Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baby's Tip

Why is my baby suddenly waking in the night?

Babies' sleep patterns can be affected by many things, including illness, holidays, changes in routine, and development. Many babies who were great sleepers as babies start waking again during the night between six and 10 months of age. Doctors aren't exactly sure why this happens but believe there may be some physiological or developmental reason. If your baby suddenly starts waking during the night, step back and evaluate the situation. First, is it something environmental? Have the neighbors started leaving on an outdoor light that is shining into your child's bedroom? If so, try to fix the situation, such as putting up a room-darkening shade. Second, are the sudden nighttime waking following a period of illness or a holiday? Or do they coincide with a developmental change? If your baby has learned a new motor skill, for instance, learning to crawl, he may want to try it out every chance he gets -- even in the middle of the night. Some babies get caught up in pulling themselves to standing but then can't get themselves back down without help. The best way to deal with these sudden nighttime waking is to stick with what worked before. That is, don't suddenly change your bedtime routine or how you get your baby to sleep. Remain consistent in what you do for several weeks. This will help your child return to sleeping through the night once the temporary issue is resolved.