Is sleeping through a developmental milestone?

Mr. T has been hitting those milestones at full speed over the last month. He has managed to learn to roll both ways, sit himself up, crawl, stand up while holding onto something and has popped another tooth. All this has happened within this month. He still remains to me possibly the worst sleeper out. I know everyone who has a bad sleeper thinks they’re the worst, but he is! I swear. At nearly 10 months he’s still waking very, very frequently during the night and not settling without some sort of intervention from me.
We’ve tried everything for this little man’s sleep and at different points in time I’ve listened to someone’s ‘advice’ and given it a go. We’ve read the books, searched the Google and walked the halls. From co-sleeping to letting him cry and going to sleep school, nothing has worked. So as time goes on and all these other brain wires are cross-linking and clicking in his mind, I’m starting to wonder…maybe he will just sleep when he is ready to sleep, like babies crawl when they are ready to crawl and walk when they are ready to walk – Sure you can encourage it and that will help to a degree but they are going to hit that milestone when they are good and ready.

An article from Kellymom.com, which I used often when trying to figure out what was going on with bubs’ breastfeeding habits and lack of sleep says this:

“Your baby will begin to comfort herself and to sleep for longer stretches at her own developmental pace. If your baby wants to nurse at night, it is because she DOES need this, whether it’s because she is hungry or because she wants to be close to mom. Sleeping through the night is a developmental milestone (like walking or toilet training) that your baby will reach when she is ready to. Trying to force baby to reach this before her time may result in other problems later on.”

Now that I’m starting to head towards this conclusion, I tend to turn off when someone says “have you tried…?” because the answer is almost always “yes” and all this trying to get him to sleep has caused nothing but more tears and more frustration and certainly not more sleep! Sure, the sleep deprivation is pretty crazy, and I’m pretty sure many people think we’re being too ‘soft’ but they’re not there when he cries. This little guy gets so worked up when we try and let him have a cry before a nap that I just don’t bother trying anymore. I tried it a couple of times and all it resulted in was him getting so distraught and following that, having a ridiculously BAD sleep because he was so worked up earlier.
So this is what we are doing at the moment to encourage that magic moment of sleeping through – feeding until sleepy – but not asleep, popping him in his cot and patting him until he is asleep, attempting to put him down without the dummy, having daddy put him down at bedtime so he knows the booby isn’t going to be at his call all night and having lots of cuddles, laughs, songs and not a lot of sleep.
And as sleep deprived as I am, I will just remain this way until he hits that stone, boulder, rock, whatever it is, push past it and launch himself into a deep and blissful sleep all night long.
You can see the rest of the article about sleeping through the night here – http://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/sleep/

When did your little ones sleep through? Did you encourage them to do it in their own time or were you a little more forceful and did it work for you?
Linking for IBOT at SAHM

11 thoughts on “Is sleeping through a developmental milestone?

  • Hang in there. That fact that you’ve decided to do what works for you guys is what matters. We had a similar story to you and it wasn’t until about 18 months that our little girl managed to “enjoy” sleep.

    We ended up telling ourselves it’s not like they start school not being able to sleep.

  • Our second son is 2 1/2 and he’s still a terrible sleeper. When he was still in his cot, I would wake up on his bedroom floor because I’d been sitting there trying to convince him to sleep! Even now he just wanders out in the middle of the night. Like you, we tried everything! Eventually we stopped trying, it was too exhausting. He sleeps through most nights but he’ll end up in our room 2-3 nights a week. But our eldest and our baby are great sleepers, so we can’t complain too much. Sounds like you’re doing a great job, hang in there x

  • I’ve also given up being too worried about it, there is just no point in fighting because as you say, both of you end up being worked up and getting less sleep. I’ve given up caring about creating bad habits or anything like that and just do whatever works. I figure at 9 months old there is just so much developmental stuff going on that there is no point fighting it.

  • hang in there… we’ve given up having expectations of our girl sleeping through the night, and will just take it as it comes. We’ve learnt to adapt to it and as long as she is happy and growing well, that’s more impt to us than having an unbroken sleep. when it happens, we will be damn happy though! 😛

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  • i think you are doing the best you can… and every kid is different…and everyone will always have an opinion!
    if you are following your gut and your mama heart, then how can you go wrong?

    #teamIBOT

  • My son is 16 months old. And only at 14 months old did he sleep for more than 3 hours. We tried everything.. now he sleeps from 7-10 then 10-4 4-7.. its not all night… but its getting there!

  • Wow, I just re-read that. So many errors in it. I blame the sleep deprivation! haha.
    Thanks for all your support and comments everyone. We will hang in there, there is no other choice really! We are lucky. He eats well, plays well, happy as a lark. The sleep will come in time 🙂

  • I really feel for you – sleep deprivation can send you doo lally. My first bub slept through at 10 months but second only just started sleeping through at 13 months (although does still need a bit of a cuddle in the night from time to time).
    I agree that that babies will sleep through when they’re ready. In the meantime – plenty of tea for you! x

  • None of my kids were fantastic sleepers (thought one wasn’t bad), but one was truly terrible. Even now, at four, we have a few issues with him. I honestly believe he is just going to be one of these adults who only needs like 4 hours sleep to change the world. 🙂
    There is such a thing as baby fatigue, and often when kids are so overtired, they won’t sleep. At that point, which you probably are at, it’s important to just do WHATEVER it takes. You can work on routine or whatever once they have had caught up a bit, but in the meantime everything is futile! Your system sounds like it is working for you, and in the end off bubby is sleeping, that’s good for him. Xx

  • Yep. Hang in there. I believe all children have different ‘skills’. Some are great sleepers, others are great eaters, some are very ‘needy’, some are happy, some are very relaxed and willing to go with the flow of things around them. Each child is different. Each child has different sleep patterns (regardless of the fact you use the same principles with each one) and at the end of the day we still love them all the same… and they all get what they need. Unfortunately, sometimes WE don’t get enough of the sleep we need, but that will come in time (or else we adjust ourselves to require less sleep perhaps?). And when you do think you’ve got it all sort… along comes another one!! 😉

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