When parents are expecting, they are excited about the new life that they are bringing into this world, but at the same time, they are non-functional when their babies cry and scream at night. No matter how much you massage them, sing to them, induce a healthy environment for them to sleep, they will wake up in the middle of the night. Some parents brush it off by thinking that it’s quite normal, but if it happens often and your child is in distress, then parents wonder as to why do babies wake up at night.
Every time your baby wakes up, they don’t cry. Sometimes they cry because they are hungry, something is hurting them, or simply because they are in a playful mood. But if your baby sleeps like an angel in the day, and wakes up in the night, then you might want them to develop a sleep schedule that is the complete opposite of their nocturnal schedule. Babies up at night can mean many reasons if you wish to know them, then read on as I have listed the 10 reasons the baby wakeups up at night.
Reason baby wakes up at night:
1. Sleep cycle
When a baby sleeps, they shift from REM sleep to non-REM sleep. This transition can wake them up. Adults too wake up, but they fall back asleep. For babies, it is difficult to fall asleep by themselves when their brain is going through this transition. One of the reasons babies are up at night is because either they feel hungry or wish to go back to sleep but cannot by themselves. As parents, rock them initially, but to let them sleep independently, as they will have to rely less on you.
2. Brain wave activity
The more the baby grows up, the mature their brain wave activities get. Their brain will continue to have these activities even when they are asleep, and constantly mature and develop. These brain wave activities lead the baby to cry at night as they wake up during these transitions. As they grow older, they will be able to sleep more than 6 hours at a stretch.
3. Sleep associations
Every baby has a sleep schedule of baby. To maintain this schedule, the parents put their babies to sleep at the same time every day. Some parents rock their babies, others brush their forehead, some read them stories, etc. When your child wakes up at night, they are used to falling asleep to such activities from their parents, and hence call out to their parents to fall back asleep. This association between an activity and sleep will make your child call out to you. The best way to call a parent? Cry or play around.
When you wonder why my baby is up at night, you also think why your child is crying at night. Most children always cry, and some crying is good for them. If they cry a little, let them get it out, self-soothe, and then get to sleep by themselves. But if you notice them crying a lot, then you can get up and soothe them, and if it’s frequent then consult a specialist.
5. Mom and dad taking turns
If your baby is up at night, there could be many reasons for baby crying. But if you always pick them up and linger in their room, they will never learn to sleep by themselves. When moms are the sole caretaker, the child clings to the mother and wakes up more to get comfort. When both mom and dad take turns, the child has fewer awakenings as they are soothed and comforted with different styles and don’t get habituated to one.
6. Physical development
Rolling in the bed, sleeping in new positions, this is quite normal for most adults. However, for a baby who is starting to develop, it can scare them and cause them discomfort. One of the reasons babies can’t sleep is because their physical developments will cause them to sleep in different positions, and at times they can get back to sleep, but the rest of the time they will be scared and need the love and comfort of their parents.
If you are searching for reasons for a baby crying at night, then teething is one of them. Teething causes them discomfort and their gums itch. The odd sensations can disrupt their sleep and wake them up in the middle of their sleep. You can give them some toys that relieve the itch in the gums till they can fall back asleep.
8. Sleep anxiety
Reasons babies can’t sleep is because every baby suffers from sleep anxiety. The sleep anxiety kicks in when they sleep away from their parents and cannot find them when they wake up. This is a change of routine, and they will fuss when you are not beside them. Due to some changes in themselves, they will be more aware of their surroundings as well. If they wake up and talk to themselves or make noises, let them be, don’t race to comfort them. The sooner they learn to sleep by themselves, the better.
There will be instances when your baby wakes up and cries louder and harder with passing time. They will not be soothed with songs, toys, etc. Then, parents wonders, why my baby sleeps; and the answer is infection. A baby is susceptible to many infections, and they will be in pain or feel discomfort which will wake them up. At such times, you can consult a specialist or have some medicine that is common for babies.
Newborn babies are habitual of sleeping at night while breastfeeding. This gets them into a habit of sleeping while sucking. This is why most parents give their babies pacifiers and bottles. If your baby is awake at night, it’s because their pacifier has fallen out. It’s a habit, and to unlearn it will take some time. You can either get rid of it at once or try it in steps and make them unlearn this habit.
Getting babies to sleep without a glitch in the night is a challenge, and sometimes it’s because they are in pain and at times because they are experiencing their environment. If your baby sleeps too much in the day, which can cause them to be awake at night. Put them in a sleep schedule from an early age, and they will soon start sleeping throughout the night.