Should Your Baby Sleep Through the Night at 6 Weeks?

During my first pregnancy, I read a lot of books and information on pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding. It wasn’t until we brought our baby home that I realized I didn’t know much about infant sleep. I figured it would be pretty easy, but just a few days and weeks later left me realizing that it was a whole lot harder than it looked. No one should ever say they “slept like a baby” unless they didn’t get any sleep! 😉

There's a lot of pressure to get your baby to sleep through the night by 3 or 4 months, isn't there? Is it really necessary to get your baby to sleep through the night during their first year? Find out the best approach here.© famveldman / Dollar Photo Club

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I remember that first month very well. Sofía would sleep for several hours straight during the day, and then it was torture trying to get her to fall asleep at night. She would wake up 2-3 times each night for milk, and then it would take her a lot longer to fall asleep than it did during the day. Luckily I didn’t have to go to work so I could take a nap during the day. But I still felt tired a lot of the time.

Our second child was not much different. Since I was sick several times during her first couple months, I wasn’t really up for figuring out how to best get her to sleep better.

Fortunately, they both figured out sleep somehow, and they sleep through the night as toddlers. It’s possible that I did some things to help them finally get to a point where they could fall asleep without my help, but I wouldn’t know if those tips could work for other babies.

Book Review: Help Baby Sleep

But you’re in luck! I have a blogging friend, Janeen over at Loving Littles, who wrote a book about the first year of sleep, Help Baby Sleep: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide to a Restful First Year*. I wish Janeen had been in my life back when I had my first baby! I read her book recently, and I can’t believe all the wisdom she has shared in there. She has five kids, four of which are boys, and they are all great sleepers. In the book, she lays out the steps to restful sleep from birth through the first year, for both you and the baby. It’s incredible!

The Difference Between Restful Sleep and Sleeping Through the Night

Restful sleep is different than getting your baby to sleep through the night. I didn’t really understand this until I read Janeen’s book.

Restful sleep ensures that your baby is sleeping well and long enough for his own body. If you allow him to naturally sleep when his body tells him he needs to sleep there will come a time when he will no longer need that 3 AM feeding.

There is no need to be concerned if your baby is still waking up in the night to eat a little, even at 9 or 10 months. Janeen says that her children all began to sleep through the night (which she believes is a good 12-13 hour stretch) between 9 and 13 months of age.

I always thought sleeping through the night meant falling asleep after the 10 o’clock feeding and waking up around 6 AM for an early morning feeding. That’s only 8 hours, which is great for most parents, but your baby will eventually need a longer stretch of sleep than that. If you follow the advice that Janeen gives in her book, your baby will eventually get to the 12-13 hour stretch. It just takes some time.

When Baby Sleeps Well, Mama Sleeps Well

My favorite part of Help Baby Sleep* is all the awesome tips for mamas. I don’t always know what to do myself when I have a newborn, so it’s nice to have a little guide to help you figure things out, especially sleep.

The best tip Janeen gives is to STOP cooking and cleaning! Yes, you have permission to significantly cut down your workload the first few weeks and months of your baby’s life. If you must cook or clean, she says that 10 minutes a day is the maximum. No cheating!

Janeen’s overall message in the book is one of support and encouragement. She knows what it is like to feel sleep deprived and completely overwhelmed with a newborn, but she figured out how to get better sleep with each of her children.

I can’t wait to use this book as a guide if we decide to have a third child. I would much rather feel rested with a new baby than pressured to get her to sleep through the night. You?

Do you feel well-rested when you have a newborn baby at home?

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  1. Thanks for sharing, Charlee! Your experience as a first-time mom (and mine) are very similar. I imagine that our experiences are on par with women across the country. It’s impossible to understand the complete exhaustion that comes with a newborn until we each experience it firsthand. I’m hoping this book will help families to avoid that mind-numbing exhaustion and get to enjoy the early parts of parenting a sweet new baby 🙂
    Janeen recently posted…Weekly GoalsMy Profile

    • Not a problem, Janeen! You’re right, and I’m glad that you have taken the time to write this book so others can be much more prepared than we were.

  2. Likewise! I’m loving Janeen’s book (so helpful!) and will have a review next week. I’m a big proponent of getting enough sleep – babies and mom alike – but there is a steep learning curve with that first one! I just hope I am ready to do it again in a couple months! 🙂
    Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving recently posted…4 Quick Ways to Earn Gift Cards in Minutes a DayMy Profile

    • Kristen, I am so excited for you! I would love to hear how your experience goes the second time around using the techniques that Janeen’s book outlines.

  3. I agree that moms should stop cooking and cleaning! I wish I took this advice with my babies. I was better with the twins, but now I know I should’ve slacked off even more. It’s almost like we should budget for the newborn months and expect to pay for dinners and cleaning. And no way would I expect a baby to sleep through the night at six weeks, unless through the night means 5 hours haha.
    Nina recently posted…These Are the Things Your Kids Will Remember About YouMy Profile

    • Wouldn’t it be great if husband could take paternity leave for several months and do those things for us?? 🙂 Seriously, though, that is a great idea to either hire out help if you need it or get help from a friend or neighbor. I know, I was excited when my oldest slept for 4 hours straight through the night when she was a few weeks old. Ha!

  4. katie clark says:

    Baby sleep is hard! My first one did not like to sleep at all. He was always awake! Didn’t sleep through the night until he was almost two. He had GERD and digestive issues that made him so uncomfortable.

    Oliver has been so much better at sleeping so far. He sleeps all the time, and thankfully, does not have his nights and days mixed up. He wakes up at night to eat and then falls back to sleep. It’s been a blessing! This sounds like an interesting book! I’ve spent a lot of time learning about infant sleep so I’d be interested to read this one.

    • Oh, little Oliver sounds like a really great sleeper! I am glad things are going better this time around. I love that in the book Janeen talks about helping the baby be comfortable before sleep. She says that some things you can do each time before they go down, but that there may be medical issues that need to be directed to a physician. So it seems like Jack was hard because he had medical issues. I am glad he has outgrown it and goes to sleep now!

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