Author Topic: 10 reasons (other than hunger) a baby can wake at night  (Read 36139 times)

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Offline Katet

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10 reasons (other than hunger) a baby can wake at night
« on: February 14, 2006, 03:19:20 am »
listed below are 10 of the main reasons a baby can wake at night... a very brief idea on how to fix has been included. The overall way to 'fix' is dependant on the baby & the fact that there are often multiple causes as none of the reasons are exclusive

*  Falling asleep with a Prop
> this includes bottle, breast, pacifier, rocking/walked to sleep & cases when the stroller, car or swing are needed almost all the time for a lo to fall asleep.
> If 'props' are used only on occasion then it is normally not a problem. Also with Paci use if it falls out/they spit it out before being in a deep sleep & sleep for long periods regularly, then it is not really a prop.

Fix through weaning from the prop.

* Regular 30-45 min day time naps
> If your lo always does short naps even if they can self settle, they may have not yet learnt to "self settle" into a new sleep cycle & thus need to go through the settling routine again with your help.

Fix through working on extending nap times in the day

* Overtired at bedtime
>This typically manifests its self as wakeups in the early part of the night (1-2hours after bedtime) & is due to insufficient day time sleep, or too long awake time in the evening

Fix by adjusting routine & working on naps

*Problems with day time feeds
>Too few feeds in babies under 3-4 months, they normally need to be taking at least 5 feeds in the 12 hours of "day time"
>Too many feeds in a baby over 4months old. Feeding too frequently can lead to snacking & stops the baby "storing up food for the night time" as they only feed enough to meet the immediate needs & don't stretch the tummy size.
>Distraction during day time feeds (4months +) so don't take a good feed.
>Introducing solids before the baby's digestive system is ready. It is a bit of a myth that solids help a baby sleep better, often it can make wakings worse as it upsets the tummy & can also prevent sufficient liquid/nutrient intake & so the baby ends up being thirsty & so wakes up anyway.

Fix by adjusting routine to age appropriate feeding timetable & for distracted feeding, use a dark, quiet place

* Developmental - milestones, illness, teething etc
> As babies learn a new skill they want to practice & so can wake up in the night & find themselves "crawling" around... they want to be asleep, but they also want to practice, so get upset due to frustration/tingly muscles etc.

Fix by giving lots of opportunities to practice in the day & for illness/teething act appropriately & try to maintain the routine as best as possible through the time

* Early Wakeups
> First nap too early in the day, so is robbing from night-time sleep

Fix by delaying the time of the first nap

* Awake time not long enough
> If the Wake time is too short for the age of the baby it can result in short naps & not gaining enough "accumulated" tiredness to ensure good night sleep

Fix, make sure that the awake time is appropriate for the baby's age

* Separation Anxiety ( from about 7months on)
> The baby has the need to be reassured that the mother/parent will return and that they will get their needs met.

Fix DO NOT ignore the baby, spend as much time as possible with the baby & respond to his/her needs promptly & with care. It is not them being manipulative, it is a genuine developmental stage & to ignore this need can prompt more sleep problems.

* Inconsistent routine/ Poor Bedtime/naptime routines
> responding sometimes & letting them cry for longer other times, they get confused & not sure what to do
>not having a good wind-down routine, baby settling by means of props

Fix keep a consistent routine & if you make changes do them 100% of the time

* Rushing in too quickly when the baby makes a noise
> when the baby is talking/chatting/ soft whine, it may be a "self settling" activity in a baby that can self sooth at other times

Fix learn what your baby's cries sound like & determine when to respond... if in doubt count to 20/50/100 before you respond so as to not rush in... Always respond to a full blown cry
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05