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Why we’ve got the phrase “I slept like a Baby”. All wrong! .....

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

Young babies don't sleep through the night, and we wouldn't want them to... Here's why.

“I slept like a baby” … Said no parent. Ever. We all know the phrase, we all hear the phrase perhaps even in our naivety we’ve all used the phrase. But as we become parents and more enlightened adults, we realize how wrong we were to use that statement. Now, this does not mean that a lot of babies (older than 3 months), toddlers, and children do sleep the whole night through. (Yes it really does happen, it’s not legend or myth).

The majority of our babies do not sleep all night. Especially the youngest of our babies and we wouldn't want them to. Read on to find out why.

What are the Facts?

Young babies do not have an established circadian rhythm (sleep pattern). “They are born without developmental readiness to regulate their day-night rhythm, and they do not produce their own melatonin. This means they don’t “operate” on the same daily schedule an adult does (convenient huh?). They have a short sleep cycle of approx. 30-50mins. Within this 30-50-minute cycle, a baby is generally in this sleep cycle a baby spends approx. 50% in REM/active sleep and 50% in Light NREM.

At around 12 weeks a baby starts to form their own circadian rhythm. Helping to differentiate day to night. Although some may have day and night confused (again helpful! I'll talk about this soon). As babies mature so do sleep cycles they begin to get longer and start to become more like an adult's sleep cycle. At this point, we can hope that their sleep cycle will extend and we can start to introduce aids and help them along in the hope of achieving a few more hours in bed.

So the facts are the facts. We can’t expect babies to sleep as long as older children or adults as their genetic make-up doesn’t allow them to. However, we can help aid their sleep. We can provide the best sleep environments.... (Blog coming soon on sleep environments!).

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