If you are still waking up with your little one multiple times a night and starting to feel the effects of six months worth of sleep deprivation – then read on. It is often hard to pinpoint a specific reason why your baby is waking continuously through the night, without fully understanding what is happening in their day. The good news is, there are some pretty common things that should be considered and can lead to frequent night waking. Adjusting your baby’s Daily Rhythm may just hold the answer and more sleep could just be a few tweaks away.
Dependency on you for settling
If you have been helping your baby drift off to sleep by feeding or rocking them, then chances are they have become a little used to this. This technique is perfectly fine if it’s sustainable and you are willing to do it (for every night waking) but over the course of time, the sleep deprivation can take its toll. If your little one hasn’t developed the ability to self settle when they wake, this is because they have become used to the comfort of mum or dad coming in and picking them up, rocking them or even feeding back to sleep. If this sounds familiar, be reassured that with time and a little patience you will be able to guide your little one through self-settling. If you have been going in to pick them up and rock them back to sleep, you can start to support them by using self-settling techniques.
If you have been feeding your baby back to sleep, it will take a few days to slowly wean them off the night feed.
By six months your little one will be on two big days sleeps and a day nap and be able to stay awake for 2-2.5 hours at at time. Ensuring they get their required amount of sleep during the day will help with better sleep overall. If day sleeps are being compromised, chances are they will find it difficult to get the required amount of sleep during the night. To understand your baby’s feeding needs, sleep times and awake windows, you can refer to your Daily Rhythm. If things have gone a little pear-shaped during the day, it may take a few days of being at home to help your little one get into a rhythm.
Room temperature and ensuring a quiet and calm sleeping environment, will help your little one to sleep soundly.
As the seasons change you will need to ensure that your little one is neither too hot or too cold throughout the night. There are many great options for seasonal sleeping bags out there. Ensure that sudden change in temperature doesn’t catch you off guard.
Noise + Light
We don’t suggest you need to keep the house as quiet as a mouse from 7pm, but it’s important that your baby is able to sleep soundly – in the right environment. If your little one is still sharing a room with you and you have the option for moving them, now might be a good time to do so. This way they can start to become a little more independent and you won’t run the risk of causing the disturbed sleep as a result of a later bedtime (or a noisy snorer!)
Most people will get excited at the fact their little one really enjoys their solid food – and that is great! Babies who take to solids quite easily will generally eat quite a bit but it is up to us to support them with regulating their solids intake at this early stage. Introducing solids slowly will ensure that it doesn’t compromise milk feeds, which in turn can affect sleep. It is important to ensure that a solid meal doesn’t fall too close to the night milk feed – these should be at least 1.5 hours apart. For a guide on your little one’s required intake based on age, refer to our Introduction to Solids guide.