Ten (10) reasons why babies wake up at night
1) Sleep cycle
There are different wave patterns our brains make during sleep defined as sleep cycles or “stages” of sleep. As babies move from one stage of sleep to another during the night, they transition. In that transition, many babies will awaken. Sometimes they call out or cry. Sometimes they wake hungry. It’s normal for babies (and adults) to wake 4-5 times a night during these times of transition. However, most adults wake up and then fall back to sleep so rapidly that we rarely remember the awakening
The trick for parents is to do less and less as each month of infancy unfolds during these awakenings; we want to help our babies self-soothe more and more independently (without our help) during these awakenings so that sleeping through the night becomes a reality.
2) Room temperature
Sometimes it might be the room temperature being not very conducive. Ensure that the temperature in your baby’s room is comfortable. It should not be too hot or too cold for your baby. Dress your baby according to the weather and the temperature inside the room.
3) Changing routines
Babies find it very difficult to adjust to a sudden change in routine. If your baby is used to falling asleep at a particular time at night, make sure you follow the pattern every day. Try and maintain your baby’s bedtime rituals as much as you can, even if the baby is away from home. This will help your baby know that it is time for bed.
4) Full tummy
If your baby is full before falling off to sleep, chances of waking up in the middle of the night will be lesser. Ensure your baby has a healthy and filling dinner before sleep comes in. Healthy eating is also important throughout the day as tummy issues too could be the cause of his disturbed sleep. If your baby has fallen asleep without eating, you may try to wake up the baby by gently calling out his name.
5) Midnight play sessions
Playing, talking, or doing any fun activity with your baby at odd hours might cause a lot of restlessness when he wakes up each time at night. If your baby starts getting bored, chances of him falling back to sleep sooner will be more. Simply be there with your little one so that he feels calm and can fall back to sleep.
Hope by now you are clear that why babies wake at night. Do not worry too much about the baby’s nocturnal activity. Remember that waking up in the middle of the night is restricted to your baby’s first few years only. While most babies learn to sleep through the night sometime during the first year itself, others may take slightly longer.
There’s no question that teething wakes children at night and disrupts sleep. Teething typically commences around 6 months of age but teething has been proven to affect waking babies all the way through their toddlerhood.
Newborns need to eat around the clock, but even older babies need one (or possibly two) feedings at night. We generally recommend an attempt to night wean around 9 months, although we consider it normal for a baby to need one night feeding up to 12 months of age in some cases.
8) Baby sick
Infants and children typically have an increase in infections after 6 months of age. This occurs primarily because once a baby reaches 6 months, they are capable of putting lots of new objects (including their hands) in their mouths so their exposure to germs increases dramatically. Many babies who have colds or upper respiratory infections will wake due to congestion or coughing. Fever, vomiting, and diarrhea will awaken babies at night, too.
Hang on and support your baby with a little tender love and care. Sleep schedules typically go back to normal within a few weeks after the illness began especially if you can keep up good sleep routines.
9) Wet/leaky/dirty diaper
Babies might sometimes wake because they don’t feel comfortable while asleep hence need to be diaper changed and most at times the babies go to bed immediately after.
10) Napping too much
Long daytime naps are a good thing – until they interfere with night sleep. That’s when you know your baby is napping too much. Remember, your baby’s overall daily sleep amounts will stay the same, so will shift sleep from night time to daytime. So consistent long naps will mean less sleep at night.