I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
If your baby wakes up every hour, sleep for you is only a dream..
So, are you the parent who is exhausted and constantly tired?
Is there a way to help your baby sleep all night long?
Yep! I am here to help you fix this sleepless situation.
I will help you figure out exactly why your baby wakes up every hour and how-to help your little one sleep peacefully through the night.
Baby Wakes Up Every Hour, Why?
To begin, a baby waking up consistently throughout the night is not unusual or abnormal.
Believe it or not, most people, adults, and babies wake up at all hours throughout the night. The difference is most people easily fall back asleep and does not even remember waking up at all.
If your baby does not know how to self-soothe and is waking you up too, that's when the problems begin to arise. You become tired, irritable, and would do anything for sleep.
A Baby's Sleep Cycle
If you have a newborn or young infant, waking up hourly is part of the baby's sleep schedule. When first born, a baby wakes up hourly to nurse or feed.
The younger a baby is, the shorter a baby's sleep cycles are. As the months go on, your baby's sleep cycles will become longer. Your baby will develop a new and longer sleeping schedule with time.
A baby will also learn to self-soothe as they get older, approximately 6 months of age. Self-soothing enables a baby to back asleep on their own when they awake at the end of their sleep cycle.
The Length of A Baby's Sleep Cycle
Every person sleeps in cycles. The older you get, the longer the sleep cycle lasts.
In fact, a baby has several sleep cycles per night. Each sleep cycle lasts about 60 minutes. That is why a baby wakes up every hour.
At the end of the baby's 50 to 60-minute sleep cycle, all babies wake up for a moment. Some babies can't fall back to sleep, or seemed disturbed, or may even cry when they don't feel mommy there.
If a baby does not fall back to sleep on their own, they wake up their parents.
Reasons Your Baby Wakes Up Every Hour
In order to help your baby and you to have a better nights rest. You first need to figure out the underlying cause for your baby not sleeping through the night.
1. Baby Uses Sleep Props, Properly Known As Sleep Associations
One of the most common reasons for your baby waking hourly is because they need their sleep prop to fall back to sleep. Sleep props can be a number of different objects.
Many need a pacifier or bottle to fall back to sleep. If breastfeeding, they want their mother's nipple. This has to do with the sucking motion, it makes them feel comfortable and eases them back to sleep.
It may even be the fact that the baby needs to be nursing or drinking a bottle to fall back asleep. This leads to hunger which we will get to in a moment.
Some babies sleep prop or association is their mother rocking them back to sleep or even falling to sleep in a swing. Some parents take their child for a car ride to get them to fall to sleep. You can not drive your baby around all night.
Your baby's sleep association may be something as simple as not seeing you there. A baby was in his mother's womb for approximately 9 months. A newborn baby is most often in his parent's view.
Being alone can cause discomfort. Therefore, keeping your child awake and causing your baby to cry.
2. Your little one is cutting teeth or doesn't feel well
One thing you must remember as a parent, all babies are different. In that case, all babies cutting teeth do not react to it the same.
Teething is painful for babies. A baby can be teething for months until an actual tooth pops through.
It is hard to decipher if your baby is reacting to teething or not. One thing is for certain, teething can definitely interpret a baby's sleep and keep your baby waking up at all hours of the night.
Likewise, if your little one feels under the weather, she will not sleep well at all. From stomach cramps and diarrhea to body aches and congestion.
3. Hunger Issues - Is My Baby Hunger During The Night?
For many parents, especially first-time parents, every time a baby cries they want to put a bottle in their mouth. While this may be an issue for some babies, it isn't always the cause of your baby waking up every hour.
Newborns, yes. Doctors tell you to wake up your baby throughout the night to feed her or let her nurse. As your baby gets older, she shouldn't need to eat throughout the night. Right?
When a 5-month-old wakes up every hour or a 6-month-old wakes up every 2 hours, it doesn't necessarily mean they are hungry. It could just be they need the sucking motion to comfort them back to sleep.
If they are hungry, as parents we learn little tricks to keep our babies full, so hunger is not the cause of a baby waking up every hour or two.
One more thing to remember is a baby's growth spurts.
There are different times throughout a baby's life that they will have growth spurts, honestly. When these occur, your baby will need to eat more and everyone will need to adjust accordingly.
4. A Baby Learning New Things Can Keep Their Mind Alert At All Hours
Learning to crawl, walk, sit, stand, talk, and so on are exciting moments not only for you but, for your baby as well. These important developmental milestones and learning new skills can keep your baby awake at night.
What? How is my baby learning to walk, waking him up at night?
Think of when you were younger, the first time you learned to do a cartwheel. You wanted to show off your new skill and do it over and over again.
Babies feel and think the same way. As soon as their eyes open, they think about how they can roll over. They are going to do it as much as possible.
Including at night? Of course.
5. A Change In A Baby's Environment
Large things can affect a baby's sleep causing babies to wake hourly. Such as a room change or a new bed and mattress.
Small things can affect a baby's sleep such as a change in temperature or a set of new sheets on the baby mattress. Even a new light shining through the bedroom window.
Bottom line, any small or large thing can cause a baby to wake up constantly throughout the night.
Tips That Will Help Your Baby Continuously Sleep Through The Night
A baby that wakes up every hour will lead to many sleepless nights for the whole family. Once you identify the cause of the constant waking, you can now work on the solution.
Here we have some tips for getting your baby to sleep longer and not wake up as often.
1. Make Sure Your Baby Has A Full Tummy
Whether you increase his intake throughout the day or make sure he drinks a bottle before he settles in for the night. The key to a hunger baby not waking up is to satisfy his thirst.
Some babies just think they are hungry from the routine of feeding at night. You may have to wean them from their night feedings. It could take time, but it will happen.
2. Follow A Bedtime Routine
It is never too early to start a bedtime routine. It can be a bath, a bedtime story, and then lay your baby down to sleep.
If a baby skips any part of this routine, it may throw him off balance. If he wakes up, he may be waiting to do whatever part of the routine he missed.
Make sure to stay consistent. Do your bedtime routine every night around the same time. This way your child's body relaxes and gets ready to go to sleep for the night.
3. Set A Schedule
Not only is a bedtime routine necessary, a daily schedule is also.
Make sure your baby has enough activity time throughout the day, whether it's tummy time or crawling around.
Be sure to have a set time for your child to nap every day. The baby's age depends on the amount and length of naps.
If a baby does not nap enough or naps too much during the day, it affects how they sleep at night. Usually, it does not affect it in a good way. A consistent schedule is necessary for a child to have.
4. Take Care Of Your Child's Needs
If your baby does wake up screaming at night, don't let him cry.
Go to him, comfort him, soothe him. This will enable him to fall back to sleep quickly. Hopefully, it does not continue all night long.
If your baby drinks a bottle or nurses before they fall to sleep, make sure they are burped. Any air can leave a child's tummy hurting or feeling bloated. Either can interrupt a baby's sleep.
5. How Cluster Feedings Can Mean A Better Nights Sleep?
Newborns tend to feed for hours. A newborn eating every hour is normal. They have to get their feeding schedule down and figure out how nursing works.
When a newborn starts cluster feeding, it general means one thing. They are filling up so, they can sleep for a while. Generally, this is good. It means they are realizing they need to be full in order to sleep better.
6. How To Know If Your Baby Is Experiencing A Sleep Regression?
Parents and other adults refer to a sleep regression as a time when your baby's normal sleep pattern changes but, in several days or a few weeks goes back to the way it was before.
A sleep regression typically happens during a baby's growth spurts or when they reach important milestones.
As said, their sleep pattern changes and hopefully will calm back down rather soon.
Research has shown that the typical ages for sleep regression stages are as follows:
- 4 months
- 8 months (around 8, 9, or 10 months)
- 11 months
- 18 months
- 2 years old
The ages can differ from baby to baby. This is just an approximate age to notice changes in your baby's sleeping pattern.
7. When Can Baby Sleep Through The Night?
Many parents ask when will my baby sleep through the night.
The truth is every baby is different. The older your baby is, the better chance they have of sleeping longer. That is just the way a baby's sleep cycle tends to work.
Generally speaking, once a baby reaches 6 months of age, they tend to sleep better. By then, they have a consistent pattern that they follow.
After reading this article, it's obvious to see:
As a parent, you must have a plan of action if your baby wakes up every hour.
Pinpoint the problem, it’s usual one cause or a combination of a few causes. Then figure out a solution.
Develop a schedule and bedtime routine, and stay consistent. Everyone in the family, both you and your baby will get the better sleep you need.