Help! My Baby Wakes Up Constantly Throughout the Night

  • 1
  • October 08, 2013
baby wakes up constantly

baby wakes up constantly

Hi, I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady. In this video blog I’ll help a mom whose baby wakes up constantly.

“My daughter has turned just seven months old and has never slept through the night. Her problem is not going to sleep at bed time in her crib. Her problem is that she’s constantly waking up through the night between 7 and 10 times. Sometimes she wakes up every 30 minutes to an hour and after 10pm she wakes up every two hours.

“And if I put her down in her crib, it’s even worse. As soon as I leave the room, within 5 minutes, she wakes up. When she was 5 months old after reading a book, I tried letting her cry. She finally fell asleep after two hours but within a 5-minute window, she woke up and started crying again. I want and need to sleep coach desperately but I don’t know what to do. All the books and all other parents only talk about how to put them to sleep but not about what to do when they constantly wake up. It’s been seven months and I need sleep.”

When a Baby Wakes Constantly At Night…

There are quite a few things I want to point out about your baby’s waking problem. First of all, going to sleep and waking up multiple times during the night are both related to the same root problem. You didn’t stay whether she goes into her bed awake, or whether you’re holding, rocking, or feeding her to sleep and then she’s waking up a million times.

Usually when I see a child where the parent says that bedtime’s a piece of cake, but the baby wakes up a million times at night, little bells go off in my head. What that usually means that baby is not awake enough at bedtime. The same goes for a baby who goes to sleep okay at bed time but then wakes up 30 minutes later, which is also what you said here. Again that makes my alarm bells go off and I say: go back, redo bed time and make sure that she’s more awake at bed time.

How to Stop a Baby Waking at Night

Make sure that your baby is “drowsy but awake” at bedtime — this is critical. That’s the easiest time to fall asleep. You don’t want to trick her, or your baby wakes up after that first little sleep cycle and says, “Oh my gosh. What am I doing in here? Where’s mom? I don’t know how to put myself to sleep. You have to get in here. Do that thing you do. I don’t know how to do it by myself.”

RELATED: Drowsy But Awake — The Cornerstone of Successful Sleep Training

Make sure that you put her down drowsy but awake. Of course I would rule out any underlying medical problems just to be sure, such as reflux or allergies, asthma, or anything that could be happening that may be causing your baby’s frequent awakenings. Again, this baby sleep problem could be strictly behavioral, but you always want to rule medical issues out.

Start Sleep Coaching at Night

Start sleep coaching her at a night. Make sure that you start the new bedtime routine after a great day of naps. Get those naps any way you can so that you begin bedtime with a well-rested baby. I would encourage you to read this article: Ten Steps to Take before Starting Sleep Coaching. If you do all these things, you’re absolutely going to have sleep success and get a good night’s sleep yourself.

Good luck!

 

Video filmed by In Focus Studios

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12 Comments

  • breefawn says:

    That sounds incredibly frustrating, AliMcCaw! Is it possible that she’s going through a http://www.sleeplady.com/baby-sleep-problems/pre-toddler-sleep-regression/ or perhaps teething? I would post your question on http://www.facebook.com/thesleeplady where one of our amazing Sleep Coaches can help you to problem solve. Good luck!

  • breefawn says:

    That sounds incredibly frustrating, AliMcCaw! Is it possible that she’s going through a http://www.sleeplady.com/baby-sleep-problems/pre-toddler-sleep-regression/ or perhaps teething? I would post your question on http://www.facebook.com/thesleeplady where one of our amazing Sleep Coaches can help you to problem solve. Good luck!

  • breefawn says:

    icklemonster It’s possible that she’s experiencing another http://www.sleeplady.com/baby-sleep-problems/sleep-regression-just-a-phase/ or teething. 6 months is also the perfect time to begin sleep coaching. I would post your daughter’s schedule and challenges on The Sleep Lady http://www.facebook.com/thesleeplady and ask this week’s Gentle Sleep Coach what she recommends. It’s also possible that your daughter is used to being put to sleep a certain way. Check out http://www.kidsinthehouse.com/video/what-sleep-crutch for more info 🙂

  • breefawn says:

    icklemonster It’s possible that she’s experiencing another http://www.sleeplady.com/baby-sleep-problems/sleep-regression-just-a-phase/ or teething. 6 months is also the perfect time to begin sleep coaching. I would post your daughter’s schedule and challenges on The Sleep Lady http://www.facebook.com/thesleeplady and ask this week’s Gentle Sleep Coach what she recommends. It’s also possible that your daughter is used to being put to sleep a certain way. Check out http://www.kidsinthehouse.com/video/what-sleep-crutch for more info 🙂

  • Mayling says:

    My baby boy just turned 10 months a couple days ago. For over 3 months he has not slept normally at night at all. Our normal routine is for him to sleep 2 naps per day which are on average 1-1.5 hrs each (he transitioned from 3 down to 2 a couple months ago). His routine has always been: eat, bath, small bottle at bedtime, then bedtime at 2030. In the past he would wake up only once at night for a diaper change. Now he wakes up every 1-2 hours. When he wakes up, he is sitting up and crying to go back to sleep. He looks drowsy and upset that he can’t sleep. I lay him down, give him his pacifier, pat him on the back and then he closes his eyes and tries to sleep. I walk out of the room and then sometimes he wakes up again a couple minutes later or 1-2 hrs later. I do it all over again and i watch him try to sleep. The majority of the time he tosses and turns and kicks. So by then he is wide awake, so i pick him up and rock him and then when he is drowsy, i put him down. We do this about 6-7 times per night! So, eventually it made me so exhausted and now i have been taking him into our bed around the 4th time so we can all sleep, but even when he is in our bed about 50% of the time he tosses and turns and whimpers because he can’t sleep! I’ve been researching and saw that maybe he needs to sleep earlier and to watch his cues…so i have been starting his night time routine 30 min earlier so he can get into bed 20-30 min earlier. Sometimes it takes 20-30 min just to get him to fall asleep. In the past it only took about 10-15 min. This isn’t a problem if he needs a bit more comforting and cuddle time, but the frequent wake-ups are making us all tired! I keep thinking this is norml because of hitting milestones, but it seems like this time it’s more than just 2 weeks and he has already perfect rolling, sitting up, and pulling to a stand! So, what more is he trying to practice and perfect during bedtime? We give him lots of opportunities to practice during the day. Help us please!

  • Mayling says:

    My baby boy just turned 10 months a couple days ago. For over 3 months he has not slept normally at night at all. Our normal routine is for him to sleep 2 naps per day which are on average 1-1.5 hrs each (he transitioned from 3 down to 2 a couple months ago). His routine has always been: eat, bath, small bottle at bedtime, then bedtime at 2030. In the past he would wake up only once at night for a diaper change. Now he wakes up every 1-2 hours. When he wakes up, he is sitting up and crying to go back to sleep. He looks drowsy and upset that he can’t sleep. I lay him down, give him his pacifier, pat him on the back and then he closes his eyes and tries to sleep. I walk out of the room and then sometimes he wakes up again a couple minutes later or 1-2 hrs later. I do it all over again and i watch him try to sleep. The majority of the time he tosses and turns and kicks. So by then he is wide awake, so i pick him up and rock him and then when he is drowsy, i put him down. We do this about 6-7 times per night! So, eventually it made me so exhausted and now i have been taking him into our bed around the 4th time so we can all sleep, but even when he is in our bed about 50% of the time he tosses and turns and whimpers because he can’t sleep! I’ve been researching and saw that maybe he needs to sleep earlier and to watch his cues…so i have been starting his night time routine 30 min earlier so he can get into bed 20-30 min earlier. Sometimes it takes 20-30 min just to get him to fall asleep. In the past it only took about 10-15 min. This isn’t a problem if he needs a bit more comforting and cuddle time, but the frequent wake-ups are making us all tired! I keep thinking this is norml because of hitting milestones, but it seems like this time it’s more than just 2 weeks and he has already perfect rolling, sitting up, and pulling to a stand! So, what more is he trying to practice and perfect during bedtime? We give him lots of opportunities to practice during the day. Help us please!

  • breefawn says:

    Mayling Some sleep regressions can last as long as 6 weeks. I would suggest that you post your question on http://www.facebook.com/thesleeplady so that the Featured Gentle Sleep Coach can help you. Good luck!

  • breefawn says:

    Mayling Some sleep regressions can last as long as 6 weeks. I would suggest that you post your question on http://www.facebook.com/thesleeplady so that the Featured Gentle Sleep Coach can help you. Good luck!

  • emilyd1989 says:

    My lb is a year old at the end of March he has never really slept since day 3 he used to scream constantly he was diagnosed with milk allergy and reflux at 7-8 weeks but once he started Nutramigen AA his screaming fits subsided and his mood was such much better. But his sleep has always been bad he only sleeps 20-30 mins naps he has 1-2 naps a day but night time is awful sometimes he will have a bottle before going into his cot to sleep sometimes he wont.even have a bottle of milk (he doesnt like the milk and most he will have is 5oz) but he will wake constantly throughout the night from.1-2am i have tried lots i do not pick him up out his cot i lay him back down i let him cry it out i have sat on the floor by his cot done all the sshh shh and patting he will fall back to sleep but will wake again from a few mins – 2hr later but i am constantly in and out of bed. I do not know what to do anymore,i do not understand why he wakes so much he only has one or two 20min to half hour naps a day. I need help/suggestions in what i can do to maybe sort his sleep.problem so we both get a good nights sleep! Thank you

  • emilyd1989 says:

    My lb is a year old at the end of March he has never really slept since day 3 he used to scream constantly he was diagnosed with milk allergy and reflux at 7-8 weeks but once he started Nutramigen AA his screaming fits subsided and his mood was such much better. But his sleep has always been bad he only sleeps 20-30 mins naps he has 1-2 naps a day but night time is awful sometimes he will have a bottle before going into his cot to sleep sometimes he wont.even have a bottle of milk (he doesnt like the milk and most he will have is 5oz) but he will wake constantly throughout the night from.1-2am i have tried lots i do not pick him up out his cot i lay him back down i let him cry it out i have sat on the floor by his cot done all the sshh shh and patting he will fall back to sleep but will wake again from a few mins – 2hr later but i am constantly in and out of bed. I do not know what to do anymore,i do not understand why he wakes so much he only has one or two 20min to half hour naps a day. I need help/suggestions in what i can do to maybe sort his sleep.problem so we both get a good nights sleep! Thank you

  • breefawn says:

    emilyd1989  That sounds frustrating! Please post your question on http://www.facebook.com/thesleeplady so that the Gentle Sleep Coach can help you 🙂

  • breefawn says:

    emilyd1989  That sounds frustrating! Please post your question on http://www.facebook.com/thesleeplady so that the Gentle Sleep Coach can help you 🙂