5 Reasons Why your Baby is waking at night!


1. Teething! – Often teething can be the cause of wakefulness in a baby who has previously been sleeping well or worsen sleep for a baby who already had disrupted sleep patterns. You can usually pick this one as a cause for night wakes as if a baby is teething, they are usually also unsettled through the day, in their waking hours. I suggest some pain relief at bedtime, and potentially through the night, along with some additional comfort. If this does not resolve the issue, and Bub is generally happy in the day, the night waking issues are unlikely due to teething.

2. Developmental Leaps – These often cause a sudden worsening in sleep, you will notice that wake-ups caused by a developmental milestone usually present as playing, generally between 2-4 am It will seem as though they are having a great old time in their cot, singing, clapping, crawling around etc. There is also likely to be an early wake present (5 am). The best practice here is to help them practice the skills they are trying to master. Usually, the wake-ups that were caused by developmental leaps will settle down as soon as the new skill is developed. Common ages for this one are 4 months (rolling) 8 months (pulling to standing/crawling) and 12 months (walking).

3. Overtired – Overtiredness will typically be more of an issue for a baby under 9 months of age. You can identify this one as the cause of your baby’s night waking if you are seeing repeated wakes or “false starts” before midnight. Accompanying this type of wake-up is sudden sharp crying that sounds like pain and often bub has naps of under 45 minutes through the day or has an excessively long awake period before bed for their age.

4. Genuine Hunger – oftentimes in a younger baby the reason for their wake is genuine hunger! There are a lot of baby sleep blogs/books and programs out there that suggest that once your baby hits 6 months they can sleep through the night. This is not always the case and depends on their weight solid intake, and personal development. Babies in most cases under the age of 8-9 months DO still need a night feed. So if you are trying to resettle, bub resettles but is awake again within an hour looking to be fed, consider this a genuine cause. Look at the amount and productivity of day feeds and solid intake so that you can confidently resettle back to sleep without feeding.

5. Sleep Associations If your baby is over 3 months, this is a big reason for waking, especially when you have ruled out all of the above, they are not hot or cold or have a wet nappy. Consider how you are settling your baby to sleep, and if the thing that is present at bedtime is still a constant for bub through the night. I.e. Do you turn the light off after they have fallen asleep, does the dummy fall out, does the white noise turn off after 40 minutes? Much like we may fall asleep in front of the TV and our partner turns it off, we wake up not immediately but at our next light sleep phase, often with shock because something in our environment has changed from when we fell asleep.

If you have addressed all of these and still feel like you are getting no improvement, get in touch, I am happy to have a chat on the phone (obligation-free) and identify some probable causes for your family.