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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

    June 18, 2024 at 10:19 am

    Hi Sarah,

    If your little one has suddenly started waking up during the night and staying awake, there are a few things to consider:

    • Total Sleep Needs: If he wakes for a full feed and then stays awake for an entire wake window, it might indicate that he needs to build up sleep pressure to fall back asleep. This could mean he has reached his total sleep needs. So, it is important to look at the amount of daytime sleep he has and adjust that if needed.
    • Timing of the Last Nap: Ensure the final nap of the day ends early enough for him to build sufficient sleep pressure before bedtime. This might mean capping the late afternoon nap to provide a longer wake window.
    • Consider Dropping a Nap: When babies are ready to drop a nap but haven’t yet done so, they can experience stretches of wakefulness during the night. At this age, babies typically take 3-4 naps per day. If your baby still has 4 or more naps a day but has established a routine with two longer naps (one in the early morning and another around midday), he might only need 3 naps a day. You may need to help him transition to fewer naps by gently eliminating one.
    • How He Falls Asleep: If he falls asleep while feeding or in your arms, it may be worth trying to help him learn to fall asleep on his own in the crib. Using the settling pyramid method can help with this. Once he can fall asleep independently, he might stop waking during the night.
    • Consistency: Learning to roll over might be impacting his sleep and resulting in this early morning wake. To ensure his safety during this time, it’s important to transition him out of the swaddle (if you haven’t already) and make sure he is sleeping on a firm, flat mattress free from loose bedding, soft toys, crib bumpers, etc. Once he learns to roll over, you may find he prefers to sleep on his tummy.
    • Consistent Wake-Up Time: Establish a consistent morning wake-up time (if you haven’t already). This will help regulate his circadian rhythm and keep bedtime consistent. It will also help him naturally fall into a napping schedule.
    • Boring Nighttime Environment: When he wakes overnight, keep the environment dark and interactions minimal. Use a red light if needed. This teaches him that nighttime is for sleeping, not playtime. Avoid turning on bright lights or engaging in play, as this can reinforce nighttime wakefulness and affect his circadian rhythm.

    I hope these tips help!