How to get your baby to sleep through the night?


I was in the healthy child drop in clinic the other day and as i was waiting to get baby S weighed i was ear-wigging on the conversation another mum was having with the Health Visitor about her 6 month old daughter. It went something like this: –

Flustered Mum “So i leave the room and she just starts crying, so i wait 15 minutes before going back in but she won’t stop crying – should i wait even longer?”

HV “No you can’t leave a baby that young to cry for 15 minutes”

Flustered Mum “But the last Health Visitor i saw told me to leave her for 15 minutes? What do you think i should do then?”

HV “Well to me it sounds like she could be overtired – Have you tried bringing her bedtime forwards?”

Increasingly flustered Mum “No – i was told to try putting her to bed later as perhaps she isn’t tired enough”

HV “Well maybe it’s a hunger thing, maybe you need to up her solids in the day”

Very Irate and flustered Mum  “She’s eating loads – everyone keeps telling me different stuff! How am i meant to know who is right?”

Hmm here in lies the problem – No one can tell you how to get your baby to sleep, they can only tell you what did or didn’t work for them.

Although there are a million little instruction manuals available to purchase on Amazon in my opinion there really is no point, Get this – babies are PEOPLE! Little individual PEOPLE.

As much as i like to fall asleep while watching TV in bed, you might need a screen free room and a meditation CD. June next door likes a hot milk whilst reading her book and Mr Blogs 3 doors down knocks himself out with a large glass of red. Babies are no different – except you are not supposed to give them alcohol (a shame as i suspect it would actually be quite effective).

I was bloody lucky with my first son, he slept through the night from about 3.5 months and still does 12 hour stints now. People have often asked me what the secret to my success is and my reply? Er i dunno. He just did it.

I really believe that each and every child has some sort of inbuilt sleep though the night switch that flicks on at a mystery time predetermined at birth. I’m still waiting for it to activate on baby S who despite being nearly 7 months and on 3 proper meals did a pretty darn good impression of a newborn last night.

So what do you think? My current line is that he is constipated by too much banana, either too hot or cold, and in the midst of a sleep regression caused by his overriding frustration at not being able to crawl yet ;)


P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


15 thoughts on “How to get your baby to sleep through the night?

  1. ourlifebusymakingmemories

    Oh sleep!

    We happily co-slept with Sebastian until he was 8 months old. and i fed him to sleep all night… At 8 months, we tried to transition him into his own bed… it was hell!

    We tried so many different methods
    Cry it out – Awful – He screamed, and screamed and screamed
    Controlled crying – Awful – He screamed and screamed and screamed
    The no cry sleep solution – Awful – He screamed and screamed and screamed
    Sitting in the room until they fell asleep – Awful – He screamed and screamed and screamed

    Eventually i used to climb into the cot with him and feed him to sleep and i would creep out so as not to wake him up.

    Then one day that switch clicked and he slept, i could put him down awake an not need to climb in and feed him and he would fall asleep for 11ish hours… every night!

    I dont know what changed… it just happens

  2. the mmmmm family

    Hello hope you don’t mind but I re-posted this on Love All Blogs linky I think its a really good post. Quite often mums are given conflicting advice and you’re right, there is no wrong or right answer as every child is different. All 3 of my children have had pretty much the same sleep routine but they have all reacted to it differently. Maria would never sleep without a dummy and would need rocking to sleep, Matthew would sit holding a book even as a baby and would fall asleep sitting up and Maya gets really excited when we put her down and sighs as if she is so happy to be in bed and goes to sleep no problem at all. They are all individuals and need individual approaches.

    1. hurrahforgin

      Ahh thank you of course I don’t mind! My sons are the same, very different In how they sleep and lots of other ways. I think nature plays a huge part in it and nurture not so much! X

  3. Mum Outnumbered

    You make a very good point. My eldest slept a good 6 hours from 6 weeks, then 12 hours from 4 months. Second baby came along, he got to 6 weeks old and still woke 3 times a night. Uh? Help! I was so exhausted. But he’s my baby. I carried on doing what he wanted for weeks. Then I found a baby expert on Twitter who gave me tips on getting him to sleep through. I must say, she is amazing, however I was getting frustrated that baby wasn’t doing what he was supposed to do. Then I read something similar to this. Babies are little people. Little individual people.
    Now at 17 weeks, he no longer requires to be fed through the night. But he does wake 2 or 3 times for a quick cuddle, which is fine. My boys are completely different. And I’ve treated them exactly the same. Crazy…!

  4. 3yearsandhome

    You are SO right. Every child is different. My eldest is not a good sleeper and has never been a good sleeper. He didn’t sleep through the night until 14 months old and rarely sleeps for longer than ten house (plus two after lunch). The baby, however, has had to be woken up to be fed since the day he was born. At 8 months old, he sleeps for 14/15 hours at night (with one feed) and a further 3 to 4 hours in the day. Nothing that we’ve done or influenced. It’s just the way they are. I could panic about what I did wrong with the first one and I could pat myself on the back about the second, but it’s them not me.

  5. kukolina

    I have a very nice and generous mindset. When things go well I magically forget about the X horrible nights that we had trying to help Zoárd fall asleep. Currently it is after 8 pm here in Thailand and our lovely Zoárd is fast asleep. It was easy. Hm. Today. For some unknown reason. I do not have the secret formula yet but good luck to all! :)

  6. Bex @ The Mummy Adventure

    I totally agree, they will do what they wanna do – I don’t think we quite realise til they are here that they are the new boss and we take orders from them! My eldest is a super sleeper and with him it just clicked over night and he went from feeding every 2 hours to doing 14 hours a night (he found his magic thumb). Baby number 2 is still all over the place and he will do 10 hours without a feed one night followed by 10 feeds a night the next! Sleep training is not for me, I am just confident he will get there one day and rather hopeful that it will be soon!

    1. hurrahforgin

      That’s exactly my thinking – i’m sure my youngest will get there one day and i just don’t have the energy for sleep training either. Plus his crying is so loud that if i leave him for even 30 seconds i worry he will wake the whole street!

  7. laurenemil

    Thanks for this – I want to punch people who ask, “is she good at night?” meaning, “does she sleep through?”. No she doesn’t sleep thru but that does not make her a bad baby… She wakes up every 2-3 hours, which I believe is still pretty normal at 5 months! Of course I’m hoping she’ll sleep for longer but she’ll do it at her own pace… And also I’m beginning to hate health visitors for the conflicting advice they give!!

    Hope both of ours discover their mystery sleep thru switch soon… Xx


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