Learn why babies can be restless when they should be sleeping!
Very few babies sleep through the night from birth. So, if your baby often 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 mainly due to hunger, as their tummies are so small that they need to be filled more regularly than ours do. But how do you make sense of a baby that wakes a little more often than the 'average' baby?
Here Are Five Reasons Why Your Baby Wakes Up At Night.
Your Baby is Teething
This is one of the most common causes for your baby to be restless at night. Teething can account for so much in a baby's first year. You may have seen this 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, 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. Knowing that it is the reason why your baby is waking, and that it will pass, might be of some small consolation.
Read this post for tips on coping with teething.
Your Baby Is Ill
If your baby is unwell, it goes without saying that sleep is going to be affected. Sometimes, your poorly baby might sleep a lot more than usual, which can be a worry in itself but at other times, your poorly baby might 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.
Is Your Baby Too Hot or Too Cold?
Your baby cannot regulate their own body temperature in the same way that adults can and they are also unable to snuggle down under the covers if they are 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.
Loud Noises Can Affect Baby Sleep
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 quiet policy. Make sure too that there are no obvious distractions outside the room that could disturb sleep – loud dogs barking, traffic noises, the TV blaring. If there are, you might want to consider a white noise machine or similar, which can block out these noises.
Your baby's personality has a lot to do with their 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...