Last updated on June 5th, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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Hi, Kim West, the Sleep Lady and in this video blog I’m going to answer this mom’s question:

“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 -month 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.”

Identify the Sleep Issue

There are quite a few things I want to point out here. First of all, going to sleep and waking up multiple times during the night is still all related to the same problem. You didn’t say here whether at bed time she goes in awake or whether you hold or rock her to sleep and then she’s waking up many times throughout the night.

wakes up at nightUsually when I see a child who goes right to sleep and then begins waking up many times throughout the night, little warning bells go off . It usually means that the baby is not awake enough when put in the crib or bed. It’s the same situation which you said here: your baby goes to sleep fine but wakes up 30 minutes later. Again I hear warning bells and would go back, redo bed time and make sure they’re more awake at bed time and not so drowsy that they fall right to sleep.

How Awake Is Your Child At Bedtime?

Being awake at bedtime critical. That’s the easiest time to fall asleep. And you don’t want to trick her so that she wakes up after that first little 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 to soothe me because I don’t know how to do it by myself.”

I would make sure that she’s awake enough at bedtime, and of course I would rule out any underlying medical problems like reflux, allergies, asthma, or anything that could be happening that could be causing such frequent wakenings. Again, this issue probably is strictly behavioral, but you always want to rule out any possible medical conditions.

Once you’ve got a handle on how to put her to bed more awake, I would start sleep coaching at bed time after a great day of naps. Make sure that you’ve reviewed the Ten Steps to Take before Starting Sleep Coaching. If you do all those things, you’re absolutely going to have sleep success and a good night sleep.
I hope that helps.

Video filmed by In Focus Studios

If you’ve experienced a child waking up several times throughout the night please share your experiences on The Sleep Lady’s Facebook Page. Supporting each other makes parenting so much easier!

photo credit: abardwell via photopin cc

Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!