It is normal for babies below six months to wake up regularly at night. After six months, sleep habits can still vary a lot and it is challenging to find a one-size-fits-all solution. However, if you notice that your baby, who is six months or older, is doing the following over a period of about three months, there might be a possibility that you are having a baby sleep problem.
- Constantly waking up more than three times a night
- Consistently needs more than 30 minutes to settle
- Has difficulties sleeping and settling, and causing you a lot of distress
You may wish to talk to a paediatrician or sleep consultant if you are unsure. In this article, we will share a few possible reasons for the night wakes.
Babies with a sleep association have difficulties to self-settle and will need help resettling after waking up in the night. Sleep associations can be a pacifier, a feed, cuddling, and rocking etc. For example if your baby is used to being rocked to sleep, she will want to be rocked back to sleep when she wakes in the middle of the night.
Hunger is a common reason why some babies wake at night. If your baby did not eat enough in the day, she will wake at night due to hunger. Babies who have just started on solids may not be taking enough solids yet to get through the night. Some experts recommend doing a dream feed to help babies last till the morning.
Wet diapers can make your baby feel uncomfortable and she will have difficulty resettling herself back to sleep. The biggest nightmare from soaked diapers is getting nasty nappy rash. The best way to avoid over-soaked diapers is to find the right type of diaper for her. However, all babies are different, so parents often have to experiment with different brands and sizes to find the best fit. Lucky for us, many diaper brands offer free samples to parents upon request. If not, you can also read reviews on diapers to help you in making the best decision for your baby.
Sometimes medical conditions such as reflux, ear infections, food allergies can result in sleeping difficulties. Consult your doctor if you are unsure or if you suspect your baby is having a medical condition.