It’s among the most sought-after answers to an age-old question – why isn’t my baby sleeping through the night? We’ve uncovered eight reasons why that might be happening which will hopefully help bub settle for the night and ensure everyone in the household gets a better night’s sleep.
Bub has wind
If your little one is grimacing in his sleep and lifting his legs to his tummy frequently, it could be from tummy pain. We all know how a stomach ache can easily interrupt a decent night’s sleep. You can try different exercises to help alleviate wind such as the ‘bicycle’ move with his legs or consult a doctor if you suspect ongoing reflux.
Bub is too hot
It’s summer and there’s no denying it’s hot out there! One of the most common reasons why your little one could be waking up is simply because she’s too warm. Most babies sleep best when they are swaddled, but swaddles can be heavy. A soft, breathable fabric is ideal for the warmer months.
Bub is hungry
During the first few months, your baby will need to feed often which means you will be getting up throughout the night. It can be hard to know if bub is hungry or simply wants to suck to help him fall back to sleep but in time you will learn to understand his cues.
Bub is confused about routine
Some babies will have day and night mixed up. If bub is sleeping longer than four hours at a time during the day, you might consider waking her up. At night, close the curtains so she knows it’s night time. It can take a couple of weeks to get her out of this routine but you will get there. Following a strict “eat, play, sleep” routine can also help get her system on the right sleep schedule.
Bub is overtired and overstimulated
You know the feeling when you are so tired but you just can’t sleep. This happens with little ones too. This was probably the biggest obstacle I had to tackle with both of my kids and the only way out of it was to watch for the tired signs and put my babies to bed as soon as I noticed the indicators. Some days it worked. Others days it didn’t. Don’t be too hard on yourself or your little one if you don’t get it right every day. Most days you will.
Bub is uncomfortable
Sleeping on a wet surface is not nice, so it’s only natural for your little one to wake up if he is wet or dirty. A quick nappy check and change can sort this out super speedily.
Bub is unable to self settle to sleep
Some babies are born great sleepers. Others are not. Self settling is a learned method where you have to teach bub to fall asleep without sleep helpers, such as the breast, a dummy or being rocked. Experts recommend you don’t even attempt sleep training until at least four months but what you can try to do is put baby down when she is sleepy, but still awake, and pat her softly to sleep.
Bub simply wants you
Your little one has had you close for nine months. And now, all of a sudden, you are not always there. This can be confusing and often baby won’t sleep simply because he misses your touch. Yes, it is frustrating, but it is also so comforting knowing that you mean that much to someone. You are his world. And sometimes, only your touch will do.
The bottom line is this. Every baby is different. I was blessed with two non-sleepers and, yes, I have been sleep deprived for six years and counting … but the less they sleep, the more time you get to spend with them in your arms, breathing in their scent, holding them close and simply letting them know that you are there.
And when they do sleep, it’s the most precious thing in the world.
So try not to stress if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night, even when every single other parent in your mothers’ group has a baby that does (or that’s what they’re telling you!) . Just enjoy every waking and sleeping moment you have with them. Because it really does go by too quickly.