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Do you want to cry every time your friends tell you that their babies are already sleeping through the night because your baby wakes up every hour?
Are you at your wits’ end and at a loss for what to do with your baby who just won’t go to sleep at all? Can’t sleep and don’t know how much more you’ll be able to handle?
Having a baby who wakes up every hour is crazy. It takes a toll on your whole family. But there are reasons that can help you understand their behavior better, and simple tips that can help the whole family get a better night’s sleep.
Why is my baby waking up every hour?
Research has shown that babies wake briefly throughout the night during their first year. Science says that during these early months, babies wake up or have sleep disruptions every 45 minutes to an hour.
However, not all babies react the same way when they wake up. While some babies will go into a light sleep, others will wake up.
Even the behavior of the babies who do wake up will be different from one baby to the next. Some will stay in their cribs and you’ll just hear them wiggle or squirm, and some will cry and need you to intervene before they can go back to sleep.
In addition to their natural sleep cycle, there are other reasons why your baby is waking up every hour. First, night feeds are a common reason for babies to wake up in the middle of the night.
The reality is that in the early days, they need to eat regularly, even at night, because of their small stomachs. This is especially true for breastfed babies, who wake up more often than those who are formula fed.
Other reasons that may help explain why your baby wakes up every hour include:
– An inability to self-soothe
– Sleep regression – Sleep regressions are common at 4, 8, 16, and 24 months. They are developmental, and although most regressions are short-lived, they may be the reason your baby is waking up every hour.
– Normal development – If your baby has just learned new tricks that they can do, such as rolling over, they may decide to practice these skills at night.
By 4 months, many babies have developed a more regular schedule and can sleep for longer periods. This is made easier by the fact that they need less nighttime feeds, and it’s also easier for them to develop self-soothing strategies.
However, even after month 4 and throughout the first year, yours may still be one of those babies who wakes up every hour.
While your baby may need more time than others to get on a regular sleep schedule, there are a few things you can do to help make it easier to stop waking up.
Here are 10 simple things you can try if your baby keeps waking up at night.
10 things to do if your baby wakes up every hour
1) Establish a routine. It is never too early to start a routine. Routines help babies feel safe. They also help soothe them and prepare them for a good night’s sleep.
Spending at least 30 minutes each day before bedtime doing relaxing activities such as taking a bath or getting a massage can do wonders for a baby who wakes up every hour. Remember, the only routines that work are the ones that are consistent.
2) Do not intervene right away. The quicker you intervene, the less chance your baby has of learning to soothe themselves back to sleep. Remember that fussing and crying are normal behaviors that occur when babies are between sleep cycles (a cycle lasts about 45 minutes to an hour).
3) Try white noise. Many parents swear by white noise machines. White noise prevents the sounds in your baby’s environment from interfering with their sleep, which means that they are more likely to stay asleep even when they enter a light sleep phase.
4) Make sure your baby isn’t sick or teething.
5) Make sure your baby’s room is conducive to sleep. If your baby keeps waking up at night, make sure their room is conducive to optimal sleep. A quiet, dark, and cool room will increase the chances that they will not stay awake when they enter a light sleep phase.
6) Experiment with a hot water bottle for baby. Hot water bottles can help keep your baby’s bed nice and warm, making it easier to fall asleep. However, there are some precautions to take before using hot water bottles with babies. This article will tell you everything you need to know if you’re interested in this option.
7) Keep your baby active during the day. If your baby doesn’t get to practice the new skills they’ve learned during the day, they may start practicing those skills at night. Keeping them active will also help them get a good night’s sleep, which will reduce the chances of them waking up every hour.
8) Drop a nap. A baby unable to sleep throughout the night may be a sign that they are getting too much sleep during the day. Try eliminating at least one nap to see if their sleep improves.
9) Try sleep training. If your baby is at least 4 months old, sleep training can help him or her establish a more regular sleep schedule and reduce nighttime awakenings.
10) Don’t entertain your baby at night. If your baby wakes up at night, keep things as boring as possible to help them understand the difference between day and night. For example, you can avoid things like talking, playing, and turning on the light, and keep your intervention as brief as possible.
Dealing with a baby who wakes every hour can be extremely exhausting. Although many babies eventually develop a regular sleep cycle, it sometimes takes time.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask your partner and family for help. Do not hesitate to talk to your baby’s doctor if you are concerned that your baby’s sleep patterns may be due to a medical condition.