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  Sleep – Reasons for waking
What is it that wakes the baby so often at night?

The main reason for babies waking at night is that they are hungry. They have small stomachs and mostly cannot get through a night without feeding until they are a few months old. Most take much longer than that. That is why it is important that baby gets plenty of feeds during the day, in order to reduce the chance of hunger during the night. A good policy is to wake baby for a good feed right at the time that you go to bed. This should ensure that you get a good stretch of sleep right away.

Having said that, there are many reasons why a baby wakes at night. With very tiny babies, they are naturally quite restless sleepers and also have strong startle reflexes. So it is not uncommon for a newborn to physically wake himself up, often with a nasty fright! That is one of the reasons that swaddling helps babies to sleep better. Even if they are not swaddled, they should be nicely tucked into their beds to reduce the chance of this type of waking. This is also related to the baby’s temperature. Baby needs to warm enough but not so bundled up that he overheats and wakes up.

Obviously a wet nappy is another reason that babies wake up. It is worth trying a few strategies here, to ensure that you reduce the chance of baby’s nappy waking him. Double cloth nappies are one idea. Extra absorbent liners are another. There are super absorbent disposables on the market that might also be worth a try.

Babies have such tiny noses that they get snuffly very easily and so dry air can often cause a baby enough discomfort to wake the baby. It may be worth investing in a humidifier in order to keep the air in baby’s sleeping environment a bit moist.

Anything that calms your baby at bedtime will help with sleep. Bedtime routine should be fixed so that the familiar songs and activities naturally lead the baby into a sleepy state. Try a tiny drop of lavender oil next to baby’s head helps keep the nose clear and is also conducive to sleep.

See also:

Sleep - Altered sleep routine

Sleep - Appropriate sleep routines (Jacqui Flint advises)

Sleep - Background noise

Sleep - Dealing with Catnapping (Author Erica Neser advises)

Sleep - Darkened room

Sleep - Night Terrors

Sleep - Sighing

Sleep - Sleep routines for Baby (Author Erica Neser advises)

Sleep - Surviving Co-sleeping (Author Erica Neser advises)

Sleep - Toddler Sleep Problems (Author Erica Neser advises)

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