When will my baby’s sleeping improve?

Ever since Little Bug was born, I have had these self created target dates in my mind when his sleep would settle down. When the date came and went with no improvement, I created a new one and pinned my hopes on that. Six weeks – my baby book said they start to sleep more then. Three months – my friend said it gets easier then. Four months – once we get past the four month sleep regression, he’ll start sleeping more. Six month – surely starting solids will mean fewer night feeds. 

I’ve now come to realise that, for us, sleep isn’t a gradual improvement over time like this:

Instead, sleep had gone through peaks and troughs. Teething, illness, growth spurts, developmental leaps all affected sleep and sometimes there were troughs with no obvious cause at all.

The positive thing you’ll notice is that the highs are getting a bit higher and the lows a bit less low. There have been gains. Little Bug sleeps more deeply now, so sometimes I can sneak away and have some time downstairs in the evening. Sometimes I can put him down once I’ve fed him to sleep or I can roll away. Sometime he goes to sleep with me lying next to him rather than me feeding him. Sometimes he only wakes up 4 times a night, which is a great night for us. 

On the negative side, he still wakes up a lot some nights: 10 time or more. All of the above good parts don’t always happen. Some nights, I come downstairs and he’s awake after ten minutes when I’ve just started cooking something. I’ll go and resettle him and he’s awake ten minutes later. Repeat this until I get fed up and just go to bed. 

But overall, things are a bit better. 

The latest shiny beacon of hope is the ten month mark. This is all based on the fact that in Elizabeth Pantley’s book The Gentle Sleep Solution, she says: “At about nine to ten months, a baby’s sleep periods consolidate so that she wakes up and goes to sleep at about the same times every day, and her sleep spans are longer.”

She does say later on that it can take much longer than that for some babies, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll see an improvement. 


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