As you know, raising a child is not easy, especially when they’re young. You’re probably losing sleep as your baby cries for what seems like the hundredth time that day. All the while, trying to figure out what you can do to help them.
Whether you have a baby or toddler, you know that a large part of your time is spent managing their moods and tantrums in the middle of the night. You assume that they are either hungry, tired, or need their diaper changed.
As they become toddlers, things change. Those middle of the night tantrums move beyond hunger, and you have to do a little more problem-solving to get to the bottom of it. Their problems become more complex as they age, and while their communication skills improve, you may still have difficulty determining what is keeping them up.
In fact, developmental milestones are most likely to cause disruptions in your child’s sleep cycle. A study published in 2015 in Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development explored sleep patterns before children start to crawl, while they learn to crawl, and a few months after they learned.
Interestingly enough, the study claimed that “Along with the overall improvement in sleep consolidation, periods of increased long wake episodes were also manifested; the rise in sleep disruption was temporarily linked to crawling onset. The results of the study highlight the dynamic interrelations between domains of development, indicate that emerging motor skills may involve periods of disrupted sleep, and point to the moderating effect of age.”
This supports the idea that developmental milestones affect sleep patterns. While a baby is learning to crawl, they wake up more often. The same is true for when your child is learning to talk. It’s likely that they’ll wake up in the middle of the night and try to talk. It has to do with learning another skill that they want to exercise.
While these new developments are exciting during the day, they’re sure to cause headaches for you and your family at night. This could cause you to look for new ways to help your baby go back to sleep. Unfortunately, offering your baby quick-fix solutions such as letting them sleep somewhere else, feeding them again, or rocking them to sleep, is not the solution. It won’t take long for your baby to become dependent on these solutions. In the long-run, this will not help you or your baby.
The best thing you can do is remember that your baby will go through different phases as they grow. As much as you want to fix their discomfort or pain, as any good parent would, you can’t look for drastic solutions to each problem.
Instead, you can comfort your baby and remind them that it’s still bedtime. You can help them find a more comfortable position by rolling them onto their back, but you need to let them learn to fall asleep on their own. Despite the headaches and frustration that this may bring, it’s essential that you allow your baby to learn to go back to sleep on their own.
As more and more skills begin to develop, you might feel like you’re caught in a cycle. Just remember that you know the cause of your baby’s middle of the night wakeups and that they will end soon.
Contact Adele Today!
As a sleep consultant who helps babies and toddlers, I am able to help you and your baby figure things out so you both can get more rest. There is hope for you and your family to get sleep again! Contact me today to get started on a sleep plan for your baby!