Why Is My Newborn Up All Night

A Food Allergy Or Intolerance

Why does my newborn nap well in the day but stay awake all night?

Food allergies and intolerances can cause a host of physical problems, and disrupted sleep is one of them. Food allergies and intolerances often trigger digestive issues as well as rashes and swelling all those symptoms make for a bad night of sleep!

Food allergies and intolerances can develop at any age, but this may be an especially big problem as you start to introduce your baby to solid foods. For more information on how food allergies and intolerances affect your baby, and how to be mindful of allergy-causing foods as you start your baby on solids, review How to Introduce Solid Foods to Your Baby.

Sleep Associations And Hunger: Two Common Causes Of Nighttime Waking

Lots of babies and toddlers wake at night due to sleep associations for those children, the solution is usually to sleep train. Newborns and young infants can often wake at night from hunger in that case, the solution is to offer a feeding.

But what about nighttime waking that isnt so straightforward? This article will highlight 6 possible reasons your baby or toddler is waking at night.

Why Does My Baby Sleep So Much During The Day And Not At Night

Infants sleep a lot! On average, your infant can sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day. As a new parent, you may have noticed that this sleeping pattern is a lot different from yours. Unlike adults, babies do not have typical sleep patterns or schedules. Some infants sleep for a long time, while others wake up more frequently. Some sleep lightly, while others deeply. Every baby is different. You may feel frustrated if your baby keeps you up at night, yet can sleep for hours during the day.

Video with information about infant sleep patterns. // source: Todays Parent, 2017

Babies do not understand the difference between day and night. Their external clock is not yet developed, which takes its cues from daylight and darkness. This means that your babys sleep patterns are not yet cued to the natural cycle of day and night. In adults, this external, master clock is located in the brain near your vision-processing areas. It manages your Circadian rhythms: your internal clocks, which play a role in controlling your 24-hour sleep and wake cycles. Rather, the life of a newborn revolves around getting fed. Their sleep patterns are shaped moreso by the time it takes to feed, digest, and become hungry again, rather than by night and day.

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Putting Your Baby To Sleep

Your baby may go straight to sleep after a feed.

When possible, put your baby down to sleep drowsy but awake. This might help them fall asleep where they will be waking up.

Your baby will be awake for 1 to 2 hours between sleeps.

Watch a video on settling your baby for sleep

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Reasons Babies Wake Up At Night:

Why Your Baby Wakes Up Frequently During the Night
  • Sleep Cycle: Babies wake up during the night primarily because their brain waves shift and change cycles as they move from REM sleep to other stages of non-REM sleep. The different wave patterns our brains make during certain periods define these sleep cycles or stages of sleep. As babies move from one stage of sleep to another during the night, they transition. In that transition, many babies will awaken. Sometimes they call out or cry. Sometimes they wake hungry. Its normal for babies to wake 4-5 times a night during these times of transition. However, most adults wake up and then fall back to sleep so rapidly that we rarely remember the awakening. At 4 months of age, many parents notice awakenings after a first chunk of deeper sleep. This is normal, and often due to development of delta wave sleep . The trick for parents is to do less and less as each month of infancy unfolds during these awakenings we want to help our babies self-soothe more and more independently during these awakenings so that sleeping through the night becomes a reality.
  • Teething: Theres no question that teething wakes children at night and disrupts sleep. Teething typically commences around 6 months of age but I hear about teething waking babies all the way through their toddlerhood. Acetaminophen is the only medication I recommend for teething.
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    Establishing A Baby Bedtime Routine

    You may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around 3 months old. Getting them into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can be a great opportunity to have 1-to-1 time with your baby.

    The routine could consist of:

    • having a bath
    • changing into night clothes and a fresh nappy
    • putting them to bed
    • reading a bedtime story
    • dimming the lights in the room to create a calm atmosphere
    • giving a goodnight kiss and cuddle
    • singing a lullaby or having a wind-up musical mobile you can turn on when you’ve put your baby to bed
    • brushing their teeth

    As your child gets older, it can be helpful to keep to a similar bedtime routine. Too much excitement and stimulation just before bedtime can wake your child up again. Spend some time winding down and doing some calmer activities, like reading.

    What To Do About Waking Every Hour

    Once your baby is beyond the newborn stage, if they still wake up every 1-2 hours there are two things you need to do.

  • First, find the reason why your baby wakes during their light sleep phase. There is almost always a specific cause, and often there are several reasons.
  • Set up the basic conditions for getting a good sleep.
  • Please see my Overcome Frequent Waking program for info on both these things.

    Let’s start here with learning why your baby wakes up so often.

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    Monitor Their Daytime Naps

    As the baby grows, the number of hours of sleep they need reduces. Frequent and long naps during the day can affect their sleep at night. Keep track of their daytime nap times and try to gradually minimize the overall nap time during the day. This might help your baby sleep for a longer duration without waking up in between.

    Mixing Up Day And Night

    About toddler night screams & sudden waking up – Dr. Shaheena Athif

    What it looks like: Your baby sleeps all day, but then stays up all night long .

    How to solve it: Your newborns nocturnal ways should correct themselves as she adjusts to life on the outside, but there are a few things you can do to help baby differentiate between day and night, including limiting daytime naps to three hours, and making clear distinctions between day and night .

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    Switching From Crib To Big

    “This is a classic mistake parents make,” says Faure. “Do not move your baby until he can climb out of the crib on his own. In that case, he is a danger to himself and must be moved into a bed. Otherwise, let him sleep in his crib until he’s around two years old, when most toddlers are ready for a bed. A crib’s sides provide a very useful barrier at a time when your baby cannot understand or obey verbal boundaries .”

    If you are ready to transition your toddler to a crib, West says there are two approaches:

    The Cold Turkey Method: Simply remove the crib and replace it with the new bed. Just be sure to have guard rails on both sides .

    The Gradual Approach: Start by leaving the crib rail down, with a stool at the side so she can get out by herself, and some pillows near the bed in case she falls out. “If you can fit the new bed and the crib in the same room, you can start with reading books on the bed or have her nap in the bed,” explains West. “Then pick the big night where she sleeps in the bed at night. Once she’s sleeping in her bed for naps and nights, you can remove the crib.

    Make It As Enjoyable As Possiblefor You

    Set up a comfortable spot with everything you need in arm’s reach: remote, charger, water, snacks, pillows and whatever supplies you may need to feed your baby. Then find a book or a new show on Netflix that you’re really excited about so that when you wake up, you think, “Oh good, I get to find out what happens next!”

    A friend of mine told me recently that she actually looked forward to nursing her baby at night because it was the only time she could watch her shows without getting interrupted by her toddler. I’ve even been known to stay up reading even after my son fell asleep because I was so involved in my book! You know you’ll be awake, so you might as well make the most of it.

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    Hes Not Getting Enough Sleep During The Day

    Sleep deprivation is a vicious cycle.

    When your baby is overtired, cortisol builds up in his system. Because of this, he is unable to unwind and find that restorative sleep he desperately needs. Which, of course, causes him to be more tired.

    If your baby is waking up every 2 hours and hes not getting good naps during the day, chances are hes waking when his sleep cycle attempts to transition into deep, restorative sleep. This is when babies are most susceptible to wakings.

    Solution: Make Sure Your Baby Naps Enough During the Day

    Babies 2-3 months old should be sleeping roughly 12 hours a day . If your baby is 4-6 months, he should have a minimum of 3 1.5-2 hour naps a day.

    If your baby is taking 45 minute catnaps during the day, he will be tired and have more nighttime disruptions. So, the easiest solution to stop his frequent night wakings, is to settle him into a nap before he becomes exhausted

    But, there is a balance. Try not to let your baby sleep for more than 2-2.5 hours at a time, because that might translate to too much sleep.


    When A Baby Wakes Up Constantly At Night

    Why Does My Baby Wake Up at Night

    There are quite a few things I want to point out about your babys waking problem. First of all, going to sleep and waking up multiple times during the night are both related to the same root problem. You didnt stay whether she goes into her bed awake, or whether youre holding, rocking, or feeding her to sleep and then shes waking up a million times.

    Usually when I see a child where the parent says that bedtimes a piece of cake, but the baby wakes up a million times at night, little bells go off in my head. What that usually means that baby is not awake enough at bedtime. The same goes for a baby who goes to sleep okay at bed time but then wakes up 30 minutes later, which is also what you said here. Again that makes my alarm bells go off and I say: go back, redo bed time and make sure that shes more awake at bed time.

    Is night weaning your issue?

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    Can Sleep Training Help

    If you suspect your baby needs to learn how to fall back to sleep on their own , we have some good news and some bad news.

    The good news is that this problem has a solution. The bad news is that its sleep training.

    We wont get into the nitty gritty of how to sleep train here, because there are a lot of methods . Its also just not right for every family.

    But if your child has developed an attachment to a routine, a person, or an object to happily fall asleep and theyre waking up in the middle of the night because they dont have it anymore the cold, hard truth is that sleep training is a viable solution.

    If youve tried consistently for 2 weeks to soothe your baby back to sleep and youre not making any progress, its reasonable to consider a more formal sleep training approach, advises Ahmed.

    FYI, sleep training typically doesnt help babies under 4 months old, so you cant jump into it too early. It also can take some time to work.

    Ahmed notes that it takes 2 weeks to both form and break habits, so youve got to be willing to stick with your sleep training plan for a little bit before declaring its not working.

    I would stress patience, Ahmed says. A lot of the time when babies are crying in the middle of the night, theres nothing you can do , its a matter of waiting it out, being patient, and staying the course.

    When Is It Time To Call The Pediatrician

    As a parent, youre not always going to have all the answers.

    In fact, there will be many days where you just go on gut instincts and pray it all works out.

    However, when baby keeps waking up every 10 minutes, it can wear everyone in the house down.

    When in doubt, have it checked out.

    Most of the pediatricians offices understand that some typical infant issues can be cause for alarm.

    They have all sorts of advice that can help you to get through the rough patches.

    If this is your first child, you may be a bit more on edge than a well-seasoned parent.

    Consequently, when it comes to your babys health, you can never be too careful.

    Additional information:

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    If Your Baby Seems To Have Gas You May Want To:

    • Spend extra time burping baby. If your baby doesnt burp after a few minutes of trying, its OK to move on and try something else!
    • Bicycle their legs in the air. This technique is also useful if your baby is constipated.
    • Try over-the-counter options. Before you consider gripe water or gas drops, discuss options with your babys doctor first.
    • Choose slow-flow bottle nipples. By adjusting the nipple flow, less air may enter your babys digestive system with their milk.
    • Change your babys formula. Before giving up on a beloved formula brand, you can also consider trying the same formula in a ready-made formula version, which might lead to less gas than the powdered kind.
    • Experiment with your diet. If your breastfed baby is showing signs of gas discomfort and youve tried other solutions to no avail, it may be time to consider eliminating certain foods from your diet.

    Should I Let My Newborn Sleep All Day Will They Be Up All Night

    Why is my baby fussy at night?

    Want peaceful school mornings and afternoons without power battles and nagging? Simple School Routines can help!

    What’s in this post…

    If youve been wondering if you should let your newborn sleep all day, lets break it down here for the whys and why nots.

    Go with the flow. Let baby lead. Enjoy this time. Nap when baby naps. Babies dont keep.

    These are things you hear and feel make sense except when rubber meets the road with your newborn it can be hard to figure out what to do. So lets get to it

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    Changing Nap Routines Throw Baby Off At Night

    What it looks like: As babies get older, they nap less. If your baby seems happy with her changing schedule and sleeps well at night, embrace this milestone and carry on. But if your little one is napping less but fussing more, or having trouble going to bed at night, she may be overtired and in need of some naptime encouragement.

    How to solve it: Try an abbreviated bedtime routine before each nap and be patient it may simply take her longer to settle into a routine, but shell get there.

    Restless Sleep Due To Frequent Late

    What it looks like: Most 2- to 3-month-old babies, particularly breastfed ones, still need to fill their tummies at least once or twice during the night. Waking up every two hours for middle-of-the-night chow-downs, on the other hand, is typically too much of a good thing by this point and for most babies, not necessary.

    What to do about it: First, talk to your childs pediatrician about how often baby should be eating overnight. If you get the go-ahead to cut down on overnight feeds, ensure babys eating enough during the day by offering a feed every two to three hours. Then, work on slowly stretching the time between nighttime feedings.

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    Dont Play The Blame Game

    Brooding about the situation will make it harder for you to fall asleep when you are given the opportunity. And its wrong-headed, too: You might be doing everything you can to get more sleep, and still be stuck with a baby who sleeps less than average.

    Research suggests that the amount of sleep we get at night is strongly influenced by genetics , and, as mentioned above, there is a lot of individual variation among newborns.

    Why Is My Baby Fussy At Night

    Why is my newborn awake all night and sleeping all day?

    The following might be causes your baby is suddenly fussy in the evening:

    • Growth spurt hunger. As your baby goes through phases of intense growth , they may be hungry and want to cluster feed.
    • Slower milk letdown. While many moms assume a fussy baby isnt getting enough to eat, that may not always be the case. Still, your milk composition changes at night, and you may experience a slower milk flow. The change in milk volume might make for a cranky baby.
    • Gas. If your baby is feeling gassy, and they cant seem to pass it out of their tiny digestive system, they may feel very uncomfortable!
    • Overtired baby. Its a common misconception that keeping a baby awake longer will make them sleep longer. By the end of the day, if your little one has gone too long without a good nap theyll be very tired. An overtired baby will have a hard time settling down.
    • Overstimulated baby. A babys underdeveloped nervous system is more sensitive to bright lights, sounds, and changes in their environment. For instance, you may notice the light of the TV in a dark room, or maybe the volume alone, makes your baby cry.
    • Colic. While all babies cry, if you find that your baby is crying for three hours or more, for three days a week, for three or more weeks, its time to see the doctor! Your pediatrician should do a thorough exam to rule out other conditions.

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