As a new mother, it is no fault of yours if days and nights seem to blur together. These initial few months seem to pass from counting hours till the next feed or being woken up from sleep by the baby’s cries. Your baby is unfamiliar with this new surrounding, is why his baby wakes up at night. Undoubtedly this phase is full of joy and contentment, but the fact remains that most new moms do not get to sleep enough and hence they are always drained and exhausted. The main reason is that the new babies keep waking in the night several times.
It is difficult not to feel a tad bit jealous when some other mother or even a grandmother talks about how her babies slept through the night very easily. At such a time you may wonder whether your baby’s frequent night time waking is normal. So read on to clear all your doubts.
Brown and Harries’ study (2015) which considered 700 infants aged 6 to 12 months showed that 56% of the infants woke between 1-3 times a night and 21% infants did not wake up even once during the night.
As your baby progresses in age, the night time waking will keep reducing. Let’s get to know what the normal age-wise night sleep schedule is for babies:
There are chances that your baby is waking in the night because he gets hungry, your baby will get up due to hunger if:
Is your baby waking just like that? Quite possible! As per the same study by Brown and Harries, it was found that many infants aged 6 to 12 months wake in the night irrespective of whether they are hungry or not. The study quotes, “Infants continue to wake for reasons unrelated to hunger, and there is a risk that encouraging an infant to consume more during the day, against his or her natural appetite, may increase risk of the infant becoming overweight as he or she becomes less skilled at regulating intake according to need.”Hence, you need to take care not to overfeed the baby, as it may backfire.
A baby who is waking up out of habit, will wake up very frequently and almost at the same time every night. If you feel that your baby has a habit of waking up then you need to learn effective ways to help your baby sleep better.
Other than hunger and habit, other reasons that may wake your baby at the night are:
There is no fixed formula to give a better sleep to your baby, the only thing that can help you hit the target is your own experience. Sometimes a change in routine works, sometimes a proper bath routine and a soothing massage before sleep time can work. Keep exploring different ways and see what works for you!
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