The act of sleep training teaches your child how to put herself to sleep and back to sleep on her own. If she does it at bedtime, she will be able to do it in the middle of the night. But what parents need to understand is that she will still wake up in the middle of the night, as we all do and that’s how our sleep rhythms work. However, with a sleep trained child, she will quickly go back to sleep on her own. There are some instances where your child will wake up more than usual, for either longer periods of times or more frequently. Parents go into panic mode and start responding inconsistently, which in the end can cause bad habits.
It’s good to be prepared and know what may cause these long wake ups in your child in case you find yourself in this same situation.
Medical Issues – There are some medical issues that can cause sudden sleep disruptions. If your child comes down with a bad cough or cold, stomach issues, virus, flu, or anything like that, she will of course wake up more. However, sometimes there are other medical issues that can cause constant sleep problems, such as: allergies, reflux, apnea, and RLS. If you suspect your child is having any serious medical issue that can be causing frequent night wake ups, make sure to follow up with your pediatrician.
Sleep Crutches – Are you doing anything to or for your child to help him go back to sleep at night? Sometimes when our little one wakes up, we run in too quickly and respond right away or do too much. Are you finding yourself rubbing her back until she falls asleep? Are you taking her out to rock her a little? Are you just going to tuck her in or give her some water? Are you reinserting the pacifier for her, even though she can do it on her own? A lot of times we tend to do too much. Even though it’s a quick fix, what’s a short/quick solution can turn into a long-term problem.
Schedule – Your child’s daytime schedule can really affect her nighttime sleep. While they need their daytime sleep, sometimes getting too much sleep can cut into their total required sleep and take away from their night sleep. Similarly, if they didn’t sleep enough sleep during the day, you will have an overtired child at night, which causes a lot of light sleep and frequent wake ups. Make sure to follow the required amount of day/night sleep as well as the correct awake windows to avoid night disruptions.
Sleep Regression – Your child will be going through a lot of changes those first couple of years. Everything from growth spurts to developmental milestones, which will affect her sleep. It’s important to remain consistent with her sleep habits through these regressions. For example, if they are learning how to go from standing to sitting, practice a lot during the day, but when it comes to night sleep, do not assist her too much, let them do it on their own.
If you find that your child is continuing to wake up at night, and you can’t seem to figure out why, contact me to set up your initial FREE call.