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8 Reasons your baby is waking up in the middle of the night

We all read the Pinterest articles searching for the one article that will give us the golden key to unlocking the mysteries of our baby’s behavior. I’ve learned that sometimes trial and error are our best teachers. Find out why your baby may possibly be waking up at night more often than you like!

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Once you’ve ruled out colic as an issue, and you’ve massaged, leg-pumped, soothed the farty, burpy baby, there are still a few issues that can distress a baby and their all too rapid sleep cycle.

1- The classic “diaper is wet” problem.

Oh the age-old problem. Seriously wouldn’t you cry or wake-up if you were sleeping in a wet pile of your own doing? I know I would. Luckily there are a few tricks.

One of the tricks requires you to buy a size larger of your preferred diaper. That way there is more room for baby’s pee & poo. Don’t get bamboozeled into buying the famous brands “wicking away” stories.

Every diaper has a saturation point. Also you don’t want to get duped in that way because many top brand diapers are actually full of chemicals (look for an upcoming post on clean diapers).

my favorite diapers….

2- Temperature of the room is now warmer or colder then before

This one is a fun one. Because now it requires you adding layers to a semi-sleeping baby without waking them all the way up or removing clothing without waking them all the way up.

Good luck!

What I did was purchase simple digital thermometers and placed them around the rooms the baby naps/sleeps in. It has helped tremendously. I’m more aware of the falling or rising temps. Also different rooms have different exposures to the sun, wind and general outdoor environment. This, as I became aware, can make differences of up to 5 degrees in different rooms!

3- Hunger

I am a BIG advocate of feeding right before bed. My little peanut is an eater, and during growth spurts, it will be inevitable she will need to eat in the middle of the night.

If you notice cluster feeding in the evening or constant hunger cues during the day, BE PREPARED! Pacifiers, most of the time, don’t work in this instant. They fall out and baby’s cry. Plus, they are hungry. If you were hungry, would you like some sticking a rubber, tasteless toy in your mouth?

4- Loud abrupt sound

Living in an area where people have pretty much no respect for the fact that we can hear the overly sensitive car alarm, loud voices, blue-toothed cell phones to the car speakers, and their annoying, yappy dog – you are bound to have a noise startle the baby, especially if they are getting out of their deep REM cycle.

My super fave is the car going over the speed bump in front of the house at NASCAR speeds and hearing their undercarriage get shredded (they deserve it). Awesome.

For this I rely on a “shhhhhh” machine, certain times of the day. They are also called white noise or ocean sounds machines. I like the ocean sounds. Sometimes i use that. Sometimes I put the air filter on high. When it was warm, the oscillating fan worked like a charm. Either way, the the hum of these pieces of equipment helped.

5- Learning how to roll over

YEAH for them, BOO for you. There’s no way around this one. Just be prepared to either dive in with your boob to their face to calm them or a bottle (not a fan, leads to swallowing air, then you’d have to burp them).

Sometimes you get a baby that actually rolls over and enjoys being on their tummy and they settle down just fine. Yeay for you!

Sometimes you need something called a Sleep sack. That may deter them from rolling.


Watch the monitor and just give them a minute and see. Fingers crossed.

6- Anxious to be away from mommy

During certain times of their 1st year, sometimes even up to the 2nd year, anxieties develop where the baby understands distance. They know when you have left and they realize you are gone.

This is a natural, animal instinct.

Because until they are able to fend for themselves and keep themselves warm, soothed and free from the idea that a big animal will eat them, you’ll have to be understanding of it.

Great book called the Wonder Weeks, will help you really understand when they are a little extra clingy and needy (more huggy time, yeay!)

You had a baby, deal with it.

7- Hasn’t learned to self sooth

Sometimes this is momma’s fault, sometimes its not. Every kiddo is different. Pacifiers were invented for this reason, but i’m not a advocate for them. I think a little thumb sucking, hugging a blanky or twiddling their thumbs (although hubby calls it evil villain hands) are all natural soothing mechanisms.

Once in a while you’ll get a babe who uses mommy’s booby as a soother. ok. guilty as charged. Oh well.

So when the baby stirs you have to dive in there like a wide receiver (football joke) at the 1 yard line and get that boob in their mouth before they really wake up.

8 – May be having trouble falling back asleep – too much carbs/ sugar in diet

Just like with adults, too many carbs, and too late in the day, can affect cortisol and insulin. Cortisol going funky can lead to energy peaks in the middle of the night causing the light part of the REM cycle of sleep to become wake-up time.

Consider removing sweets, fruits and grains away from dinner time, even maybe no later than 4 pm. For you, if your breastfeeding or for baby, if they are starting to eat real food.

It may take several days if not a week to see a difference. Also remember as a breast feeding mom, hormonal disruptions, adrenaline and caffeine will all be in your milk and your baby will get that, leading to disrupted sleep.

And stop, don’t do “pump and dump”. Just try to stay away from the sugary, carby garbage food.

ANYWAY…. I gotta go, temperature just dropped and I’m watching a little human toss and turn. Time to get the sleep sack.



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