Newborns Don't 'Sleep Through the Night' -- Get Over It

Rant 27

baby sleepingThere is a "new" convenient sleep training method that parents with too many sleepies in their eyes have somehow bought into. Dubbed the "Jassey Way" after the pediatricians who wrote the book on it, this method boasts that parents can get started on this before baby's one month birthday. The idea: don't feed baby during the night and eventually they will learn that they are not getting fed and so they will sleep and parents can sleep.

I love to sleep. I would go to sleep right now if I could. But when you have a newborn, sleep (as you once knew it) just isn't part of the routine. And that's because babies need food every two or three hours in those early months to grow. All this nonsense about ways to help newborns sleep through the night really should be about parents who will try anything to be able to sleep through the night themselves without their pesky baby waking up.

This method really does say to skip the night feedings as early as three weeks old by just feeding the newborn at four-hour intervals during the day, making sure to add it up to feed the little one more at those times so she won't need more breastmilk or formula later on. According to the Jassey brothers, this adjusts the baby's hunger receptors so they won't become hungry at an inconvenient time.

Convenience. How to make your baby convenient. This is hilarious. Hilariously wrong. Kids just aren't convenient. They change everything. Our lives enter a new form of convenient once we become a parent -- and it's the kind of convenient that has to take off work when they are sick; the kind that has to clean poop out of butts. But it's also the most convenient love you'll know. Babies reach the sleeping through the night milestone at their own pace -- a time or age for one baby isn't necessarily going to be the same for another baby. So we have to stay in tune with our babies needs. At at three weeks old, our babies need us a lot. At three weeks old, most babies are going to need to eat every two or three hours. Babies need nourishment to thrive. To live. To grow. Three weeks old!

I don't believe in sleep training. I think crying it out is dangerous. I'm of the school of thought that if a baby wakes in the night, it's because baby needs something. Babies can't talk or walk yet so they communicate by crying. They need something. Maybe it's a diaper change, maybe gas, maybe she's cold or hot, or maybe she's hungry. It's our job as a parent to figure it out and help baby with a diaper change, a burping, an adjustment of the temperature, or to feed her. Because she can't do it herself because she's a baby. The nerve of the baby, right?! How dare she be hungry or have to pee at 2 a.m.! How inconvenient!

Welcome to parenthood. Consider those first few weeks, months, some sort of hazing that gets us semi prepared for the teen years when we wish they were sweet little babies. It may be hell. You will be tired. It will be all worth it. And it will pass. I promise. Hang in there. Don't sleep train -- it's all a lie and will come back to haunt you tenfold once those teenage years start. (Okay, that last bit isn't true. Well, it might be, but I have no way to prove it.)

What I'm saying is that we have to roll with it -- the sleepless nights, the night wakings. It's not going to be easy. But like with many things in parenting, the issues you may go through take you to the brink of lunacy and then BOOM! It's as if the issue gets magically cured. Just when you think you can no longer take another night waking, your baby will get to the natural time when it's natural for her to naturally sleep through the night. Just when you can't take changing another diaper or washing the peed on sheets every single day, your kid will become potty trained. Just when you think you cannot take another day of feeding your ridiculously picky eater, your kid will be signing a lease on her own apartment and you will get all teary eyed and wish you could swaddle her one last time.

Patience. That's something all parents should be trained in.

Would you try this method? What do you think of sleep training?


Image via David J Laporte/Flickr

baby sleep


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

amazz... amazzonia

this sounds more dangerous than letting them cry!

Amber... AmberMosher

Mu son started sleeping through the night at 2 monthd old. My hubby and I still switched up every few hours to make sure it wan't a fluke, but he continued and continues to sleep through the night.

nonmember avatar Theresa Giroux

I totally agree. If we didn't feed our dogs when they were hungry it would be considered abuse. How are we doing this to our babies?


Go to your babies. A million times! It's exhausting, and redundant, and wonderful all at the same time. It's worth it.

nonmember avatar DJC247

My daughter started sleeping 7-7 when she was a month old, I had nothing to do with it, that is just what she needed so it happened, my son however was 10 months old before he started sleeping 7-5 then at 2 years he started sleeping 7-6 he is almost 3 now and I'm hoping that he will start sleeping 7-7 now, but who knows maybe he will just always be a morning person. Every baby is different and I don't think there's anything healthy about depriving a baby of food just to get them to sleep more.

mamal... mamalusbear

I don't believe in CIO..when my babies cried at night it was ALWAYS because they needed something, a diaper, a feeding, cuddles.  My oldest slept through the night at three months, my youngest not until about nine months...I really believe they sleep so well now is because we never used the CIO method.


Waiti... WaitingforApril

This is a disgusting method and I would never do this. I would seriously question anyone who did.

Organ... Organizedchaos8

This "method" is just a hoax right? There's no way people could be dumb enough to actually use it right?

nonmember avatar ashley

I have to disagree. They r some newborns who do sleep through the night. My now 7 year old daughter when she was just 3 days old an out of the hospital she always stayed asleep a never cried. As a matter of fact I would always have to wake her up to feed her when it was feeding time.

nonmember avatar Mommadeeder

My 4yo was sleeping through the night at 2 months old. My 2yo, at 8 months was waking 8-10 times a night between the hours of 8 & 7am. He was miserable, never happy. For HIS sake, my husband and I decided to sleep train. Guess what? IT WORKED. The results were fast and amazing, and after one week I was putting him to bed with NO crying, My 2yo is easier to get to bed than my 4yo and actually often puts himself to bed before bedtime if he is tired.

And no, I wouldn't use the method in the article. I did and do always feed my children when they are hungry.

Jozemom Jozemom

Ashley- the auther didn't say it was impossible for a 3 week old to sleep through the night, she said every child does it at his/her own pace. You didn't force your child to sleep, or deny her food, she was just a sleepier baby than most and that's fine.

While attending LLL I learned an interesting fact: breast milk is higher in fat (the kind of fat that promotes brain development) during the night hours. This is why babies tend to cluster feed at night. Babies use the day hours to learn, explore and sleep, while night hours are for growth and development. It sucks for us moms, but its what the baby needs. This is why I coslept. My babies nursed all night, but I didn't have to get up so I was able to get adequate rest. The baby was happy, I was less exhausted, it was win win.

1-10 of 27 comments 123 Last