There are only a handful of things that would make my baby wake up at night. But it took me a while to learn what they all were. Once I knew the challenges, it was easier to avoid them and keep us sleeping through the night. My doctor told me sleep was very important to the development of my baby's brain and his little body, so I wanted to help him get as much sleep as he could. Here were our top five sleep interruptions and what we did about them.
Babies pee at night, a lot. And when mine was wet, he got uncomfortable and wriggly and woke up. I found a high quality diaper to help keep him dry at night. And it was soft and comfortable, so he would sleep. And a good night of sleep meant a good morning for both of us.
For those first couple months, my baby ate every few hours around the clock. I learned pretty quickly that I didn't want him to need to eat to go back to sleep. So I would keep him awake while he ate, sometimes by talking or singing quietly to him. Or I would change his diaper halfway through the feeding to help him stay awake. Putting him in the bed before he was asleep was the key to teaching them how to put himself back to sleep.
My baby seemed to have a window of time for putting him down. And if I missed it and he got over-tired, then I'd have a hard time getting him down at all. It took me a while, but eventually I learned all the sleepy signals, things like rubbing his eyes, fussiness, or laying his head down. When I saw any of these, I'd get him to bed as soon as I could.
Loud noises were often a problem, especially when there were other kids or people around, though we also found that silence was a problem. So as much as possible, I tried to have some kind of background noise when he went to bed, often some lullaby music.
No matter what, babies do wake up at night. But we wanted our son to learn to put himself back to sleep. We tried our best not to run in every time he whimpered, because our noise and energy would often be the thing that woke him up.
Have you ever been visiting someone or staying at a hotel and when you wake up it takes a minute for you to figure out where you are? Well, that's what it's like for babies, except they will need to see your face to orient them. So if your baby wakes up at night in a different place than where he went to sleep, he will often cry out for you. To help with this, we tried to keep a bedtime routine which includes going to sleep in the same place he was going to sleep all night. That was especially true if we slept away from home.
Well, those were our five. But every baby is different. I bet you're already figuring out the routine that suits your baby best. If your baby is waking up a lot at night, don't worry. You will find the routine that works for you.
On behalf of Pampers, this is Kathleen Fisher with Howdini. Visit Pampers' YouTube channel for more parenting tips.