Updated: Mar 26
This common question is often worded in many different ways.
How can I get my baby to STAY asleep?
How can I get my baby to sleep through the night, WITHOUT waking up?
How can I STOP night wakings?
and so on....
For those of you that know me or have worked with me. I would never actually title a blog post 'How to STOP night wakings' as it doesn't actually make sense. The reality is, you CAN'T
BUT..... according to google this is a very popular search term.
1. YOU (the parent) can't actually cut down on the NIGHT WAKINGS or control them. Most of them are supposed to be there. I always get clients to keep a sleep journal PRIOR to talking with them. The reason for this? The pattern tells you a story. It tells you what is going on.
2. Waking up at night - is a NORMAL and HEALTHY part of sleep. Some wakings are harder to get through than others. Usually it's the wakings closer to the morning time. Where the drive to sleep is weaker. Which is why lots of infants struggle with EARLY RISING.
3. Another tricky waking is the first brief partial arousal that happens around 50 minutes into the nighttime sleep. Around the 6 month mark, when a baby is going through a NAP TRANSITION (3 naps to 2). They can often treat 'bedtime' as the last nap of the day (the one you are trying to drop!).
Want to see what a sleep log looks like and the story its telling you?
9:00pm: nursed to sleep (5 min) in rocking chair in bedroom. Fell asleep easily and transferred to crib. Sucked to sleep. So in this case, the breast is the prop, the 'SLEEP ASSOCIATION' is sucking.
9:45pm: awake and fussy. Rocked to sleep in my arms (approx. 10 min). Transferred to crib - this waking is supposed to be here - so you can NOT change that your baby wakes up here, you can only change what you do, when you baby wakes up here.
11:15pm: awake and crying. Nursed both sides for approx. 10 min each side. Rocked to sleep and transferred to crib approx. Waking up around the 11.30pm mark is very common, this is when infants go from a deeper sleep into a lighter sleep, the 11.30pm-12 midnight waking is a BIG one. This too, does not go away, you can't 'get rid of it', you can only change what you do so that you can change what your baby expects. Once in this lighter sleep, it will be light (active) until 5am. So you will see many after this time and sometimes you may feel like there is no pattern, but there is.
2:00am: awake and crying. Nursed approx. 10 min each side and fell asleep in my arms. Transferred to crib approx. 2:45am. Normal waking point, still in active sleep, again this waking WON'T go away.
6:15am: awake and crying. Nurse both sides approx. 7 min. Woke up for the day but looks tired/sleepy (big circles under her eyes). Anything after 6am is technically considered daytime. in this case, its probably not just the baby who had bags around their eyes.
Need help figuring out what your babies sleep pattern is telling you and how to change it?
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