March 01, 2024

Help, we're having frequent night wakes!

Help, we're having frequent night wakes!

Waking up multiple times is sometimes considered a rite of passage for new parents; an all-too-common scenario that many face.

If you find yourself pacing the floor at all hours of the night, comforting a restless baby, know that you're not alone. Also know that you don't have to accept it. There are ways that we can work with our little ones to reduce the number of night wakes and strive towards good quality sleep for the whole family.

Let's delve into the reasons behind frequent night wakes and more importantly, how you can navigate this phase. 


Understanding the 'why' is your first step toward a solution. Several factors can contribute to frequent night wakes, ranging from developmental leaps to sleep environment tweaks. Let's explore some of the most common culprits:

Developmental Milestones: Just when you think you've got sleep down to an art, your baby decides it's time to start rolling, crawling or even practicing their first words at night. These milestones are exciting but can disrupt sleep patterns as your little one is eager to practice their new skills.

Hunger: Growth spurts mean an increase hunger. If your baby is waking up more often then usual, they might simply be needing more fuel to support their rapid growth.

Sleep Associations: Babies who've grown accustomed to falling asleep under certain conditions, such as rocking or feeding, might find it challenging to self-settle and fall back asleep without those cues.

Teething Pain:Those tiny teeth making their way through can cause discomfort, leading to more frequent awakenings.


Overstimulation: An overly stimulating environment before bedtime can make it hard for your baby to wind down. Yes, that last game of peek-a-boo or screen time might need to be rescheduled to earlier in the day.


Now that we've identified some potential reasons for those night-time parties, let's look at strategies to encourage a more peaceful sleep for your bub (and you!).

Establish a Soothing Bedtime Routine: A predictable series of steps leading up to bedtime can help signal to your baby that it's time to wind down. This might include a warm bath, gentle massage, or reading a few books.

Optimise the Sleep Environment: Ensure the room is conducive to sleep - think cool, dark and quiet. A white noise machine can also be helpful. You can read the creating a sleep conducive environment here

Watch for Sleep Cues: Keeping your baby awake too long can lead to overtiredness, making it harder for them to settle. Look for signs of sleepiness such as rubbing eyes, yawning and general fussiness.

Feedings: If hunger is the culprit, consider if it's time to introduce more solids during the day (depending on age) or adjust feeding schedules to ensure your baby's tummy is satisfied before bed.

Comfort without Creating Dependencies: Find a balance between comforting your baby and fostering independence. 

Consistency is Key: Whatever approach you choose, consistency will be your greatest ally. Babies thrive on routine, and a consistent response to night wakes can help them learn to self-settle.

Remember, while frequent night wakes can be challenging, they're also a normal part of your baby's development. Be patient with yourself and your little one as you navigate this phase together. And if you're feeling overwhelmed, it's ok to seek help. Sometimes, a fresh perspective can make all the different in achieving that elusive full night's sleep.

If your baby's routine seems to be in line with our recommendations but sleep is still elusive, we're here to help. Together, we can uncover the root of those night-time wake-ups and guide your family towards more restful nights.