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Reasons why you might choose to wake your sleeping baby

Yep, you read that right! Let's chat about why waking your sleeping baby can be benefit and the impact it can have on your child's sleep.

You may have heard of the term ‘never wake a sleeping baby’ and while this might be great while they are little newborns, as their sleep cycles mature and their needs and developmental milestones develop, waking them up can provide many positive benefits

Three reasons to wake your baby:

1. Routine

Around 4 months is when our little ones' sleep cycles start to mature, and around this time it can be a great time to start establishing a clear routine that works for you and your family (check out our awesome age appropriate routine eBooks). No matter a child's age there are many positives that come from establishing a routine. A routine is simply the timing of naps, when milk feeds fall and when solids are offered within the day. When there is a clear established routine it gives our little ones a familiar and stable environment which in turn helps them to feel secure in their world - how good! A routine can offer so much more than this too - it can help promote healthy development, emotional well-being and improved sleep patterns as well as positivity impacting their body clocks!  A routine can benefit the whole family. Having predictability within the day can help reduce stress and anxiety around when naps are going to fall and helps to avoid over tiredness snowballing across the day - no one enjoys those ratty witching hours! It can also help when transitioning between activities during the day as our little ones know what to expect which can help with their confidence, copying skills and feeling secure.

2. Sleep pressure

What is sleep pressure? Sleep pressure refers to the build up of the body's need for sleep as the day progresses - as the day goes on the need for sleep builds. So, throughout the day we want to build up this sleep pressure and we can do this by waking our little ones from naps in order to then acquire enough sleep debt for the next nap or night sleep. As our little ones grow their sleep pressure builds slower which means you will see increased wake windows between wakes. Did you know too much day sleep can impact their night sleep? If your little one is sleeping more than they need to during the day you may see delayed settling at night time, split nights and early wakes the following day. It is important to look at the total amount of day sleep for your little one and to make sure that it is appropriate for their age.

3. Calories in the day

Does your little one feed all night, then isn't very interested in milk and or food in the day time? This could be a sign of reverse cycling. This is where your little one is consuming the majority of their calories overnight, rather than the day time. We want to encourage our little ones to be have adequate solids and milk intake during the day so their calorie intake can help sustain them overnight. This will help stabilise their glucose levels too, reducing the need to be fed every few hours which then can help them sleep for longer stints. If your little one is older than 4 months you can begin to look at using a responsive settling method over night when they are not due a feed to help with reverse cycling and overall sleep. This can then encourage the calories to be consumed more in the day time. Ensuring you are offering protein rich foods at dinner and lunch can also help ensure your child is eating foods that will help keep them fuller for longer and sustain them well for those restorative stretches of sleep.

If you need some sleep support and you are ready to make a change our team of experts are here for you! Book a discovery call and let's chat about your little one's sleep and how we can help your family get the rest you all need to thrive.

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