Sleeping through the night! Does that ever really happen when you have a baby? Absolutely! Unfortunately, unless you’re a baby sleep whisperer or the French mom with the secret head massaging ability to put her baby to sleep in seconds, setting a perfect sleep schedule can sound like an impossible task.
Three Common Reasons Babies Wake Up at Night
- Diaper change
- “Out of Routine” Discomfort
Would YOU feel comfortable sleeping in wet or soiled underpants? Well, guess what? Your baby doesn’t like it either. Crying is your baby’s only way of telling you about it so checking their diaper condition should be one of the first things you go through when you’re woken up at night with a shrieking scream.
Even adults can behave irrationally when they’re hungry. Some babies who are on a specific eating schedule will wake up as soon as they are ready to eat. However, there are studies that show many benefits for moms and babies who feed on demand, rather than schedule. Obviously, the choice is yours.
Most parents have a daily routine. Whatever it is, they tend to apply the same rituals with their baby on a daily basis. When a major change occurs, babies sense disorder with their body and usually voice it at their most vulnerable time – during their sleep phase.
Major changes can be anything from missed naps to too many naps or even over feeding. Sometimes “growth spurts” can be the culprit or even environmental conditions the baby may not be comfortable with. More likely than not, your baby’s outbursts may be due to some unfamiliar change the baby is just not happy about. I guess you just go with the flow and be ready to have a sleepless not, if your baby is completely irritated by it.
Possible Reasons Babies Suddenly Have Trouble Sleeping
Sometimes the 3 steps mentioned above are not enough to settle your baby down, but he or she still won’t stop crying. Unfortunately, there may be more serious reasons for these cries:
Feel your baby’s skin and see if you notice a rise in their body temperature. A thermometer is always very helpful. The rise in temperature for babies can be caused by any of the following reasons:
- Reaction to vaccinations
Babies who cry uncontrollably, sometimes with their arms and legs flailing, and their back arched back as far as they could make it go, are usually telling you they have a tummy problem. Colic can occur in the first four months of the baby’s life. It is unknown exactly as to what causes colic. However, preventative measures are always helpful:
- Have baby elevated when eating.
- Have the bottle elevated as much as possible to reduce air in the nipple area.
- Burp the baby after every 2 to 4 ounces.
- Have the baby upright for at least 30 to 45 minutes after feeding before allowing him/her to lay down
Baby growth spurts can happen at any time, sometimes without much warning. The more common times occur during these periods:
- The first 6 weeks of the babies life
- After 3 months
- After 4 months
- After 6 months
- After 9 months
During these periods, you might notice your baby wanting more food, sleeping more often, and sometimes crying more than usual. It usually takes place anywhere from 48 to 72 hours. So brace yourself for 3 days with the possible chance of even less sleep!
The need to practice
Babies who learn a new skill are known to have reached a “milestone.” This means they either develop a new skill or step into a new phase in their development. When this happens, they become very excited about their new found skill and can’t sleep due to it. It is very much the same situation adults often go through when something new and exciting happens in their lives. The excitement is too much that they just cannot sleep.
Babies need a sufficient amount of sleep throughout the day. Otherwise, you too will have an increased amount of sleep deprivation. So how much sleep does your baby need?
- 15 to 16 hours during their first month
- 14 to 15 hours during their first 4 months
- 14 hours from 4 to 9 months
- 13 to 14 hours from 9 to 12 months
- 13 hours from 1 to 2 years
- 12 hours from 2 to 3 years
- 10 to 12 hours from 3 to 6 years
Any disruption in a baby’s routine can cause overstimulation, which can cause fussiness. You WILL know when they are out of their comfort zone and sometimes this discomfort can be passed on when the baby refuses to let anyone else sleep!
So there you have it. Unfortunately, there is really no surefire way to make sure your household gets a good night sleep when a baby is in the house, but at least this post will help educate you on trying to work out what your options are before you hit the panic button.