One day, you’re celebrating your baby sleeping through the night; the next, you’re up every few hours with them, leaving you wondering: what happened?! If you find yourself wondering, “why has my baby stopped sleeping well?!”, you aren’t alone.
As your baby grows, their sleep patterns can change for a number of reasons. This may cause you a little extra concern, but there’s often no need to worry! Here are a few common reasons why your baby’s sleeping pattern may have changed - and a few ways to help.
As your baby grows, their sleep requirements will change too. A newborn, for example, can sleep for between 8 to 18 hours a day; while a six month old baby may sleep for between 10 - 14 hours. These shifting sleep requirements bring with them changes in your baby’s sleeping patterns - and this is completely natural! Take a look at our guide to sleeping patterns by age for a rough idea of how your baby’s sleeping patterns may look from month to month.
Along with shifting sleep requirements come changes in your baby’s daytime nap needs - which can have a knock on effect on their sleeping patterns at night. Younger babies, for example, will need frequent naps throughout the day; this can then reduce down to just a couple by the time they’re twelve months old. Keep a consistent nap routine, and adjust this as they grow, to keep things easy for you and baby.
Tip: Never underestimate the importance of a day time nap! Limiting your baby’s sleep during the day will likely result in an overtired baby come bed time, which in turn makes it harder for them to settle down.
As your baby grows, the amount they need to eat changes too: they will likely need fewer night time feeds, which can affect their sleeping patterns - and give you the opportunity to grab a little more uninterrupted sleep!
However, your baby may still be waking every few hours for a feed - even if they no longer need to. If this is still happening at the age of two to three months, it may be time to consult a doctor to discuss reducing their night feeds; and putting a plan in place to help your little one adapt.
Your baby has been sleeping like a dream when all of a sudden, they begin struggling to settle and start waking up at night. Sound familiar? You may be dealing with sleep regression.
Sleep regression is a common occurrence in babies, and refers to a period of time when their formerly solid sleep habits seem to go out of the window. Typically lasting for around two to four weeks, it often occurs around the four, six, eight and 12 month marks - although not all babies will experience it.
Sleep regression can be due to a number of factors, including growth spurts, separation anxiety or brain developments. Whatever the case, sleep regression is perfectly normal and should go away within a few weeks. In the meantime, maintain a good bedtime routine, keep focusing on good sleep hygiene, and remember: it’s only temporary.
When we feel under the weather, sleep is often one of the casualties - and this is no different for babies! When your little one feels unwell, their sleeping patterns are likely to be affected as a result.
During their illness, you’ll be doing everything you can to help nurse them back to full health - which can include night time visits to help soothe them. However, once they’re feeling better, it may take a few extra days to get their sleeping habits back to normal. Consistency is key: return to your normal routine, and within a few days, things should have settled down.
For the first six months of your baby’s life, they should sleep in the same room as you on their own separate sleeping surface. After this, they can have their own room - which can come with new challenges when it comes to helping them sleep. Your little one will need to adapt to sleeping independently, and while they do so, their sleeping patterns may be affected.
A good bedtime routine here is key: maintain a relaxing routine to help your baby know when it’s time to drift off.
Most babies start teething at around six months old, although some may start earlier or later. Whatever the case, at some point, your baby is likely to experience teething pain - and with this will likely come interrupted sleep. There are plenty of things you can do to help your little one while they’re teething, and remember: it’s normal for their sleep patterns to be affected, however with love, care and patience, this too shall pass.
Perhaps you’ve recently gone back to work, moved house, or added a sibling into their world. Whatever the case, a new routine can have an impact on your baby’s sleep patterns, as our little bundles of joy are very sensitive to change.
Maintaining consistency in as many areas of their lives as possible is a good way to help them feel soothed, including a familiar bedtime routine and regular day time naps.
It can be hard to stop exactly what the issue is, but it does pay to ensure the basics of your baby’s sleeping environment are the right size and quality. Get started with some ideas with our collections of moses baskets, willow bassinets and bedding for your baby.