. It’s behavioural waking. It’s not that they’re naughty. They’re certainly not manipulating you. It’s just habit.
They don’t know how to get back to sleep, so they need mum to do that for them, which is fine – UNLESS it’s not fine for you. When it becomes a problem and you’re losing it, then we can help. You don’t have to make your baby sleep through, but if that’s what everyone in your family needs, then let’s do it or just improve it.
Certainly though, sleeping through is not a developmental stage.
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