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Read some of our great articles on a range of parenting topics from sleeping to teething. We publish new blog posts regularly and feature a number of baby sleep experts and their top tips

Split nights and how to resolve them

Split nights and how to resolve them

Is your baby up for hours each night? 

It's 3am and your little one has been up for hours and is showing no signs of slowing down. You have tried everything! Rocking, feeding, patting, shhing, pretending to sleep yourself and nothing has worked.

When your baby is up for an extended period of time overnight, we call this a “Split Night”. So what causes a split night and what can we do about it? 

  • Look at the balance of your little one’s day and night sleep. It may be that they are having too much sleep in the day, so when it comes to the nighttime they are waking up ready for the day in the middle of the night. This is because their body is telling them they have already had enough sleep and now needs time awake to start building up their sleep pressure again so they can fall back asleep. 
  • Check your baby’s bedtime. Their bedtime may be too early so they are undertired when going to bed. This means they haven’t had enough awake time to build up enough sleep pressure to keep them asleep for the night. 
  • Is your baby having too little daytime sleep? Confusing I know, but if your baby isn’t getting enough sleep in the day and is going to bed overtired, this can also cause split nights. It is all about getting the sleep balance right for your child. 
  • Is your baby approaching a nap drop? This can cause split nights to occur as their day sleep needs are changing so some small tweaks are needed to their routine to help them progress through this nap drop. 

  • Has your little one learned a new skill? When they are learning a new skill, one of their favourite times to show it off, can be in the middle of the night. To help reduce this, practise this new skill lots in the day. 
  • How are you responding to the night wakings? When your baby wakes in the night, if they are happy just wait a moment and see what they do before going in to them, as they may resettle themselves. Sometimes when we go in straight away when they are happy, this can actually wake some children up more and cause the night waking to be longer but if your child has woken up upset, please go straight in and respond to their needs. 
  • Is your baby under 12 weeks old? At this age they have not regulated their body clock completely yet and may have their days and nights mixed up. You can help them switch it round by exposing them to lots of natural light in the day and having normal voices and then at night keep it nice and dark, calm and quiet. 

When making any changes to your child’s sleep, implement one change at a time and try it for 3-5 days to see what impact it makes.  

About Lauren Wilkinson:

My name is Lauren and I'm a Baby, Child and Autism Sleep Coach for children aged 0 to 10 years. After experiencing a range of sleep challenges with my two boys I was inspired to train as a sleep coach. I work one to one with families and create bespoke sleep plans to help them achieve their family's sleep goals, offering daily support and follow up calls so I can be there every step of the way.  

Lauren's website and Instagram can be found at these links.




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