I’ve yet to meet a parent that enjoys night waking. One that goes to bed every night hoping that their baby or toddler will wake them up on the hour every hour and despite their best efforts doesn’t want to settle back to sleep. Does anyone actually want to be up in the night? Ok, so rewind back 10 years I loved to be up all night. But now I am older and somewhat wiser, a parent no less, the thought of being up all night is no longer a sign of a good night.
For parents, sleep is precious. Not because you need it to be able to adult all day, not just because you need sleep to keep you healthy but because it is the one time of day that you should actually have to yourself. The one time where you don’t have to be at the beck and call of your babies.
I hate night waking. HATE IT! If my children wake up ill, upset after a nightmare or for seemingly ‘no reason’ of course I look after them, I comfort. That is my job as their Mother. I am on call 24/7, as Jodi Picoult said, this is the only shift they offer. But that doesn’t mean that I like it. Being awoken from a lovely dream of Ryan Reynolds and I sipping Martini’s in the Caribbean (hmmmm) to a crying/vomiting/frightened child is quite a shock. My son actually woke me up once to ask me if we could buy a sheep! It isn’t pleasant and not where I would choose to be! Who would? It doesn’t make me a bad Mother. For some reason sleeping through the night has drawn a lot of negative comments in recent years; it has somehow become synonymous with ‘cry it out’. Maybe this is why a lot of parents put up with it for longer than they have to. Maybe too tired to change it. Maybe their friends, the internet and anyone that will listen are telling them that it’s a just phase. It will pass. They might even be hit with a bit of guilt; “They are only young once, enjoy those nighttime cuddles. You’ll miss them when he stops waking”. Really? Will you really?!
The first step in stopping night waking is finding out why they are waking in the first place. Let me let you in on a secret; solving night waking doesn’t happen at night but this is the first place people start. If night waking has been going on longer than 2 weeks then it probably isn’t teething or illness. Here’s a few reasons why your baby may be waking in the night:
- They aren’t getting what they need during the day. If a baby isn’t getting their caloric needs met during the day, they will wake at night sometimes once or twice to compensate.
- Overtiredness. This evil, yes evil is one of the biggest causes of night waking. And not just night waking; short naps, issues settling and early morning waking. If your baby isn’t napping for long in the day or there are large gaps between their naps then chances are your baby will be overtired.
- Too much sleep. Daytime sleep is so important in order to prevent overtiredness but too much, particularly too much in the early morning or late afternoon can cause night waking, early waking and issues settling to sleep at bedtime.
- They are not able to sleep independently. If a baby relies on you to rock, cuddle, feed them or they rely on white noise, a dummy etc to get to sleep then they will be unable to resettle themselves in the night when they wake. A baby has distinct sleep cycles of around 45 minutes of light and deep sleep – a baby that is able to resettle between sleep cycles is capable of sleeping all night.
I am here to tell you that frequent night waking isn’t good for you. It doesn’t make you a bad Mother if you hate it. But there is a reason for it and there is something you can do about it. There is always something you can do. No matter how dire your situation may seem there is always something you can do. There is no shame in asking for help because when you’ve been up for 3 days straight and you’ve had to go to work, how can you possibly have the energy to change it? At Baby Tech Support, we can help. We won’t tell you it’s just a phase. We won’t tell you it will pass and we won’t tell you to leave him to cry.
We will fix it. We will solve it. We will give you a good night’s sleep.
Hate night waking too? Get in touch with us now at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gemma at Baby Tech Support
3rd March 2016