‘Sleeping like a baby’ – these four words probably send shivers down the spine of almost every parent. The term ‘sleep like a baby’ is equally bad, if not worse. Almost anyone who has come in contact with a toddler will tell you that babies are horrible sleepers.
Many women only hope for their baby to be an average sleeper, let alone a good one. Most babies wake up several times during the night. Regular sleep is an afterthought during the early days of a baby’s life. This is equally true for the baby and the parent.
A survey in Canada that looked at 388 mothers came to similar conclusions. Out of those 388 mothers, only 43 percent of the infants were able to complete an uninterrupted eight hours of sleep during the night at six months old. This means that the other 57 percent were not that lucky. The scientists also took a different approach where the requirement was that the infant completed six hours of sleep. With these adjusted numbers, around 62 percent of the infant were able to get a good night’s sleep.
It is interesting to note that breastfed babies were much less likely to sleep for long periods. Baby boys also proved to be the more restless one when compared to baby girls.
Luckily, no ill effects were found in either the baby or the mother. Both the regular sleepers and the nonsleepers performed similarly on mental and physical tests.
A big issue with the study is that the mothers themselves provided their baby’s sleep pattern. And as much as a mother knows its baby, she cannot claim to know precisely how well the baby sleeps.
Fortunately, these sleepless nights do not last long, and most parents forget them within a year. And every mother will tell you that every moment spent with the baby is worth losing some sleep over.