Sleep – What is Considered Normal?

Confusion about what is normal can lead to unrealistic expectations.
All parents tend to struggle with questions of how much should their baby be sleeping. Some recent research shows the following:
An international baby’s sleep study showed that there are biological and cultural factors that influence young children’s sleep.
“Night- time sleep is a key issue for mums and dads. The perception that babies should sleep for long stretches at night from a young age is unhelpful and unfair to parents and babies. “
• Parents also need to know that the studies show that babies under 12 weeks of age cannot regulation their sleep/ wake cycles.
• Night waking is often for comfort and reassurance – not food
• Studies show that introducing a bed time routine can help a baby develop positive sleep associations
• The research also showed that less than 2/3 of 6-9 months old were sleeping concurrently with their parents.
• At 12 months on ¾ were sleeping between 10pm and 6 am
• Waking at night after 12 weeks of age is developmentally normal
(Semple,A, (2011, June). Self –regulations sleep and unsettled babies- what can we usefully tell parents. Perspective-NCT’ journal on preparing parents for birth and early parenthood

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