Ahh, sleep. Some of us get it, and some of us don’t, depending on what type of mood baby is in. Even a champion sleeper will sometimes, with no apparent explanation, stop sleeping through the night, or even refuse naps during the day.
Izzy was doing really well with her sleep schedule. She went down for naps, no problem. Slept from 9pm until about 3am, nursed, and then slept until 7am. It was great! I was able to get some much needed sleep, and she was happy and well rested in the mornings.
But that changed about a week ago. RIGHT after my post about sleep schedules, ironically. I wasn’t sure what had changed, but suddenly she was waking up at 1am, 3am, 5am, and then up for the day at 7am. SHE was still happy and well rested. Mommy? Not so much.
I took a close look at our day-to-day routine, to see if anything had changed that could be causing her sleep disruptions.
- Solids on a regular schedule? Check.
- Naps on a regular schedule? Check.
- A full 5-5.5 oz of expressed milk on a regular schedule? Check
- Baths on a regular schedule? Check.
- Bedtime at proper time? Check.
So what’s the issue?!
As always, Google became mom’s best friend.
There are 3 things that can cause major disruptions in a baby’s sleep habits. They all have general timelines for when they occur, but of course all babies are different, so yours may be +/- a week or so.
- Growth Spurts-
- Occur around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months
- Baby is normally much hungrier than usual, and may wake up at night to pack in extra calories to support their growth. This may be harder on breastfeeding moms, if you’re not pumping, because you’ll have to be the one to get up with baby at off hours for those extra feedings. Luckily, growth spurts normally only last a few days! Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and eating well, so that your body can supply the nourishment he/she needs!
- May get crankier/fussier than normal.
- I ruled this out for Izzy, even though she’s right at the 6 month mark, because she hasn’t been hungrier, or cranky.
- Babies learn new skills all the time, so there’s waayyy too many “occurs around” dates for me to list!
- For a lot of babies, the excitement of learning a new skill (using hands, rolling over, etc) can keep them up at night! According to Dr. Sears, some babies even “practice” new skills in their sleep, causing them to wake more frequently at night.
- I’m pretty sure that this is one of the reasons for Izzy’s change in sleep schedule. She has mastered and started several new skills this last week or so.
- 5 weeks, 8 weeks,12 weeks,17 weeks, 26 weeks (6 months),36 weeks,44 weeks and 53 weeks (around 12 months).
- Baby may be fussy, clingy, cranky. May avoid sleep. May seem less hungry.
- Coincides with big mental development jumps. I’ve seen it described as “Baby’s world being turned upside down, because he/she realizes that everything is different than it was before.” The way I understand it, big realizations can sometimes confuse, and even scare baby. The fear makes them seek security in their parents.
- Izzy is coming up on WW26. I’ve noticed clinginess, and avoidance of sleep, but not really any other “symptoms” of this one, at least not for this time period.
- A few links, if you want to learn more about Wonder Weeks:
Hopefully, everything will be leveling out soon, and we can get back to getting that big 5-6 hour stretch at night. I gave up trying to wean her from that night feeding, even though I know it’s something that will have to happen eventually. Maybe she’ll wean herself? Who knows. It’s just MUCH easier to nurse her, than it is to constantly retrieve her paci, and try to soothe her back to sleep.
Have you experienced sleep disruptions with your little ones? Did it fall into any of these categories?