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My friend's baby is sleeping eight hours straight and mine is
up every two hours. Do I just have a bad sleeper?
There's nothing worse than being up all night long and
then having to compare notes at the park with the mom of a natural-born
There are many possible reasons for "good" versus "bad"
sleepers in the first 6 months of life. One is the good sleeper's biological
programming (a quickly maturing nervous system and deeper, smoother sleep
Just like other developmental processes, sleep comes online at each
child's individual pace, so in the first 6 months there's no timeline to which
every baby adheres. Whether a baby pulls
an 8-hour stretch of sleep at 10 weeks or is feeding every 2-3 hours at this
age is not much of a predictor of her sleep future. Babies need time to mature.
Feeding on demand and following their lead during these months is key.
After the age of 6 months, the deciding factor in good and
bad sleepers is more about habit than biology. Does the baby go into her sleeping
place at the beginning of the night awake—as a conscious participant in
bedtime, finding her own comfortable sleeping position, lovey, and so forth? Or
does she fall asleep and then get moved or placed into her crib without her
All babies wake up in the night. The ones who were conscious
at the moment of going to bed and figured out how to get comfortable can go
naturally to that comfort when they wake. If they feed at night, they can
usually go right back into their cribs and get comfy again after the
feeding. Bedtime habits are the place to
start, because they set the tone for the rest of the night,