It’s 4 AM and your 8 month old daughter has been awake for hours now. You’ve tried everything to settle her- rocking, singing, feeding, playing, but nothing seems to help.
For a parent, one of the most frustrating times of bringing up a baby is when he/she gets up frequently in the middle of the night. Most tired parents have already tried everything under the sun to fix the bad patches in their child’s sleep. But why do babies wake at night? Why won’t your baby sleep? Here are the 5 primary reasons:
- Developmental Milestones
Developmental milestones shift and change sleep. When your baby is learning how to roll, crawl, pull up, walk, talk, speak, understand or build a tower block, this can disrupt their night sleep. This is particularly true during the major periods of developments at 6, 8, 9 or 10 months of age. Most babies start rolling over at 4 months of age. The rolling milestone can translate into awakenings. At 6 months of age your baby is exploring the world, watching carefully, touching and putting all sorts of objects in the mouth. They’re also learning to sit at 6 months of age and these milestones often stir up awakenings.
Babies usually cut their first teeth between 3 and 6 months, and they come in over the next year and a half. This ends up being a major reason that toddlers keep waking up, because teeth grow at night.
- Wet Diapers
Probably your child drank too much liquid before bedtime; all that liquid has to go somewhere. Sometimes, diapers are not enough to hold it all, leaving your baby wet and unhappy. This could be also from an ill-fitting or a leaky diaper. You may want to try using a different size, night time diapers, double diapers or a diaper soaker. Your child might also be uncomfortable due to other conditions like itchy clothing, rashes, eczema or gastric upset due to formula feeds.
Being too hot or too cold can wake up your little one. It’s best to keep the room at an optimum temperature. Make sure your baby’s crib is not in the direct line of a heat source or an Ac and not under the fan.
- Sleep-wake pattern
Don’t be surprised if your baby wakes up once or twice in the middle of night despite all your efforts. All this is a part of being a baby and growing up. Babies wake up during the night because of a transition in their brain waves as they change cycles. These include a shift from REM stage of sleep to non-REM stages of sleep. Most babies will wake up and cry as they transition. Their body is still developing the normal human physiological responses and skills. Only a remarkable change in the sleep pattern should get you worries.