Dealing with night crying

When Baby was just born, you expected her to keep you up all night – after all, there’s a reason ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ is the advice given to all new parents. Now that she is a bit older though, it may seem like she should have grown out of this stage by now.

Whether Baby never quite stopped waking up in the middle of the night and crying for your attention, or she was a solid sleeper through the night until recently, it’s still not surprising if Baby has been making a dent in your sleeping hours. While most babies do settle into a pattern of sleeping through the night at a certain point, all babies develop along different timelines, and even when they do sleep through the night, that pattern is often disrupted by growth spurts or developmental changes.

What to do

Unfortunately, if Baby is going through a growth spurt, there may not be too much you can do. She really might just need the extra nourishment she is asking for when she wakes up crying, and feeding her more before bed may not help, since being over-full before bed can actually lead to a more restless sleep.

One thing that could really help Baby, especially during a growth-spurt, but also at any other time, is an adjustment to her naptime. If there is one nap that has been getting shorter and shorter, it might be time to cut that nap out. If, on the other hand, Baby seems to have grown grouchier in general, she may be overtired, which can hurt the quality of her sleep. It could be that what she is really looking for is an earlier bedtime.

However, if Baby has developed a sense of object permanence, and a case of separation anxiety with it, she may be calling out for you at night because she missing you. To help with this, you can start building her confidence in your presence during the day by talking to her from the other room when you walk away to grab something, and by assuring her you’ll be right back before going on short trips, walks, or errands, and then following through by coming straight back to her. As Baby’s confidence grows, she should begin to feel calmer about not having you there beside her when she wakes up during the night.

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