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Parents Panel: When did your little one start sleeping through the night?

From 12 weeks to three years, our panel share their magic numbers.

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AS PART OF TheJournal.ie’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

In the early days of parenting, the thought of a full night’s sleep can seem like a distant, laughable prospect. Sleep through until sunrise? With no late-night wake-up calls? If only. But as with any growing-up phase, your little one will *eventually* start sleeping through. Hopefully.

We asked our Parents Panel when it happened for them – or if they’re still waiting for that mystical night of uninterrupted sleep.

This week we’re asking…

When did your little one start sleeping through the night?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly Source: TheJournal.ie

He didn’t sleep through until over a year in: Charlie was always a pretty good sleeper but between vaccines and teething and colds and travel, there was always something that could affect his sleep. I think it was at least a year in before he slept through, and even then it’s only been the last few months that it’s become the norm rather than the exception.

- Kait Quinn 

It only took 12 weeks (yes, we got lucky): From about 12 weeks onwards my two children slept through the night. Starting off they’d wake at 6am (which was a luxurious lie in at the time). They progressed gradually to 6.30am, 7am and now 7.30am. We even stretch to 8.30 some mornings! Yes there are routines that help but I honestly believe it is mostly about luck! 

- Denise 

He slept well… until he hit 3: Our son used to sleep well, but earlier this year he began coming into our bed during the night, and would insist on sleeping in with us. On a friend’s suggestion, we got him a Fairy Door and a GroClock. The “fairy” left him a message saying that she (he decided it was a “she”) would leave him a small gift (a small piece of chocolate or a small toy, for example) each time he slept in his own bed all night.

It took a week or so, but he got used to staying in his bed until the sun came up on his clock. After several months, the fairy left him a letter saying how proud she was of him and that there wouldn’t be any more presents but she would still be his fairy. There’s still the odd night where he’ll come into us, but we usually just walk him back to his bed and tuck him back in.  

- Olly Keegan

It took him 18 months: Daniel started to sleep through the night quite early on, from five months, but for Nathan it took much longer – about 18 months. It happened slowly. As time went on we started to get more and more unbroken nights of sleep and then one day Karen and I realised that it had been at least a week since we’d had to get up in the middle of the night.

I always found it easier to get them back to bed if they woke up crying rather than happy and just looking to get up and play. If they woke up crying it was because something was wrong (hunger – nappy etc). Fix that and we could all go back to bed. But no parent wants to play at 3.30am! 

- Ken Hyland 

Er… I’m still waiting: My daughter is three and I am still waiting for that magic night to happen. People keep offering loads of advice like, “Oh, when she starts preschool that will tire her out,” but she is now in preschool and still no luck. She has endless amounts of energy and not once since she was born has she slept through the night. 

- Denise Cumiskey 

shutterstock_1141357637 Source: Shutterstock

With four kids, it’s a guessing game: We have four children aged nine to three, so an uninterrupted night’s sleep is never guaranteed. I don’t think we have had more than five consecutive full nights of sleep in the last five years. Both the girls are good sleepers, but rarely a night passes without a disturbance for the boys. It may just be a call for the loo or a drink, but they are still interruptions. That said, things are much improved of late.

- Ross Boxshall 

When I stopped his night feeds it really helped: Tymek was 16 months old when he slept through for the first time. He started sleeping better after I cut out his night feeds. But he’s 2.5 now and seem to be going through a phase of waking up at night again. Hopefully not for long! 

- Marta Lisiecka 

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More Parents Panel: What’s one thing your child just won’t eat?>

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