STTN means 'sleeping through the night' and is a common acronym on blogs and posts. It means different things to different people. 4 hours. 5 hours. 8 hours. To me it's 10-12 hours. (Can you just imagine?) Everyone wants their baby to sleep through the night and when they don't, it can be hard to cope. (Deep sigh) Babies vary in readiness to go long stretches of sleep. Some babies do it quickly but then around 4 months it all falls apart. This is normal. Some babies get it and continue sleeping great through all their milestones and teething. Other babies don't sleep long stretches and it gets worse at 4 months or so. All this is normal. Some babies need more help learning sleep skills. Falling asleep is a learned skill. (Who knew!?) There are many things that can make it easier. Getting enough day sleep and daytime food helps. As a sleep coach, I try to assure parents that all the things they are doing to parent and cope are GREAT things to do. Nurse to sleep, rock to sleep, hold for sleep. These sleep crutches are blessings if that is the only way to get the much needed sleep. It's great to try other ways of soothing but if those don't work, please don't feel guilty for doing what is natural and comforting. 6 months is a great age to work on baby's self soothing skills but 4.5 months is an age where some gentle coaching and sleep shaping can start if you have a solid and safe plan. (I can help you with that.) If your scenario is particularly challenging you may ask, Will this get better with time? The answer is "maybe...eventually..." If you are fine doing your sleep crutches and helping your baby get back to sleep in the night, it is totally fine. If you need a change, give me a call and I will share my sleep secrets with you. Here's a tip... Use this guide as a starting place to figure out if your child is getting enough sleep. Each amount is an average and is for a 24 hour period. I am a gentle sleep coach. There are more options than just Cry It Out.
Tracy Spackman CGSC