As a new parent, having an infant that won’t sleep through the night is incredibly frustrating. You’re adjusting to life with a new child and still managing your own responsibilities so each night you’re exhausted. But if your baby won’t sleep through the night, neither will you. Waking up throughout the night after night is bound to wear on you over time. So, why won’t your baby sleep?

There are a number of reasons why babies don’t sleep through the night. Everything from teething to gas to hunger could be an explanation, but is there a simpler reason? The truth is, your baby has to learn how to sleep through the night before they’ll actually do it. 

If you think about it, you have a bedtime routine that you’ve learned over time. You probably have a favorite position to sleep in, preferred side of the bed, your window might have to be open or you sleep with extra blankets. Before you go to bed you might make tea or pour a glass of water. Whatever it is that you find yourself doing night after night is a learned behavior. 

When you repeat these activities each night your body understands that it’s time for sleep. Well, your baby needs a routine of their own as well. Without a sleep strategy, you could find yourself grasping for straws trying to find a way to make your baby sleep. You might try reading to them, finding a favorite stuffed animal for them to sleep with, or rocking and patting them until they fall asleep. 

The problem with that is, whatever prop or activity you use will create a dependance for your baby. Soon, they really won’t be able to sleep unless you read to them or unless they have that certain stuffed animal. So when a rare night comes when you’re not home to read to them or you’re traveling and you forgot that beloved toy, they won’t be able to sleep. 

The best way to avoid night waking is to teach your baby to sleep independently. The sooner you start, the faster your baby will learn to sleep through the night and make your evenings easier. Once you do this, you can rest assured that you are on your way back to a full night of sleep.

A well-rested baby is much happier and healthier than a baby who can’t sleep through the night. The same goes for you, the more sleep you get, the better you will be able to parent your child and live your life happily and healthily.