So…your newborn’s up all night every night (more often than for necessary feedings)? Although we don’t start sleep learning until 4 months, it is NEVER too early to work on creating healthy sleep habits!
In this blog, I’m going to go over four different reasons why your newborn might be waking up all night:
Let’s jump right in!
Little babies’ brains are so tiny and new and we’ve got a very stimulating world. Some newborns are really good at tuning it all out and going to sleep when they need to. Others are interested in everything around them and have a serious case of FOMO. This is especially true after 6-8 weeks when they become must more alert. Aim to keep wake windows between 60-90 minutes.
Here’s how it works…we have awesome chemicals in our brains that help us regulate being asleep as well as being awake. Our brains can also override those chemicals and power through to keep awake. But just like most things for newborns, it’s all pretty basic and clunky, meaning they need help regulating when to produce what.
When we prevent overtiredness and overstimulation, we help our baby’s brain learn the ropes of when to produce sleepy chemicals, fall asleep, and stay asleep for longer stretches. If we can catch our baby’s signals that they’re getting sleepy before they start powering through to stay awake, we can help prevent overtiredness and overstimulation. You do this by paying attention to their sleepy cues and following age-appropriate wake windows.
Click here to read more about newborn sleepy cues.
Overstimulation and Older Siblings
We all know how amazing and FUN toddlers are. We know this, and newborns know this! It can be so great to have your toddler and newborn play together, however, remember to watch for overstimulation in your newborn.
If you feel like your newborn has gotten enough stimulation for that wake window, it can be helpful to:
- Shorten the wake window
- Head to a quiet, dimly lit place to decompress for a few minutes
This will help keep your newborn’s sleep on track and prevent overtiredness!
Click here to watch more about overstimulation with toddlers and newborns on Instagram.
Newborns can be super loud, grunty sleepers but if you notice it’s waking them up throughout the night, they could be gassy! Babies can swallow air when they eat, suck on a pacifier, or even cry. Tummy troubles are often the culprit to bad sleep and babies having difficulty sleeping. Babies have super immature digestive systems so it’s totally normal that they would be prone to gas. With this in mind, here are my 7 tips and tricks to help get out tricky has, so everyone can sleep better!
1. Breastfeeding position
Be sure to keep your little one’s head higher than their tummy when you are feeding them. This can make a huge difference!
2. Use the correct bottle AND nipple for gas and reflux
There are SO many different bottle and nipple options on the market. It is totally worth it to try a bottle that is designed to reduce gas (like Dr. Brown’s Bottles) and nipples that are designed to keep them from sucking in extra air.
3. Try different burping positions
I have several MAGICAL burping positions that work like a charm! I demonstrate them in my “How to Help a Gassy Baby: 7 Ways to Provide Relief” blog.
4. Try bicycle kicks for toots
Move your baby’s legs in a peddling motion, like they’re on a bike. Be sure to bring their legs right up to their stomach to help open up their bum and put light pressure on their tummy.
5. Check for tongue and lip tie
If you think your baby might have a tongue and/or lip tie, go see a specialist! Ties can cause difficulty with their latch, making them take in more air than normal when feeding.
6. Reevaluate your diet
What you are eating can be affecting your baby if you are breastfeeding. The most common food intolerances include dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, corn, or even food that other members of the family are allergic to.
7. Rule our reflux
If your baby is experiencing reflux, I see you. I’ve been there with my own babies, and it can be heartbreaking! I have an entire blog post with everything you’ll need to know here: “Reflux and Baby Sleep: What It Is and How to Help Your Little One.”
Click here to watch more gas hacks on Instagram.
3. Poor Daytime Sleep
Newborns are so sleepy in those first few weeks. Our goal for naps is between 1-3 hours so you might have to wake them up if a nap is approaching that 3-hour mark. Remember, sleep begets sleep.
If you’re worried that your babe is sleeping too much during the day and won’t sleep well at night, rest assured that usually isn’t the case. But, if you’ve entered the stage of “crap naps”, do everything you can to extend those naps to at least an hour. Don’t worry about creating “bad habits” – you can’t spoil a newborn!
Click here to learn how many hours of daytime sleep your baby needs on Instagram.
4. Incomplete Daytime Feedings
Our goal is to get good, full feedings during the day so baby isn’t waking up all night from hunger. Do your best to keep baby awake and alert while they eat by getting them undressed or tickling their feet. If you need to take a break to wake them up, that’s ok! It can be helpful to keep track of the time baby nurses or how many ounces they usually take in a feed.
Click here to watch a reel about how to get full feedings on Instagram.
Recap Why Your Newborn Might Be Up All Night
It can be SO frustrating and overwhelming when your newborn (and YOU!) isn’t getting the sleep you need. I promise it WILL get better. And know that it is NEVER too early to work on creating healthy sleep habits! Remember, we have an AMAZING team of sleep experts who can work with you and support you along the way! If you’re ready to start troubleshooting with one of our consultants, grab a consultation.
Whether your little one is a newborn (0-4 Months Content Library), 4-24 months (4-24 Months Content Library), or a toddler (2-5 Years Content Library), we have the resources you need to get your family the sleep you all deserve!