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Welcome To The Members Area! Forums Baby Sleep Help Happily Playing in Cot at 2am Reply To: Happily Playing in Cot at 2am

  • Emma H

    April 11, 2024 at 9:21 pm

    Hey Sharne,

    2 a.m. party time doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. And I agree that taking her for a drive at this time is not sustainable for anyone!

    From what you’ve said, there are two possible reasons for this sudden waking at 2am.

    The first one is the “hybrid crawl”. Studies have shown that when babies learn new motor skills, particularly crawling, they can wake overnight to ‘practice this skill’. If this is the reason, it should settle down over time. Just make sure you give her lots of opportunities to practice this new crawling technique during daytime hours and maintain those healthy sleep habits (so keeping the lights off if it isn’t feeding time or time to change the nappy, keeping interactions to a minimum, don’t feeding her if it isn’t time for a feed etc.). If you start doing things you typically wouldn’t try to get her to fall asleep, like feeding her, rocking her, etc., it can encourage her to keep waking up at this time.

    The second reason might be with that last nap of the day. I noticed that you mentioned she is now having a 2 hours nap at the end of the day. This is great because it indicates that she is learning to link sleep cycles. But the issue might be that it’s finishing too close to bedtime. At 5 months, she might need 2 1/2 hours of awake time before bed to ensure her sleep pressure is high when she goes to bed. So if the nap finishes at 5.30pm and her bedtime is at 6:30/ 7/ 7:30, she might not have enough wake time. For the next few days, try waking her up from that last nap of the day at 5pm if she hasn’t already woken up and make bedtime 7:30 pm and see if this stops the 2am wake.

    While trying this over the next few days, when she wakes up at 2am, if she is happy, I just let her play. By not interacting you’re reinforcing that overnight isn’t playtime and hopefully this means she will settle back to sleep quicker. Sometimes, interacting and trying to settle them back to sleep can just cause them to wake up more and stay awake for longer. So if she is happy in her crib and not calling out to you, I would just leave her be.

    Hopefully, she isn’t a loud pterodactyl!

    Let me know if any of these help!