Your child does not sleep through the night, wakes you up several times during the night, or wants to play in the middle of the night? We’ll help you find out what it could be and give you tips on what you can do about babies’ supposed sleep problems.
Sleep problems in babies due to developmental spurts and phases of defiance
About a quarter of all parents are horrified to find out that their baby between the sixth and twelfth month of life suddenly wakes up again more frequently at night. That’s because little ones are becoming more mobile and making rapid learning progress. Every day there’s something new to discover and learn that their brain has to process at night in dream sleep.
Babies and toddlers sleep particularly badly when they have a Development thrust go through and z. B. Learning to crawl or walk. One to two weeks before, toddlers are particularly unbalanced and whiny, they can sleep poorly and often have no appetite. Once the developmental leap is complete, the child’s condition returns to normal and nights become quieter again. Since the developmental leaps are similar in all children, these problem periods can already be anticipated. If you as parents are forewarned, you can handle the nightly disturbances more calmly.
Similarly problematic is the Defiance phase. When children between the ages of two and three become increasingly independent and want to do everything on their own, they need often seek the closeness of their parents at night to compensate. Because the violent feelings that are released in the defiant phase, and the realization that mom and dad often want quite different from them, unsettle the little ones strongly. That’s why they like to cuddle up to their parents in bed or call mommy or daddy. Daddy to the crib again and again. You can alleviate your child’s fears if you give him or her a lot of security during the day and restrict his or her independence as little as possible.
Find and eliminate sources of disturbance for sleep problems
If children suddenly start sleeping poorly, it could also be due to a new, unusual situation lie. A move, the first weeks in kindergarten, a Disease or even just one Vacation can disturb the sleep. One consolation: everything settles down again within a few weeks. Also external influences such as an overheated room or a street lamp directly outside the room window can disturb sleep. Fortunately, they can often be turned off.
Teething as a cause of sleep problems?
Some children suffer greatly when teething, while others take it in stride. In my experience, sleep disorders in young children are rather too often blamed on the teeth. Not every baby or toddler who can’t sleep at night really has teething pain.
However, if your baby also cries in your arms, if one cheek is hot and red, or if the gums are visibly reddened, it is surely the teeth. Then give your child a fresh washcloth washed in cold water to chew on, something cool to drink or even a painkilling teething gel. In addition, your little one now needs your comfort more at night, because on mom’s arm or between parents in bed, the pain is usually only half as bad. Of course, this also applies to pain and illnesses of other kinds.
- My tip: If you are unsure
Your baby is not sleeping through the night and seems to have been teething constantly for weeks and you are unsure if it is actually the teeth? As a last resort, you can give him an analgesic paracetamol suppository on one or two days either in the evening or when he first wakes up at night. If your child sleeps through six to eight hours of undisturbed sleep with this, he or she was most likely in pain. However, if he continues to wake up despite pain medication, the sleep disturbance has another cause.
Baby does not sleep through the night: overestimated need for sleep
How much sleep your child needs varies not only from individual to individual. The Sleep requirements change Even with increasing age. It’s not uncommon for parents to lag behind this development with existing bedtimes. No matter if you put your child to bed too early, if the nap is too long or too late – the result is always that sleeping through the night is no longer possible. With one Sleep protocol you yourself can easily determine when and how much your child sleeps. You may find that your child is getting more sleep than you previously thought. The following are a few tips on what you can change to get your child back to being sufficiently tired at night.
Your baby does not sleep through the night, is awake too early or tired too late?
If your child wakes up before 6 am:
- Do not put your child to bed before 7 p.m. Since children usually do not sleep longer than 11 hours at night, early awakenings are otherwise inevitable.
- Try to delay the time to the morning milk bottle a little bit. Some children have become so accustomed to their early morning meal that their stomach wakes them up because of "learned hunger," even though the little ones could well go without food for a little while longer.
- No more morning naps before 9.30 a.m. If your child takes his first nap early in the day, you can get him to sleep longer in the morning instead of being awake for a few hours between early rising and his morning nap.
- Be extra quiet in the morning if you have to get up early yourself. Sleep is less deep in the morning hours, so your child is more easily awakened by noises.
If your child lies awake in bed for more than 30 minutes in the evening or only finally falls asleep after 10 pm:
- Wake your child up between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. in the morning. If your child sleeps too long in the morning, all daytime naps are usually delayed and he or she is not tired until late in the evening.
- The last daytime nap should start early enough that your child is awake for at least four hours between waking and going to bed.
- If your child lies awake too long in the evening, you should only put him/her to bed at the time when he/she has always fallen asleep so far. Wake your child up at the usual time in the morning, so that he or she does not catch up on the delayed sleep in the morning. In this way, your child will be able to fall asleep faster and earlier within a few days.
If your child does not sleep through the night and is regularly awake for more than an hour at a time:
- Reduce the time your child spends in bed at night to just sleep time. If it is too late at night. B. awake for two hours, it obviously spends two hours too much in bed, during which it is not tired at all. Then put him to sleep two hours later in the evening and wake him up at the usual time in the morning. After a few weeks, a new sleep rhythm has become established and children often sleep even longer than before.
Changes take time
Learning to fall asleep alone helps with sleeping through the night
All people – not only children – wake up several times at night for a short time. This is a legacy from earlier times, when there were dangers at night and it would have been too dangerous to spend the whole night in deep sleep. We check our surroundings during these nighttime awakenings and check if everything is still okay: temperature comfortable? Comfortable position? Nothing hurts? Is everything "normal", i.e. the same as it was when he fell asleep? If so, most adults and even many children go back to sleep quite quickly. However, if your child is not yet able to fall asleep on his own, he will again need your help during the nightly wake-up phases to find his way to sleep. Is it. B. accustomed to fall asleep at the breast, it would naturally also like to be nursed to sleep at night. If a child always falls asleep in your arms and is then put to sleep in his crib, the nightly environment check is alarming: Help, I’m somewhere completely different than when I fell asleep earlier! And so it cries distraught until mom or dad comes and restores the usual condition. This is why it is good if children do not need any elaborate sleep aids, which ultimately make them dependent, but can fall asleep alone in their own bed. Weaning from a beloved sleep aid is always difficult, but doable. Here a sleep training can be meaningful.
Fanny writes on 11.07.2017
I find it not good that here is discouraged times in the evening to administer suppositories to find out if it is pain.
Then better to see a doctor if you are unsure.
But with medicines rather no experiments make. They are still meant for pain ( which they surely are ) and fever and we are talking about babies inside here.
JazzNoah writes on 14.02.2017
Hello dear:) so our little one is now 5months old and sleeps with us what we as parents also enjoy he has never slept in his bed, which is also completely normal because only we European people demand this unfortunately, why does not sleep the baby through? Why doesn’t it sleep in its bed? Why does it stand at night on? My god it was wind baby that lived for 9months in mamas belly, the breath the heart, the blood streams the sounds it heard every day mamas voice it heard every day mamas warmth it felt every day and now they expect it to sleep alone in its bed:( unbelievable to read something like this breaks my heart you can not expect such a small creature to cope with all this immediately. It needs time warmth love and security and that it gets now times only from mama and papa. Babies and children should also be child.
Fehima writes on 22.01.2017
So slowly I have really no more strength, I do not know more further !
My son now 6,5 months just does not sleep properly anymore ! The first two weeks of his life he slept well and woke up 1 or 2 times during the night, but I must say that he was still a belly sleeper until the midwife told me to let him sleep on his back. Then came his 3 months colic in addition and since then he sleeps small no longer properly, both in the morning and in the evening ! It’s getting worse and worse, he’s waking up every half hour or hour ! I’ve tried everything and he just won’t sleep ! He does not find sleep by himself and when he is awake I always have to give him the breast so that he can continue to sleep . I give him the bottle normally because my mother’s milk does not saturate him . He is just too active or hungry or he does not tolerate the milk ? Our daily routine is normally like this when he does not have a bad day !
In the morning he is awake at 7:30 and gets tired again around 8:30 I give him the breast that he finds sleep, he then sleeps for an hour and at 10 there is a first real meal of rice cereal with fruit ! then we play until about 12 then he gets tired again and we go for a walk . At 14 o’clock ca there is his warm meal . After the meal we play again until about 16 o’clock then he gets tired does not find the sleep and I have no choice but to go out with him walking . Come back play , around 18 o’clock he is hungry gets vegetables or porridge is Different . Then at 8pm he gets tired sometimes he falls asleep right on the bottle sometimes it is a struggle! Then he sleeps for 2 hours and then he is awake every hour ! I just can not more my nerves are bare I have no more strength right ! Do you have any tips for me ! Would be very grateful
Jaqueline writes on 04.07.2016
My little 1 year old falls asleep since he is 4 weeks all alone in his net and also through! Since 3 weeks he wakes up every hour in the night and whenever he falls asleep again and I leave the room then he screams! So I sit by his bed for 2-3 hours and watch him wake up and go back to sleep as soon as I lay down and not sitting by the bed he starts to get up and look where I am! He keeps going through his pacing routine at night and keeps saying "papa" "mama" "moo" etc. after 3-4 hours I can not anymore and lie down with him in bed then he falls asleep immediately. he sleeps fitfully and turns from side to side but he sleeps. .
Denise writes on 23.04.2016
our daughter is now 18 months and also since 2 weeks totally out of rhythm as far as nighttime sleep is concerned. Before that I could put our little one to sleep with our typical ritual without any problems (wasn’t always like that but for sure 6 months) once she needed her bottle at night. But since she "went to bed" at 18:30 and slept until 8 o’clock everything else would seem strange to me with her appetite
and now just since about 2 weeks this has changed. Child is dog tired, drinks her bottle and sits up again. Then every day the same word "there" and points to something in the room. Then mom knows. that will nix with go out of the room. She gets totally panicky and hysterical. and I certainly do not stay away, because at this age you can very well distinguish when you are beaten over the ear with grumbling.
I have now found that she (mostly) falls asleep peacefully when I read to her. 5-10 min and engerl sleeps. Of course the game can repeat itself at night at 00:00 o’clock. Maybe it helps you too!
Nina writes on 08.04.2016
Hello everyone, my little son is 13 months old and unfortunately not yet sleeps through. We have already tried everything, but nothing helps. I put him to bed in the evening around 19:30 with the usual rituals. Usually falls asleep on her arm around 8:30 pm. Then wakes up around 24:00 and doesn’t go back to sleep until 3 hours later and then wakes up again around 9:30 in the morning. He only takes a nap of 1 1/2 hours. I have carried him at night partly 2 hours on the arm around. But he just stares at me, yawns and always wants a change of pace when it comes to carrying me around. With us in the bed he rages more than that he tries to sleep. If the little one with us in the bed sleep through or. If he would sleep better, I would not deny it to him. On the contrary I also enjoy it a bit, even if he demands a lot of space
sally writes on 22.03.2016
would be happy if someone could give me some tips
Sabrina writes on 12.10.2015
Our son is now one year old. Since 4 weeks he goes to the kita, because I work again. Since 6 weeks he does not sleep through the night and wants a bottle. If we make the bottle thinner he usually wakes up again. We first thought that it was because he eats so little in the evening. Since he is currently eating more in the evening, it can’t be because of that. What can we do? It is very exhausting to work and always get up at night.
It can’t be because of the daycare center, since it started before that.
Natalie writes on 14.08.2015
So, I was able to feed my first daughter according to plan without any sadness. Then to sleep cuddle and still breastfeed! So she slept through with 10 months. . However, I also have the sleep learning "game" at 6 months old Made because she started crawling and I didn’t want her to fall out of our bed to me. Until then she has fallen asleep there at the breast. Fortunately the "game" has did not take so long with us
My second daughter did not participate! I have really exhausted it, because I was really totally through. But no chance. It wasn’t until she was two years old that she started sleeping through the night. And falling asleep holding hands, sitting next to the bed and singing felt forever.
And yes, it was very exhausting and yes, there are also phases in the third year of life where she needs more help to fall asleep. But that’s OK I know it grows out and you don’t have to go against your gut feeling. When the little ones get bigger, you automatically get a sense of whether they are ready now.
It was important to me that they learn to sleep in their own bed for the first part of the night, at least in the first year of life. There they lie safe and I can relax a little
At the latest from 24 o’clock I am again only mummy and lie now with my third baby in my bed. He drinks some breast milk and goes back to sleep relaxed, between mommy& Dad
And my husband does not move out! He knows it is a short moment in OUR child’s life, but it is very important for a safe and secure feeling in life!
irinaaa wrote on 22.01.2015
So I also do not find it bad when our daughter sleeps with us ..she is now 1 year and 5 months and sleeps in the side bed and if your husband because of the sleeping child in the marriage bed would move out is a depp ..never again will you be able to spend such a nice time with your child. when they are grown up that’s it with the constant cuddling and I think it’s just right if you cater to the needs of your child and maybe sometimes your own backscrew. after all, we made the children, so we should also take reasonable care of them . and i still breastfeed my daughter and i am glad that i did it at the age of 22 because my child is a sensitive never sick and very loving child. and there you see that time and being loving always pays off ..
Arlett writes on 12.01.2015
our son, 19 weeks old, has been perking up after bedtime for a week now. We always put him to bed in the time between 19 and 20 o’clock. He gets his porridge from me beforehand in the living room and his half bottle in the bedroom. Has worked very well so far. Goes also without bottle. At the most he would come in an hour later but I could get him to fall asleep again. He then also slept deeply and soundly. As of late, it no longer works. He is a light sleeper and I can only get him to fall asleep if I put him in my bed with me. When he falls asleep, I put him back in his bed and he sleeps. Our son also sleeps very restless. We have new neighbors and the nursery is right next to our bedroom. The little one from next door screams loudly in the evening to sleep, also the parents come and scream that they should give silence. Noise has not bothered our child so far. Can it be because? What can we do?
Sarah writes on 06.12.2014
Dear Mrs. Schmelz,
why is in the text actually always from "bottle" the speech?
Maybe this should be reconsidered, since bottle-feeding is always portrayed as normal and (long) breastfeeding as wrong, abnormal or even disgusting. This article promotes this unconsciously!
Helga writes on 06.12.2014
I like these self-righteous comments about "Meeeeiiin child cries NOBODY!" not. How can you be proud that your child sleeps with you in bed? What about the man? Mine would have moved out long ago, or I would, if the little one would sleep in bed with us.
Ulrike writes on 08.10.2014
Why do you let your child cry alone when you have to cry yourself locked in the bathroom?? Because a book suggests that it is the right thing to do. How sad!
This destroys the little child’s soul. Fortunately our son is allowed to sleep with us. We do not have a crib at all. I wonder why it is so difficult for parents to respond to the needs of their children and why they want to bend them all the time. :((
Line writes on 08.07.2014
Hi there, my daughter 13 months old has been sleeping almost every night for the last 3 months. I had exactly the same difficulties as you in the end it was so extreme that she was awake half the time. I tried everything, rocked her to sleep, fed her really full + a 3 milk so that I was sure she was no longer hungry, I took her to the osteopath to see if she still had blockages because she had some of them (osteopath I can recommend to everyone it is a bit expensive but it really helps, especially right after the birth) I did everything until I didn’t know what to do anymore. Then I bought the book" despite many different opinions every child can sleep" bought. I have been blamed but it is not as bad as many parents might think. I have made our evening ritual intesiv cuddled and then put her in her bed. I never let her scream for more than 2 minutes, I went to her room, calmed her down and went out again. After 3 days she slept through because she has understood . MAMA is THERE when I need her. For me it was not easy, I went to the bathroom myself, closed the door and cried because it hurt my heart but I persevered and I think that’s the only reason it worked. Try it, don’t be biased because the method has been so criticized. My daughter is better since then, she sleeps well and is much more balanced and relaxed.
All good to you
jana writes on 17.05.2014
This is all very similar to my story. Our daughter is now 8 months and still does not sleep . Every night awake and screaming. That goes to the substance. I would be grateful for a tip.
Sarah writes on 26.03.2014
Too bad. unfortunately not the answer to my questions. my son is 13 months old has not slept through the night (maybe a week) and he always cries when he goes to sleep. he is awake until midnight and gets up at 8 o’clock at the latest sleeps during the day almost not at all and I get up at least 5 times a night.
I have now made an appointment with the child psychologist. I have tried so many things. If I let him scream then he screams well and gladly an hour at a stretch without falling asleep. And in bed he can not be calmed at all. If I take him on the arm is instantly quiet.
Luzie writes on 25.02.2014
our big one has slept irregularly with us in bed from the beginning, after the separation of the parents for a while every night in bed with me, even when the little one was born he slept in the same bed with us for the first months, and the baby of course too. If it was necessary (because of illness o.a.) he slept in his room without protest,and since a few months he sleeps exclusively in his bed,free willingly. He is now 5 and basically he sleeps everywhere, so even when we are visiting or at Grandma’s or or or. I went back to work full time with him after 9 months and have (even though it was not planned that way) been able to keep the relationship with the big boy very close by sleeping in the same bed, giving him at night what he might need during the day. has been missing. And still he sleeps in his own bed now. With the little one I do it the same way, but as I said I am alone, so I don’t have a partner who can do the u.U. not quite wrongly disturbs, at least if it goes over a long period of time. The big one was a bad sleeper, awake almost every hour. Until he slept through the night from one day to the next at 14 months, when he spent the first day at daycare A fact that I often notice, even now with my little one: many babies sleep a lot during the day and are not even tired enough at night to need long sleep phases. And if they still have a quiet everyday life, what should they be tired of?? As a parent you can’t always influence this, so I can only advise you to listen to your instincts and be patient. You want only the best for your offspring, and therefore you will not do anything that will harm him. you can’t force babies to do anything without harming them. They also have a very limited learning capacity, so that the "teaching" is very difficult In my opinion, any rituals destroy more trust than it brings sleep for everyone. My little one is teething like crazy right now, the big one is also very sick and I’ve hardly slept for two weeks and I’m really through… But it does not help, the children can not help it and soon the baby is no longer a baby and these terribly stressful times we will all have forgotten. By the way, I breastfed the big one until he slept through the night, the little one is still being breastfed. Cheer up, everything will be fine!
Anonymous writes on 13.02.2014
My son is 15months old. Actually he has always slept flawlessly in his bed. If he came in the night than we could get him back to sleep with a sip of water and pacifier. He has never slept through. Since 4weeks he sleeps in the evening around 19.30/20h in his bed, wakes up 3 times during the evening and can be calmed down as described above and continues to sleep, only sometime between 23-1h the point is reached where he no longer wants to sleep alone in his bed. I calm him down, he cuddles up to me, but as soon as I put him down he cries again.I spend my nights tossing and turning, but after a few hours I can’t take it anymore and take him to bed with me, where he immediately falls asleep. Ie., it’s been going on for 4 weeks now that he can sleep with us at night because he just won’t let us put him down in his bed anymore. He has learned to speak words since one month and is teething like crazy, can this be the reason that this is bothering him so much?? I am afraid not to get him out of our bed anymore. As I said, as soon as he is in bed with us is quiet. Now of course everyone thinks he has already gotten used to it, but I can’t go through the whole night so that he sleeps in his bed sometime. I already feel bad because of the lack of sleep. Have you ever had such a phase?? If the little ones sleep then sometime even again without problems the whole night in their little bed?
Bianca writes on 17.01.2014
my son is now 15 months. I only sleep through the night for 3 weeks. My son also falls asleep only holding my hand, as soon as I get up (he sleeps in his own bed in his room) he wakes up again (as if he had a transmitter for it). We have fixed rituals. And when he sleeps, he wakes up almost every hour and screams like a banshee. I play this game until midnight and then I bring him to bed with me so that I can at least get some sleep. I go back to work since October and go full on the gums. He then goes to the nursery. He falls asleep wonderfully there (they put him down and he falls asleep on his own and doesn’t cry when he wakes up either, but babbles to himself). I do not know what I do wrong. Does anyone have similar experiences? He once slept through just before Christmas for just under 3 weeks (6:30pm – between 4 and 5am). And that was it. I despair. The KA does not go there also further on it. I feel quite left alone.