There are a number of reasons why your baby could be waking up in the middle of the night. We drive ourselves crazy wondering why we can’t keep them asleep. Are they too cold? Are they too hot? Are they hungry? Did they spoil their diaper? Truthfully, it can be extremely difficult to identify what the real cause of your baby waking up is. Let me help you narrow down to some of the most common reasons why.
1. Transitioning from one sleep cycle to the next
When babies transition from one sleep cycle to the next, they may wake up. They wake up and cry out for you if they are unable to fall asleep on their own. Teaching your baby to self-soothe will help your baby sleep for longer stretches throughout the night.
2. Your baby is sleeping too much throughout the day
How is too much sleep a bad thing? If your baby is sleeping for long stretches, that’s great! However, you need to be aware of the effects of too much sleep during the day as it can take away from their sleep at night. If your baby is having a hard time sleeping at night, they may catch up on their sleep throughout the day. You need to be careful of this as it can turn into a cycle of your baby sleeping well ONLY during the day and not much at night.
3. Are you putting your baby to bed too late at night or too early?
All parents’ need down time and at times, look forward to our children’s bedtime regardless of how much we love spending time with them! Some parents love spending so much time with their children that they try to delay bedtime as much as they can. This is sweet, but it is affecting your baby’s sleep. The recommended time to put your baby down to sleep is no earlier than 6:30 PM and no later than 8:30 PM.
4. A feeding should never be the last thing you do before putting your baby down to sleep
Implementing a bedtime routine is essential; however, you do not want to make a feeding the last thing you do before putting your baby down to sleep. The reason why I say this is because your baby will associate all feedings to sleep. Doesn’t seem like a bad thing when your baby falls asleep nursing or when taking the bottle, but what happens is when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, they will expect a feeding to help them sleep. What I suggest is you feed your baby, change their diaper or do a small activity such as read a book, prior to putting them down to sleep.
5. Night lights, toys and mobiles
If your baby isn’t suffering from night terrors, I would recommend removing any light that is in their room. The slightest bit of light in your baby’s room can suppress melatonin, a hormone that helps your baby sleep and stay asleep. As for toys and mobiles, that offers unnecessary stimulation for your baby and will keep them up when they should be sleeping.
I hope this helps you understand some of the reasons why your baby might be waking up in the middle of the night.
If you have any questions about the information above, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant
November 17, 2017