PARENTS

Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night At 6 Weeks Old? That's Completely Normal, Say Experts

21/05/2015 14:36 BST | Updated 21/05/2015 14:59 BST

Next time your child wakes you up in the early hours of the morning, try and feel encouraged by it.

It might be hard to do, but experts have said that having your child wake up during the night shouldn't always be viewed so negatively.

The research being completed at Swansea University has challenged the common belief that babies should sleep through the night once they are six weeks old.

"The big message is it's normal for your baby to wake up, don't worry about it!" said Dr Amy Brown from Swansea University.

baby sleep

In the study, more than 700 mothers with a baby aged six to 12 months were asked how often their baby woke during the night and whether they fed their baby.

They also examined whether the mothers were breastfeeding or not and how many feeds the babies got in the day.

Researchers found that 78% of babies aged six to 12 months still woke up during the night, at least once.

61% of these also still had at least one milk feed during the night.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that whether the babies were bottle-fed or breastfed or on solids made no difference in the number of times they woke up. Neither did the number of feeds they had during the day.

Brown said she found the findings interesting as they challenged the idea that babies should be sleeping through the night.

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Dr Brown wanted parents to know that it doesn't make you a bad mum or dad if your baby is nine months old and still waking up in the night.

Victoria Harries, an MSc Child Public Health student who worked on the study commented: "We know that breastfeeding and introducing solids slowly continue to be important for the health of both babies and mothers, but many mothers tell us that they face pressure to give their baby formula or lots of food, particularly if their baby isn’t sleeping through the night.

"Our findings show that it is normal for babies to wake and instead those supporting the mother should find other ways of helping her rather than trying to affect how she feeds her baby.”

Dr Brown added that such findings wont be the same for every single mum and "mums do know best".

Remember that next time you're awake at 3am. It's normal, completely fine.

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