Why your baby keeps waking up at night! If your baby suddenly begins waking up at night and is at least 4 months old, you are probably a little frustrated. You did “all the right things” and followed these quick and easy newborn sleep tips. Your sweet little one was sleeping 7 to 8 hours at a time. But all of a sudden, it seems like you have taken 2 steps back! Why does your baby keep waking up at night?
First off, you’re not alone. These are a few common reasons for why your baby keeps waking up at night. We’ve pretty much seen them all in this household. It’s not that this is a checklist. But it kind of is? Going through this list will hopefully help you solve the mystery of night waking for babies over 4 months of age. Crying at night that interrupts your sleep can be one of the most difficult parts of parenthood. Whether you are a working mom or stay at home mom, everyone needs a good night’s sleep to be the most productive! Your baby is learning how to communicate, and all they know how to do is cry. It’s up to you to figure out what’s wrong, so you can all go back to a full night of zzzzz. Well, with our help, of course 🙂 Here we go!
Why does my baby wake up crying at night? Teething could be the culprit. Teething is probably the number one reason why our kids woke up in the middle of the night randomly. It’s super sneaky because you can’t actually SEE the teeth right away. Not to mention, there are some surprising signs of teething that your pediatrician doesn’t always tell you. If they seem drooly, have bad stools, and sound like they are in pain – they might be teething. If we thought it was teething, we gave them Children’s Tylenol before bed to help at night (following pediatrician recommendations, of course).
She is hungry. This goes without saying, but I thought I would point out, that your baby might just be hungry. If your baby is going through a growth spurt, she might need one more feeding to get her through the night. You’ll know if she’s not hungry if she just sucks a couple of times and then falls back asleep. Or, if she plays with the nipple but doesn’t actually eat. It doesn’t hurt to offer. If she doesn’t take the breast or bottle, then you know she’s not hungry.
The room is too cold. Perhaps there has been a change in season or perhaps you are visiting family and they keep their house at a different temperature than your baby is used to. Either way, your baby might not be dressed properly for the room they are sleeping in, which caused them to wake up. We ran into this on our roadtrip this past summer. I check my baby’s temperature by feeling their legs. If their legs and feet feel cold to me, I adjust how they are sleeping. We love the sleep sacks like this one, adding socks, or one of these transition suits for post-swaddling
Your baby is sweating because it’s too warm. On the contrary, the room might be too warm for your baby. Does your baby wake up sweaty when you take off the swaddle? Or when you get him in the middle of the night to feed him? We had a late-April baby in Texas. And I could NOT put him in cute jammies AND the swaddle because he was just too hot. If the room is too hot, either turn down the A/C, remove a layer (like don’t put them in jammies – only swaddle them) or try a fan in the room. This fan works for both baby’s nursery or on a stroller for long walks. Plus, you get the added benefit of white noise.
Your baby has an ear infection. Does your baby seem to be in pain, pulling on his/her ear or have a fever? It might be time to call the nurse’s hotline if the symptoms persist. We had a triple whammy of teeth coming in, sickness, and an ear infection all at the same time. I’m just saying – don’t be surprised if it’s multiple reasons!
A chance of sickness. Many babies over 6 months of age are beginning to put everything in their mouths. Because of this, your baby has an increased chance of getting sick. Keep on top of washing your little one’s hands if they are sucking on their fingers (which they probably are). Try to keep sick kids away from your baby as much as possible! You might just have to ride this one out. If my babies were sick with a head cold, this thing was awesome to literally suck the snot out of them so they wouldn’t have as much trouble breathing at night (my husband refuses to use it, but he insists I do… haha). Also, a little Breathe essential oil on their feet seemed to help as well.
Sleep Regression It might be your baby is having a sleep regression. There’s one at 4 months, 8-10 months, and then at a year too. Try this article from the Baby Sleep Site about sleep regressions for more info! If it’s a sleep regression, you might also like this fantastic product for babies.
Separation Anxiety Babies under 1 year old don’t understand object permanence yet. In other words, they don’t understand that you will always return after you leave. So, if they knew you were in the room when they fell asleep, they may suddenly be scared if you’re no longer in the room. Practicing a good bedtime routine helps with this issue. If your baby is experiencing separation anxiety and seems scared, then do your best to comfort them and not let them get too upset before going to them. Then start trying to change your bedtime routine with the tips below.Hint: Follow the tip to put your baby to bed drowsy, not asleep and this will help. At least they will see you leave, and they won’t think you left them while they were sleeping. Also, you could try playing games like peek-a-boo to teach him you’ll always come back.
Tips to get baby to sleep through the night by themselves Here are some tips to help when your baby keeps waking up at night:•Put your baby to bed drowsy, not asleep.•Don’t take them out of their crib when putting them down for naps or at night.•If they are crying, go to their room and gently pat them. Give them a pacifier or other “lovey” if they have one. If you take them out of the crib, they will think they are rewarded for crying because they get mommy/daddy time. •If they wake up in the middle of the night crying for more than 5 to 10 min, have daddy pick up the baby and rock back mostly to sleep. There have been added sleep benefits of dad helping with the baby found in this study! •Don’t change a wet diaper at night.
•Establish an E.A.S.Y. to follow schedule for your baby. •Keep the light off when you’re in the room. •Use a white noise machine to create a quality sleeping environment that means SLEEP. •Be as BORING and as quiet as possible. •Replace the paci in their mouth and then head back out of the room. I know you already know this, mama, but if you think your baby has a physical issue that needs medical attention, you should consult your pediatrician’s office for professional advice. Reading blogs like this does not substitute for any medical diagnosis.