How many times has has someone told you “I hope you sleep like a baby tonight”?
Well…I personally would like to sleep like my husband…not a baby. Babies wake up all night long because of their short (approximately 45 minute) sleep cycle. If you are struggling with sleepless nights, it is important to know when your baby is crying because he needs you and when he is making noise in his sleep. This helps you know how to respond so that you do not create unnecessary wakings.
Today’s technology allows us to see every movement and every whimper without entering the room.
Assuming your child is four months or older and eating well during the day, I encourage my clients to analyze the sounds they hear at night before going in. Where are they in the sleep cycle? What kind of cry is it?
What sounds does your baby make at night? Crying? Groaning? The I-can’t-handle-life scream? Whimpering? Fussing? Snivel? Grunt? Moaning? Toot?
As adults, we briefly wake to reposition ourselves and go right back to sleep. We get up and go back the bathroom and go right back to sleep. Babies do the same thing, but as parents we are so programmed to respond and meet their needs when we first bring them home, we loose sight of the fact that they have grown and develop and begin to need longer stretches of sleep around three to four months of age. Parents might be entering the room at the first sign of a whimper with the good intention of avoiding a full crying session but over time might be unintentionally creating an added wake up.
Babies wake literally all night long. Often every 45 minutes. There might be times where they are quiet and awake in their crib. Babies wake to reposition, toot, fuss, and go back to sleep.
But how do I know if my child is ready to sleep longer stretches at night?
Your baby is taking the majority of their calories during the day. Check with your pediatrician.
Your baby knows how to self-soothe.
Your baby is taking naps during the day and is not overtired at bedtime.
Your baby goes down drowsy but awake.
If your baby has many night wakings. Reflect on their needs… was that a whimper or a fuss OR was that a hunger cry? You will know which wakings you can phase out and which wakings to respond too because you know your baby best.
Looking for help with your baby’s sleep? Or maybe have a few more questions that this article did not answer? Give me a call today at 214-865-0341, I would love to hear more about your sleep struggles and tell about my services that can help your family sleep happy.