It’s the holy grail of early parenthood, the question on every parent’s lips (especially the many breastfeeding Mums whose husbands and their useless nipples are unable to share the night-time load) When Will My Baby Sleep Through the Night? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer, there are so many variables, but I’ll give you 5 reasons I see as a sleep consultant as to why babies are waking through the night, see if you can spot the reason your baby is waking.
- Age – This seems a little obvious, but very young babies are often physically unable to sleep through the night without a feed, and it’s quite normal for some babies to need one feed overnight until around 6-7 months.
- Inability to link sleep cycles – The ability to roll over and go back to sleep when baby wakes between sleep cycles is a learned skill. If we haven’t helped them to figure this out yet chances are, they’re going to need our help to be able to go back to sleep whenever they wake overnight, possibly every 2 hours or less.
- Sleep associations – If baby relies on something to get to sleep at the start of the night, they will probably need the same thing to be able to return to sleep between sleep cycles. Some of the most common sleep associations I see are feeding, rocking and motion.
- Sleep environment issues – Whether it’s too hot, too cold, too bright or too noisy, there’s often something we can do to improve night sleep by tweaking baby’s sleep environment a little.
- Overtiredness – It seems counterintuitive but if your baby is overtired, whether because of nap issues, late bedtime or early morning wake ups or all of the above, this will have a direct impact on night sleep.
The good news is that night sleep issues are often improved quickly once we have all the pieces in place, so once we figure out why baby is waking, then we know how to go about solving the issue and we can get you sleeping again! Get in touch for some help with night sleep!