Mother and Baby

It's a good thing if your baby won't sleep through the night, says science

Any new mum will tell you, one of the trickiest things about parenthood is the whole sleep thing.

AKA, they get zilch, whilst their red-faced baby is having none of it either. 

"Oh, remember the days when I used to sleep in till noon on the weekend!" you quietly whisper to yourself on the night feed, trying to ignore the fact it's 4am. 

Well, it may not be all bad, as scientists reckon that babies crying throughout the night is a good sign and it can actually mean higher intelligence. 

According to research from the University of Bristol, not sleeping through the night and high levels of intellectual achievement might, in fact, be correlated.

Professor Peter Fleming who's worked tirelessly on the research told Buzzfeed

"Human infants are not designed to sleep for long periods. It's not good for them and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there is any benefit to anybody from having a child that sleeps longer and consistently."

"That's not perhaps what most parents would like to hear."

He also adds that babies tend to sleep during the day and 6pm to midnight is the time "they're going to want to be awake the most".

He continued: "Biologically that's a big advantage because they will have more attention from their two primary caregivers at that time of day than at any other, because there are fewer distractions."

"From a biological point of view what the baby is doing is completely normal and sensible. It just doesn't fit in with our 21st-century expectations."

So there you have it, perhaps the dark circles and exhausted Google searches of 'can you die of tiredness?' are worth something. Ha! 

What do you think of the research? Could your baby be the next Einstein? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Now read:

5 baby sleep mistakes new parents make (and how to fix them)

5 of our favourite tips from ‘The Baby Sleep Guide’

7 baby sleep tricks that mums swear by (newborn to six months)


Alongside her role as the Digital Editor at Mother&Baby, Aimee runs the #mumtribe Facebook group and leads the M&B Awards content strategy.

Winner of Immediate Media Award for 'Magazine Journalist of the Year 2016. Her hobbies include truffle mac and cheese, Class Pass and relentlessly checking (and scolding!) the weather app.

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