Baby Tips

What Are the Most Common Reasons Why Babies Wake up at Night?

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    While it would be ideal if babies could sleep through the night, this is not always the case.

    Why do infants get up in the middle of the night, though?

    Some of the most prevalent causes of your baby's inability to sleep through the night are the ones listed above.

    Sleep Cycle

    When babies transition from Re sleep to various stages of non-REM sleep, they experience periodic awakenings.

    These "stages" of sleep, or cycles, are characterised by distinctive variations in the brain's natural oscillatory activity. Babies go through a nighttime transition as they progress from one phase of sleep to the next.

    During that time, many sleeping infants will awaken. They vocalise their distress occasionally. On occasion, they awaken feeling ravenous.

    Babies (and adults) may wake up multiple times every night during these phases of change.

    As adults, though, we tend to wake up but then drop back to sleep so quickly that we don't even remember being up.

    Many parents report their babies' first wakings following a longer stretch of deeper sleep at around the four-month mark. The onset of delta phase sleep is to blame for this, and it is perfectly normal

    The key for parents is to do increasingly less during these awakenings as each stage of infancy progresses; we want to teach our babies to self-soothe more and more autonomously o that sleeping through to the night is possible.

    We all follow cyclical rhythms of sleep and wakefulness. Although most of us adults wake up several times each night, we are usually able to fall back to sleep quickly each time.

    A "transition" occurs as infants progress from one stage of the sleep cycle to the next.

    This usually involves waking up and sometimes making a fuss to be soothed or to eat. The natural inclination is to rush to comfort them, but as infants become older, the number of nighttime feedings should decrease and they should become better at soothing themselves.

    Brain Waves

    Six months of age marks the halfway point of infancy, at which point the vast majority of infants can sleep for six or more consecutive hours. Monitoring brain waves is a common method used in sleep research. After the age of six months, the pattern of brain waves begins to resemble that of an adult's.

    Though this doesn't indicate that babies who wake frequently during the night have atypical brain waves, it does suggest that they develop greater sleep maturity as they age.

    The results of sleep tests on infants and newborns will differ greatly from those on children of a later age range.

    However, by the age of six months, the fetal brain resonance frequencies will resemble those of a person eighteen years old. However, unlike an adult, some sleeping infants may cry out for assistance once they wake up during these times.

    Good Sleepers Vs. Bad Sleepers

    For whatever reason, some infants are naturally better sleepers. People can either sleep well or horribly. That's at least partially programmed into your DNA. Though there are good sleepers, there are also lousy sleepers.

    As parents, it is our responsibility to instil healthy patterns of sleeping for our children. It's mostly about maintaining that standard from night to night. Some infants develop ingrained associations between specific stimuli and sleep, such as nursing before bedtime, rocking to sleep, or being held for naps.

    Then, if they wake up at night, people may yell for those memories to help them fall back to sleep.

    Even a good sleeper may find themselves unable to get enough shut-eye due to the influence of these triggers.

    Crying Is Part of Being a Baby

    Whether or not newborns should be allowed to cry it out is a topic of heated controversy and national conversation among parents, psychologists, physicians, lactation consultants, and scientists.

    We won't get into the details of the dispute, but if you're scared that letting your kid cry it out may harm them, take a deep breath and try to chill out.

    We disagree that infant crying is harmful. There is no proof that nighttime crying has any negative effects.

    At roughly 4–6 months old, when most babies have developed the ability to self-soothe, many clinicians advise letting your infant learn to self-soothe or cry it out.

    Mom or Dad's Role at Night

    Baby Tips

    How parents can influence their infant's sleeping habits has been the subject of research. How often parents go into their infant's room to soothe them at night may have an impact on the child's risk for developing sleep disorders, according to research.

    It is more probable that a baby will have trouble sleeping if his or her parents camp out, if they move the baby into in the crib after he or she has fallen asleep, or if they pick up the infant frequently throughout the night.

    Another study from 2010 indicated that when fathers were much more involved in newborn care, in comparison to mums, their babies had less nightly awakenings. Most studies have focused on the mother's participation in this issue. Switch off!


    Growth and change in development affect how and when a child sleeps.

    Most infants' sleep patterns shift after the fourth month, with longer stretches of sleep followed by more frequent awakenings.

    They'll wake up, roll over, and have a panic attack if they can't get comfortable in their new position.

    The unfolding landmark could mean a shift in consciousness. By the time they're six months old, babies are venturing out into the world, putting everything, including a wide variety of bacteria-laden things, into their mouths.

    At six months, they're also starting to sit up, which often leads to waking up.

    Don't be alarmed if your nine-month-old seems more alert than usual; they've probably just figured out how to prop themselves up to a standing position in their crib.

    When their nine-month-old is wide awake and ready to go at three in the morning, most parents are taken aback.


    Without a doubt, teething keeps kids up at night and makes it hard for them to fall back to sleep.

    Babies usually start teething at around six months old, but we hear stories of teething toddlers far into their toddler years. Only acetaminophen is safe for use during teething, so that's what you should give your child.

    Babies often wake up, especially after the age of six months, because they are teething. It's inevitable as the baby teeth fall out and the permanent ones come in, but your paediatrician may offer Acetaminophen or another pain reliever to help.

    Behavioural Changes

    A growing sense of autonomy and self-awareness often results in increased wakefulness for many infants between the ages of 6 and 9 months.

    Many parents report that their six-month-old newborns began waking up in the middle of the night to "speak," or rather, to "go through their different sounds."

    If they are not complaining, there is no use in visiting them. Changes in sleep habits are common in infants who experience separation anxiety around the nine-month mark.

    During these transitional phases, kids may become aware of your absence and wake up screaming.


    An increase in infections in infants and children is common after the sixth month mark.

    To a large extent, this is because, at the age of six months, babies are able to put all sorts of novel things into their mouths, substantially increasing their exposure to germs.

    Babies with colds or respiratory problems may wake up throughout the night with congestion or coughing.

    Babies will also wake up in the night if they are experiencing symptoms of a fever, vomiting, or diarrhoea. Keep holding on and give your child lots of love and care.

    Keeping to regular sleep habits will help you get back to a normal sleep schedule quickly, usually within a few months after the onset of your sickness.


    A lot of babies learn that sucking on anything will help them nod off quickly.

    The trend begins right after delivery, when babies can be rocked to sleep with their mouths full of breast milk or a bottle.

    Between 6 and 12 months of age, pacifiers often come out, waking up many babies who have been sleeping with them.

    In this case, the simplest option is to simply get rid of it. But keep in mind that old habits are hard to break. Babies often take six months or more to fully outgrow the habit of falling asleep while sucking, so it's important to address this issue as soon as possible.


    Babies often doze off while being fed, and this is a behaviour that may last into childhood.

    They can calm down and fall off to sleep thanks to the calming effect of the sucking motion. An infant may fall asleep while using a soother, only to be roused when it is removed.

    Despite how tempting it may be to simply give it to them again, babies typically have a hard time breaking this habit, and they may end up dependent on it for quite some time.

    Natural Changes in Behaviour

    Many infants experience nighttime awakenings as a normal part of their maturation process.

    This occurs because infants start to develop a greater sense of identity between the ages of 6 and 9 months.

    They can amuse themselves by staring at objects and making sounds without much in the way of outside stimulation.

    They will likely fall back to sleep if you leave them alone at this time.

    As early as nine months of age, separation anxiety might cause a shift in this pattern. They may wake up and start screaming for you if you're not there when they do.


    Baby Tips

    Some infants are just not natural sleepers. This could be due to a lack of consistency in our children's bedtime routines or the habits we've developed to assist them fall asleep, such as the use of soothers.

    Also, if they're used to being carried or rocked to sleep, they can start demanding that attention once they wake up in the middle of the night. These practises can transform even the best sleeper in the family, the baby, into a chronic nightmare.


    Babies, like adults, have trouble falling asleep if they're hungry.

    It's understandable that babies would wake up several times in the night if they are hungry; it's nearly impossible to get to sleep while your stomach is growling.

    Babies, especially smaller ones, need to be fed rather frequently, therefore it's not unusual that they wake up in the middle of the night in need of food.

    As they become older and begin eating solid foods, their nutritional intake will increase, alleviating this issue.


    Adults, like kids, often have trouble sleeping because they are overtired. It's usual to have a tough day but wake up feeling refreshed.

    Babies are the same way; if they are overtired, it might be hard that they settle down and go to sleep.

    Discomfort or Pain

    Even more so when infants are teething or going through growth spurts, this is a typical issue. Anyone, including infants, would have trouble falling asleep if they were in agony.

    Illnesses like earaches, infections, and stomachaches, and even simply general discomfort, fall under this category.

    When infants experience any sort of discomfort, whether it be from the temperature of their surroundings or from their clothing, diaper, or the cot itself, they wake up. Explore our selection of high-quality cots and other nursery furnishings.

    You may help alleviate any pain they may be feeling by dressing them in suitable clothing, giving them a clean diaper, and giving them a mattress of high quality.

    Disruptions to one's regular sleep routine or time of going to bed, as a result of either schedule changes or a lack of consistency.

    Babies benefit greatly from having a regular routine, and while it's not necessary to plan every minute of their day, it is helpful.

    Your baby will be better prepared to fall and remain asleep at night if he or she follows a pattern and gets plenty of sleep each night and during naps. This includes being awake for important events, like a visit from Grandma and Grandpa.

    A baby's overtiredness, which can cause night waking and bedtime resistance, is exacerbated by any major disruptions to the baby's regular schedule.

    Learning a New Skill/Nearing a Major Achievement

    To be a baby is to be always a student of the world. By the end of the first year, she should be able to roll over, sit up, clap her hands, wave her arms, kick her feet, cruise around like a tiny turtle, and, finally, pull herself up to a standing posture and amble across the room. The connection between these landmarks and rest is unclear.

    Everything. Even in the wee hours of the morning, your baby is anxious to practise the new abilities she has learned.

    Furthermore, she is being stimulated and learning a lot. All that mental stimulation is helpful, but it can disrupt sleep and even wake you up in the middle of the night.

    Anxiety Upon Parting

    Somewhere about the eighth month, you may notice that your baby is becoming more and more attached to you.

    It's possible that she'll freak out if you leave her with the sitter, or even if you just go out of the room for a second.

    It's possible that your baby's sleep will be disrupted during this separation anxiety stage if she wakes up during the night because she misses you.

    Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do if your baby wakes up in the midst of the night. However, you can attempt sleep training to help her relax and learn to comfort herself back to sleep without your help.

    Regressive Dreaming

    While sleep regressions are most common between 4 and 8 months of age, they can occur at 6 and 12 months of age as well.

    You may need to undertake bedtime routine f your older infant suddenly starts waking up at night again. This may be the result of sleep regression.

    Needing to Eat Late at Night

    Avoid putting your fussy baby to sleep with food all the time. If she is still young enough that she has to be fed during the night, a snack before bed might do the trick.

    While this may be a great incentive for younger kids who still need to be fed at night, offering it to older babies who are no longer in need of nocturnal feedings can cause them to wake up more frequently during the night. Unless, of course, your infant is experiencing a growth spurt.

    Consult your child's paediatrician about how to best handle these situations to ensure she is eating enough to keep her energy up throughout the day.

    You shouldn't rush in if all you hear is your infant gurgling and cooing. She probably won't wake up if your leave her alone for a while and she doesn't require food.

    Babies, who require more frequent feedings, are an exception to the "watch and wait" rule.

    Baby sleep is unpredictable since they need to eat every two to three hours and every three to four hours, so don't count on them sleeping through the night.

    Yeast Infection of the Ear

    Sometimes a newborn will wake up in the middle of the night because of the pain of an ear infection or earache

    As the pressure there in ear shifts when lying down, ear pain tends to increase during sleep and naps.

    In addition to the medication your paediatrician has prescribed for the disease or ear ache, you may want to ask whether there is a safe method of elevating your abdominal muscles while she sleeps or experiences any other pain.

    Create a Relaxing Sleep Sanctuary

    There's nothing you can do about your baby awakening during the middle of the night, but you can make the best of it by designing a nursery that's both entertaining and soothing.

    Locate a cot that meets all of these criteria while also being within easy reach in the event that your baby wakes up throughout the night.

    Let baby nursery blankets help make your baby's room a relaxing space for a good night's sleep.


    As they move from one stage of sleep to the next during the night, babies undergo a change. As the infant grows older, less assistance from parents is needed during these awakenings. Ideally, a baby's need for overnight feedings would lessen as they became older and as they learned to calm themselves. Comparisons between sleep studies conducted on older children and those on infants and toddlers will reveal significant differences. Resonance frequencies in a fetus's brain begin to mirror those of an adult brain by the time the baby is six months old.

    Some napping babies might wake up and cry for help at those times. Beginning in the fourth month, most newborns change to a pattern of longer stretches of sleep interspersed with more frequent awakenings. By the time they're six months old, newborns are exploring the world and putting everything they find in their mouths, including a wide array of microorganisms. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule will facilitate a speedy readjustment to daily life. Babies who are congested or who have respiratory disorders like colds or allergies may wake up several times during the night.

    Also, if they have fever, vomiting, or diarrhoea, they may awaken. Many newborns struggle to fall asleep on their own. This can be because we don't always stick to the same routines when putting our kids to bed. When they wake up in the middle of the night, they may start wanting attention if they were carried or rocked to sleep. Overtiredness is a common contributor to night waking and bedtime refusal in infants.

    Babies are sensitive to changes in routine, and those changes might affect their ability to sleep. While sleep regressions typically occur between 4 and 8 months of age, they can happen as late as 6 months and as early as 12 months. Do not rely on food as a crutch to get your cranky infant to sleep. Don't expect a baby to sleep through the night because they have to eat every two to three hours for the first few months. If your child is suffering from an ear infection or earache, you should talk to a paediatrician about treatment options.

    Content Summary

    • But, why do infants wake up in the wee hours of the morning? The aforementioned factors are some of the most common ones contributing to your infant's lack of capacity to sleep through the night.
    • Parents, psychologists, doctors, lactation consultants, and scientists are all divided on whether or not infants should be let to scream it out.
    • Infant crying is not harmful, contrary to popular belief.
    • Without a doubt, children have trouble falling back to sleep after waking up during the night due to teething.
    • When your child is teething, the only medication you should give them is acetaminophen.
    • After the age of six months, teething is a common cause of infant awakenings.
    • Consistently adhering to your customary bedtime and waking times will aid in your speedy recovery from illness and return to a normal sleep schedule.
    • As it might take infants up to six months or more to completely break the habit of falling asleep while sucking, it's crucial that this problem is addressed as soon as possible.
    • Sleep disruptions occur when there is a shift in one's typical sleep regimen or when there is a lack of regularity in one's bedtime.
    • During this period of separation anxiety, it's likely that your baby will wake up in the middle of the night crying because she misses you.
    • Sleep regression could be to blame for this.
    • Yeast Baby Ear InfectionsIt is not uncommon for a newborn to wake up in the wee hours of the morning crying from the discomfort of an ear infection. Ear discomfort is commonly worse during sleep and naps due to changes in pressure within the ear.
    • If your kid has a habit of waking up in the wee hours of the morning, there's little you can do about it. But you can make the most of it by creating a nursery that is both stimulating and comforting.
    • Find a cot that satisfies these needs and is conveniently located in case your baby wakes up in the middle of the night.
    • Make sure your baby's room is as comfortable as possible for sleep with the aid of blankets from the baby nursery.

    FAQs About Babies Waking Up At Night

    Sleep Cycle: Babies wake up during the night primarily because their brain waves shift and change cycles as they move from REM (rapid eye movement) sleep to other stages of non-REM sleep. The different wave patterns our brains make during certain periods define these sleep cycles or “stages” of sleep.

    Most wake 2 to 3 times during the night for feeds. Babies have shorter sleep cycles than adults and wake or stir about every 40 minutes. By 3 months, many babies will have settled into a pattern of longer times awake during the day, and longer sleep times (perhaps 4 to 5 hours) at night.

    Most babies don't start sleeping through the night (6 to 8 hours) until at least 3 months of age. But this can vary a lot. Some babies don't sleep through the night until closer to 1 year. In most cases, your baby will wake up and be ready to eat at least every 3 hours.

    Put your baby in their crib while they are drowsy and sit in a chair next to them. Once they fall asleep, leave the room. If they begin to cry, come back in and sit in the chair nearby. Every few nights move the chair back further until you're eventually out of the room.

    Sometime between 6 and 12 months (often around 8 or 9 months) is when your baby might finally start sleeping through the night more consistently. Still, they'll have to build up to this exciting milestone.

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