Q: My in-laws are incredibly fierce about getting my baby to sleep through the night. They've even given me several books, all of which say I'm doing my baby a disservice by not pushing for longer periods of sleep (he's 3 months old and wakes up every two to three hours to nurse). They're starting to wear me down. What do you think?
A: I think some people can be amazingly pushy when it comes to other people's babies and that you should stick to your guns. Brain growth at this age is too rapid for virtually any baby to sleep through the night (some aren't even able to do it until the end of the first year). Even adults wake up several times each night (we just may not remember doing it). But we have commitments in the morning, so we push ourselves to go back to sleep. Your baby, on the other hand, has no appointments. He's happy to eat, talk and smile at any hour of the day or night because his body knows he can sleep whenever he wants to.
Rest assured that the type of nurturing you're doing is building an incredible foundation for "behavior modification" of your baby's sleep habits when the right time comes--which I don't think is until about 9 months of age.