My Baby Wakes Up Constantly Throughout the Night!
A mom wrote in with a question we hear often. This baby wakes up constantly, and her mom is ready to solve her baby’s sleep problems.
“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 wakes up constantly 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.
“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 up constantly at night, you’ll need to:
- Make sure your baby goes to bed awake
- Learn about Drowsy But Awake
- Begin sleep training at night
When a Baby Wakes Up 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.
Is night weaning your issue?
Read: Night Weaning After Six Months: How to Gently End Night Feedings
Have no idea where to begin solving your child’s sleep issues?
Start with this guide.
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.”
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.
Wondering about Drowsy But Awake?
Read: Drowsy But Awake — The Cornerstone of Successful Sleep Training
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. If you do all these things, you’re absolutely going to have sleep success and get a good night’s sleep yourself.
Want to know more about beginning sleep coaching?
Read: Ten Steps to Take before Starting Sleep Coaching