7 Reasons Your Baby Isn’t Sleeping Through the Night
If you’ve landed here, you are likely trying to figure out why your baby isn’t sleeping through the night. Well, you’re in the right place! Today I’m covering the most common reasons your baby isn’t sleeping through the night. Now, when I say, “sleeping through the night” what I mean is the ability to fall asleep on their own, wake, and fall back asleep on their own for a total of 10 to 12 total hours of nighttime sleep. The definition of sleeping through the night may mean different things to different people.
Unrealistic Expectations & Pressure
There, I said it. A lot of parents feel pressure surrounding getting their babies to sleep through the night. Whether it’s from family, friends, or co-workers, “is he sleeping through the night yet,” and “is he a good baby,” are two things I hear asked regularly. Well-meaning or not those questions can make parents feel pressured into getting their babies to sleep through the night. The truth is most babies under 6 months old aren’t ready to go all night without a feeding. Therefore, babies shouldn’t be expected to sleep through the night until at least 6 months of age. Some are indeed ready sooner and some need a bit longer. Also keep in mind that your baby needs an age and developmentally appropriate balance between sleep and awake time. If they aren’t getting that, it could be another reason your baby isn’t sleeping through the night.
Your Babies Awake Time Isn’t Stimulating Enough
Parents and caregivers should all do their part to engage with their babies during wake windows. Think about all the ways you can help stimulate their sense without putting them into overload. Lots of natural light, tummy/floor time, a playmat with high contrast images, reading and singing, walks outside, and singing to your baby are all great ways to fill awake time.
Your Baby is Learning a New Skill
Has your baby been trying new things? Think about all the ways your baby may be growing and changing, rolling, cooing/babbling, teething, sitting, crawling and walking. When your baby is trying to master a new skill sleep can be disrupted. This typically only lasts a few nights. Because your baby develops so many new skills within the first year of life it may seem like many endless nights over and over, when in reality they are getting rest in between mastering new skills.
Finally, if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night here are some other things to consider.
Take a look at your baby’s sleep environment! Is your baby getting sufficient calories during the daytime, or are they trying to tank up at night? You could be disrupting our baby’s sleep; many parents don’t realize they are. You may need to take a different approach during the middle of the night wakings.