They were also keen to look at whether the lack of sleep had a negative effect on the mother’s mood (and therefore linked to postnatal depression), and found that sleepers and non-sleepers scored similarly on mood tests.
Advice to new mums? Just know that frequent waking is actually the norm, and trying to implement “sleep behavioural techniques” like sleep training is not necessary and likely to create more anxiety.
In a recent review, authors concluded that behavioral interventions at <6 months of age neither reduced crying nor prevented sleep problems, and they noted side effects such as anxiety and a premature cessation of breastfeeding. [source]
Take each night as it comes, do what you can to accommodate your baby’s waking, and trust that eventually it will change. Because it will.
Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand.