This is the most important question I ask my clients and a tell-tale sign of WHY their baby is not sleeping well. The 3 answers I get most often are fed to sleep, rocked to sleep and bounced to sleep.
I hear so often that if the baby is waking during the night then it MUST be hungry. For any healthy baby that is 6 months or older and has gained weight well, food is not the problem. If you have a baby who’s been struggling with weight and has any kind of health issues, yes, food might be the issue.
Humans are creatures of habit so if a baby has been rocked to sleep, fed to sleep or bounced to sleep then what they have done is associated the rocking, feeding and bouncing with sleep.
Therefore, an hour and a half to two hours into their night they’re going to have a wake-up. Everybody has wake-ups throughout the night that are totally normal and natural. But, if you have a baby that has been fed, rocked, or bounced to sleep they will wake again and again looking for that to put them back to sleep and be unable to put themselves back to sleep without it.
For example, feeding to sleep, which is by far the number one thing parents do to put a baby to sleep and it is the reason why the baby is waking through the night. They have developed a strong association between feeding and sleep and they wake because of this association, not because they are hungry. It can be confusing for parents to understand this.
You think your baby’s waking up from hunger, but really it’s the strategy that got the baby to sleep that they are looking for over and over. It’s nice that he gets food with it. That’s a little bonus, and I’m sure he appreciates it, but it’s more the strategy.
If your baby is struggling with many wake ups at night, I want you to stop and have a good look at how this baby fall asleep at night? That is the first place you need to look in order teach him to sleep well and through the night.
If you need help getting your little one to sleep well, contact me today. Together we can decide the best approach to helping your child sleep well.
Jo Anna Inks
I help tired, frustrated parents get their babies sleeping through the night and napping well so everyone in the family can get the rest they so desperately need!