If your baby wakes up every hour of the night, don’t worry – here are 5 things you can do to get things back to normal.
Your little one is a total delight by day. However, by night, she transforms into a noisy alarm clock that won’t let you get a wink of sleep.
So, is there a way to get your baby to sleep longer and eventually sleep through the night?
I have the answer in the blog post below.
Let’s dive in!
Practice putting your baby down in the crib drowsy but awake
If your baby is old enough to start sleeping long stretches at night, you should try teaching her how to fall asleep on her own.
Practice putting her down in the crib drowsy but awake when she’s on her way to falling asleep, but she’s not there yet. Her eyes are still open, and she’s in a relaxed state.
When you notice she’s drowsy, put her in her bed, to fall asleep on her own. By doing so, she will know exactly where she is when she wakes up in the night. And she’ll know how to fall back asleep because that’s what she did at bedtime.
One good way to get your baby in a drowsy and relaxed state is to establish a calming bedtime routine. Give her a warm bath, read her a story, and cuddle for a few minutes before you put her down in her crib.
Another common reason why your baby wakes up every hour is that she may be having too little day sleep. An overtired baby can result in an unsettled baby.
One way of making sure your child is not overtired is by setting awake times. Striking the right balance between awake time and sleep time is beneficial to babies.
Every baby has a different sleep pattern. You need to understand your baby’s sleep cycle and bring it in conformity with the suggested guidelines. As a general rule, you should use the guidelines in the table below.
As your baby gets older, her awake times will increase, her naps will get longer, and the number of naps she needs will gradually decrease.
Increase daytime feedings
Babies might be waking up multiple times at night for many reasons, and one of those reasons is because they want a night feed.
Your baby can feel hungry due to a growth spurt or out of habit.
When babies are still in the womb, they literally eat every time the mother eats. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that she needs frequent feeds to sustain her fast-paced growth.
To make sure your baby doesn’t wake up due to hunger, try increasing the number of daytime feedings.
Here are some general guidelines for baby feeding:
- Most newborns usually drink 1 to 2 ounces and eat every 2 to 3 hours, or 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.
- When they reach 2 months, babies usually take 4 to 5 ounces per feeding every 3 to 4 hours.
- Four-month-old babies usually take 4 to 6 ounces per feeding.
- Six-month-old babies may be taking up to 8 ounces every 4 to 5 hours.
It’s also possible for your baby to not need the night feedings anymore but still feel hungry due to a habit of being fed at that time.
If your baby is older than six months and is developing well, you can consider night weaning if she’s breastfed, or phasing out night feeds if she’s bottle-fed. Most six-month-olds are getting sufficient food during the day for healthy growth and development, so feel free to skip the night feedings.
Try making tweaks in your little one’s sleep environment
Babies are delicate little people who need a carefully designed sleep environment that supports long and healthy sleep. If your baby wakes up every hour of every night, a quick and easy fix is to make sure their room is conducive to sleep.
Here are a few tips:
- Keep the room at an ideal temperature, which is 68-72°/19-21°.
- When the baby was in your tummy, there was constant white noise. Consequently, she finds white noise relaxing and soothing. You can easily create a womb-like sleep environment by getting a sound machine and playing some white noise.
- The quality of sleep is much higher in a room that is dark. Consider getting blackout curtains if your nursery gets plenty of light during the daytime.
Teach your little one how to soothe herself
Ideally, you want to teach your baby how to fall asleep on her own, even without you in the room. When she learns how to sleep-soothe, she’ll start sleeping longer stretches a night, and eventually sleep all throughout the night. This ensures that you, too, will get a night of sound sleep and wake up all refreshed and ready to seize the day.
No good comes out of teaching your baby to self-soothe if you rush the process. Just like the process of sleep-training your little one, take one step at a time. No matter what technique you choose to try, it is important to stay consistent for 8-10 days to see if it’s working.