Saw this article this morning, and thought it was interesting... What are your thoughts?
Babies SHOULD wake during the night, new study declares
Groundbreaking new research from the UK is about to challenge everything you thought you knew about your baby's sleep - seriously, everything. It's radical and reassuring all at once ...
It’s what new mums spend hours daydreaming about (mainly because they’re not getting enough sleep at night to dream about it in bed!) … that groundbreaking occasion when your baby suddenly discovers how to sleep through the night.
It’s a point in time you never forget, a moment when you fist-pump the air in victory, because you DID it, you actually achieved what you thought could never be achieved ever again. You actually got six glorious hours of unbroken sleep. Boo-ya!
But hold that thought for just a minute. We need to share something with you that will challenge everything you thought you knew about your baby’s sleep.
The sleep study that’s making us think again
New research from Swansea University’s Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences, is turning everything we know (and hope for ) when it comes to a baby’s sleep patterns, on it’s head. Researchers have now declared that sleeping through the night is not natural for babies, and that no amount of breast milk, formula or solids has any bearing on the way a baby sleeps.
The new study focused on 715 mothers with babies between six and 12 months of age, and took into account sleep and eating habits - including what and when the babies were eating and how frequently.
“The findings firstly showed that 78 percent of babies at this age still regularly woke at least once in the night with 61 percent having at least one milk feed during the night,” reported the researchers.
“The study also showed that although mums who were breastfeeding tended to feed their baby more at night, there was no difference in the number of times babies woke up dependent on whether they were breast or formula fed, how many feeds they had in the day or how many solid meals they ate.”
Say that AGAIN! Ahem … newsflash, mums and dads, we’re now being told, in no uncertain terms, that it’s completely normal for babies to wake up at night AND what we feed them has no bearing on how well they sleep.
Study leader, Dr Amy Brown said:
The findings are very interesting as they firstly challenge the idea that babies should be sleeping through the night once they are past a few weeks old and secondly that what you feed babies will help their sleep.
There is a common belief that formula milk or giving more solid foods will help your baby sleep better and this study shows this isn’t true. We did find that mothers who were breastfeeding fed their baby more at night but this could be because breastfeeding is a simple way to get your baby back to sleep quickly! The babies who were formula fed still woke up, they just weren’t fed.
And that’s not all …
There’s another equally interesting, and just as important discovery from this research. Trying to feed babies more in the day time in an effort to encourage a longer, better sleep at night doesn’t work. In fact, doing so may actually do more harm than good.
“Trying to overfeed a baby during the day in the hope it will sleep at night may encourage overfeeding and risk of obesity and as we have shown does not stop your baby from waking,” said Victoria Harries, who co-authored the study.
So, you know all those books you bought on baby sleep routines? They might not be as helpful as you once thought, so you might just want to pop them aside, at least for now.
“There is a lot of pressure on new mums to get their babies to sleep through the night and a multimillion (dollar) market trying to sell them ways of doing this. We hope that our findings are of comfort to new mothers who have a baby who is still waking in the night, in showing them that many other babies are waking too,” said Dr Brown.