Very very few babies sleep through the night from the word go. So if your baby wakes up, rest assured you are doing nothing wrong!
Babies are programmed to wake up at regular intervals, and there are many reasons for this. They wake due to hunger mainly, and their tummies are so small that they need to be filled more regularly than ours do. But what of the baby that wakes up a little more than the 'average' baby? What if baby has had a feed, a nappy change and a good old burp? What then?
Here are five reasons why your baby wakes up at night.
You knew that was coming, right? Teething can account for so much in a baby's first year! We wrote a post about the five stages of teething, and it's well worth another read if you're in the thick of it now. A teething baby is likely to wake up a few times a night until the pain and discomfort has eased (although not all babies do. They're fickle like that) so you might want to bear that in mind. There is little you can do about teething, other than to take steps to make your baby as comfortable as possible. It's something we all have to go through and there is nothing you can do to stop it. But knowing that it is the reason your baby is waking, and that it will pass, might be of some small consolation? Read this post for tips on coping with teething.
If your baby is unwell, sleep is going to be affected. It goes without saying really. Sometimes, your poorly baby might sleep a lot more than usual (and that can be a worry in itself) but sometimes, your poorly baby will wake a lot too. Read this post for tips on how to help a baby sleep through a cold - and contact your doctor if you are at all worried.
Too hot/ cold
Your baby cannot regulate her body temperature in the same way that you can, and she is also unable to snuggle down in her covers if she's feeling chilly. That's what you're there for. Being too hot or too cold is a major reason why some babies wake up at night but luckily there is a lot you can do about it. Check the temperature in your baby's room- ideally it should be between 16 and 20 degrees celsius. Use a basic room thermometer to keep an eye on it, then you can add or remove layers as necessary.
Some babies are lighter sleeper than others, and as they grow older they generally become more aware of sounds going on around them. Make sure that once it is bedtime, the rest of the family adhere to a bit of a tiptoe policy. Also make sure that there are no obvious distractions outside that could disturb sleep. If there are, you might want to consider a white noise machine or similar, which can block out theses noises.
Yes, we're afraid this is true. Your baby's personality has a lot to do with her sleep habits. We all have different personalities as adults, so why should babies be any different? Some babies find it harder to settle to sleep once they've woken up, and sometimes that can be attributed to their personality. If your baby is what they call a 'fussy' baby you might be able to put some of that down to personality once you've ruled out changing and feeding. For these situations, we recommend repeating the following: this too shall pass...