Parents often talk about celebrating their baby’s milestones: the first time they sleep through the night, the first real laugh, the first time they roll over….
And while these are memorable occasions, often, people don’t talk about the challenges involved!
Many developmental milestones don’t miraculously happen. They are practiced again and again and again by determined babies. And, they often do it during the night when they ought to be sleeping!
If you notice your baby sitting, rolling, crawling, or standing up during the night, don’t fret; it’s perfectly normal! However, it is crucial to respond in the right way to prevent any bad habits from developing.
This is what you can do if your baby is waking up in the middle of the night...
Why Is My Baby Suddenly So Active During The Night?
As frustrating as it may be to see a hard-earned sleep schedule disrupted out of the blue, rest assured that your baby is totally normal. The change should only be temporary.
When babies learn new skills, such as rolling, sitting, crawling, or pulling up to stand, an in-built drive to master said skill kicks in. Their minds and bodies instinctively want to practice their new moves – almost obsessively! This is nature's way of hitting fast forward on essential survival skills.
It’s an exciting and stimulating time for little ones, and when they wake up, they can’t help but put their new moves to the test.
Should I Intervene?
If you have a camera set up to monitor your baby, you are more likely to notice any movement and become alarmed unnecessarily.
So, what to do if you glance at the screen (or pop your head in the door) and see baby sitting or standing? The best response is… do nothing!
If baby is clearly not distressed, you can leave them to it.
If you rush in every time you see them sitting or standing, they’re going to learn very quickly how to get your attention and rely on your support.
Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night
Remember that babies must learn how to sit up before they learn how to lie back down, and will be able to pull up to a stand before they figure out how to reverse the manoeuvre. It's essential to give them time to work it out for themselves.
This can be a tiring and frustrating journey for a tired, tot, though. If you notice your baby becoming upset and unable to figure it all out, you should intervene.
Pop into the room, help them lie back down, and promptly leave. Try not to make a fuss or hover. You may have to do this 12 times on the first night, but over the next few days, they will pick it up more quickly.
Keeping Baby Safe
As your baby starts to rock and roll around the crib, you may worry that they will hurt themselves. Don’t be tempted to add wedges or stuff blankets around the edge to stop them from rolling; these aren’t safe and may pose a suffocation risk.
Can I Speed Things Up A Bit?
The faster baby masters their new skills, the faster you can all get back to a regular sleep routine.
Give them time and space during the day (outside of nap time) to practice. Play together outside of the cot, allowing your baby to hold onto your fingers or the couch. Make it a game to stand up, sit back down, then lie down.
All this “playing” will cement the new skills so that when night time comes, they will be able to sort themselves out without any intervention from mum and dad.
So, there you have it. While frustrating to have your little one waking up in the middle of the night again, it is completely normal and is a phase that should pass.
If you don’t feel that the phase is passing and your little one has learned some habits you rather they hadn’t, then get in touch with us here at Serene Sleep. We have a number of different sleep packages that can help you combat any sleep issues - including waking up in the middle of the night.
Check out the packages on our website today.