The life of the parents of a newborn is filled with various troubles and is deprived of normal good rest. This is expressed in a constant lack of sleep due to frequent nighttime awakenings of the child. Sudden crying can be heard in the apartment at any time of the night.
Newborns and toddlers under 1 year of age should sleep at least half the time per day. Newborns usually sleep about 16 – 18 hours for the first three months. The sleep rate gradually decreases by about 1 hour in 2 to 3 months. The sleep schedule is between 13 – 16 hours per day for children aged 1 year.
Sleep should be divided into several periods throughout the day. It has two phases – deep and active sleep. The second makes up about 70% of the total time spent in sleep by the baby. The body is most susceptible to spontaneous awakenings during the active phase. Even a slight rustle can be the cause of and toddler waking up at night.
Awakening a child at night is associated with various problems and irritants. Factors may be external or health-related. Let’s take closer look at the most common causes of children’s sleep disturbances.
9 Reasons Why Toddler Wakes up at Night
The reasons may be related to physiological and psychological processes in the child’s body. Sleep can be disturbed by environmental factors. Consider the specific causes that disrupt the baby’s nighttime sleep.
1. Discomfort in the crib
The baby should be wrapped in comfort. The smallest details can negatively affect the quality of his rest. Newborns wake up because of a wet diaper or uncomfortable clothes. Too soft a featherbed or a hard mattress can be a cause of concern for the child.
Sometimes the wrong position of the body prevents from sleeping soundly. It is impossible to put a newborn on the stomach. It must sleep on its back.
2. Feeling hungry or thirsty
The newborn body needs nutrients in addition to a long sleep. Feeding must be carried out several times a day and even at night.
The need for food acts as a catalyst for nocturnal awakening. This can happen 2-3 times during the night in newborns. Older children wake up much less often for this reason. It is recommended to feed at night no more than once at the age of 1 year.
3. Natural sleep regression
Different ages require specific sleep times. Less rest is required to recuperate as the body matures. The biorhythms are not set yet. The phases of wakefulness and sleep may alternate randomly. Many parents are not familiar with the term sleep regression. They are very nervous because of the constant nighttime activity of the child. It’s stressful for parents to get used to.
4. Rituals before bed
All people are prone to unexpected nighttime awakenings. It’s just that adults immediately fall asleep and don’t remember it. This is due to the work of the brain during deep sleep.
Infant body is arranged differently and falling asleep is associated with a certain process. Feeding, singing, or rocking. The absence of the usual “ritual” does not allow the baby to fall asleep quickly.
5. Overexcitation during the day interferes with sleep
Excitation processes in young children prevail over calming processes. It is difficult for them to calm down on their own after a strong excitement. Falling asleep after a night of sudden awakening is almost impossible without third-party methods. Too short or no naps lead to nocturnal hyperactivity. Too long naps and lack of activity have the same effect.
6. Psychological factors
A child at any age needs affection, attention, and care. The baby feels in danger waking up at night and not feeling his mother next to him. Lack of attention spills over into emotional instability and stress. Psychological stability can be influenced by the environment. The child may have nightmares due to the constantly working TV, frequent visits from guests, etc.
7. Physiological processes in the body
The baby’s body is rapidly formed in response to external stimuli. This leaves its mark on the nervous system. Restless sleep can be the result of new processes to which the body has not yet had time to adapt. New food can lead to the formation of gases in the intestines, minor colic. Babies experience poor sleep during teething. Allergy is one of the physiological factors of sleep disturbance.
8. Unsuitable conditions in the children’s room
Children’s room should be the most comfortable condition for the rest and development of the baby. Good sound insulation, constant air temperature, complete darkness at night will improve the quality of sleep for a newborn.
Too dry air in the room irritates the mucous membranes of the nose and disturbs the rhythm of breathing. Light glare from the window or the knock of neighbors behind the wall can wake the child at an inopportune moment.
The most common cold will cause a lot of problems for a newborn because he has a very weak immune system. A runny nose and cough make it very difficult to breathe during sleep. Frequent drafts can lead to inflammation in the ears. Any inflammatory process leads to disruption of healthy sleep.
Ways to help baby Sleep at night
You need to know what prevents the baby from sleeping to improve the quality of dreams. Let’s take a look at the basic methods to prevent your baby from waking up at night.
1. Comfortable child’s room
Nothing should interfere with the sound sleep of the baby, from wallpaper to the mattress in the crib. It is better to put blinds on the windows so that the light from the street does not penetrate at night. Install a humidifier in the room so that excessive dryness does not cause discomfort to the baby. Keep an eye on the temperature – the room should not be cold or too hot.
Remove all unnecessary toys, pillows, and other third-party things from the crib before bedtime. The baby may shudder and wake up hooked on them at night. Make sure that the clothes do not cause discomfort, are dry, do not rub, are not tight. The mattress on which the baby sleeps should be comfortable.
2. Watch the sleep patterns
It’s best to prepare in advance for an infant’s sleep regression. Do not try to go back to the previous schedule if you notice that the schedule has gone a little off. Better accustomed to constantly falling asleep at certain hours on a new schedule.
Constancy should be in the process of going to bed. It will be difficult for the baby to fall asleep without eating before bed if he is used to it. It is necessary to reduce the activity of the child a couple of hours before bedtime. Do not play fast-paced games and do not turn on the TV/computer one hour before going to bed.
3. Create a sleep routine
Feeding is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep for your newborn for the next few hours. Other procedures are good for soothing babies. Pediatricians recommend taking a bath. Warm water and a little massage relax the body and set it up for a long rest. Lullaby is one of the traditional rituals. Later it can be replaced by quiet reading.
How to Stay Calm When Toddler Wakes up All the Time?
Every mother worries about her child more than about herself. The constant night crying of a newborn greatly disturbs parents. Physical fatigue due to lack of sleep causes emotional tension. It becomes difficult to calmly respond to another cry in the middle of the night over time.
The easiest way to find time to rest is to sleep at the same time as the baby. This also applies to daylight hours. Postpone a lot of things for later. Do only what is necessary. Entrust some of the cases to relatives if possible.
It is not necessary to run to the crib at night when you hear a baby cry. Wait a few minutes. There is a chance that the baby will fall asleep on its own. The reflex of falling asleep will be developed and night awakenings will not give you so much trouble over time.