Most new parents expect to have some sleepless nights when their baby is first born. Babies only have tiny stomachs and can only eat small amounts every three to four hours. This means they will wake up more than once during the night. However, as they grow, they can take more milk at each feed, and so will need fewer feeds during the night. After about six to eight weeks, some babies will start sleeping for eight hours straight and drop the middle-of-the-night feed, giving their parents some much need relief. But even those who do drop this night feed, may start to wake up during the night again after a few months. This can be devastating to those moms and dads just starting to get used to sleeping again. So what causes babies to wake during the night? Below are a few reasons.
Your Baby is Hungry
Even if your baby has been managing to sleep for eight hours a night for a while, there may be times when he wakes up because of hunger, especially if going through a growth spurt. If your baby is sucking at his hands and crying during the night, it could be that he is hungry. Try giving him a feed and see if that helps him to get back to sleep.
Your Baby is Teething
Teething begins at different times for different babies, and some are even born with teeth. In general, teething begins when babies are around six months old, but it is not uncommon for the symptoms of teething to begin bothering babies before they are four months old. If your baby wakes up with a flushed cheek and red gums, it may be that he is feeling the pain of a tooth coming through. It is best not to give a baby under three months old any painkilling medication unless directed to do so by a pediatrician. A cool rubber ring to chew on is recommended.
Your Baby is Scratching His Face
Babies often wake up at night because they have scratched their skin with sharp fingernails, which grow very quickly. The people at CozeeCoo recommend a safe sleep swaddle that will keep baby’s arms by his side at night while allowing him freedom to move his legs. This type of swaddle also allows for easy diaper changes during the night should they be required.
Your Baby is Uncomfortable
Some babies wake up during the night because they are either too hot or too cold. The discomfort they feel causes them to wake up. The ideal temperature in a bedroom where a baby is sleeping is between 68 and 72 degrees. You can monitor the temperature of the room and adjust it as needed (if possible). Alternatively, add or remove clothing or blankets to make your baby more comfortable. That should help to improve sleep.
Your Baby is Experiencing Sleep Regression
At around four months of age, many babies will experience what is known as sleep regression. This can happen because of a growth spurt or because of developments within the brain. Unfortunately for parents, this development and growth can affect their baby’s sleep pattern and cause them to start waking up during the night when they were previously sleeping well. This shift in sleep pattern can last anywhere between two and four weeks before baby starts to get into the routine of sleeping through again. It can be a tough time for parents, but know that it will not last forever. Also, be prepared for other sleep regressions that may occur at 8 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months.