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Baby waking every hour? Here’s what can help!

How to stop your baby waking every hour


You made it through the “wake every two hours” newborn stage of your little one’s life, and just as you think you can finally get used to sleeping through the night- it starts. You hear the sudden cry of your little one waking each hour. Don’t panic, just yet, with a few small adjustments you and your baby will be resting through the night once again.

What's causing your baby to wake every hour?

The source of your baby not sleeping well could be due to a variety of things – it could be a small cold, a brand new tooth coming in or an adjustment to a change in their routine. It will be important to figure out the “why”, so you can address it.

Has there been a change in temperature?

When the sun is coming up earlier, is it flooding their bedroom with light earlier?

Are there new noises going on outside, like a dog barking?

Are they hitting some new developmental milestones?

How babies sleep will depend largely on their age, but there are some steps you can take to help your little one to sleep through the night once more.

Top tips to help your baby sleep

If teething, temperature changes, or a cold don’t explain why your baby is waking, it will be important to establish a consistent routine. Make sure your start your bedtime routine at the same time, and keep the steps to that routine consistent. You may never figure out the reason why your little one had a hard time sleeping during the night, but these tips will help get your baby back on track:

  • Give them an object for comfort – select a soft baby blanket or cuddly stuffed animal and carry it around for a while. This will help the item take on your smell, which will be a comfort to your little one. If you’re breastfeeding, you can try expressing some breast milk onto a blanket, and give it to them. Your baby’s strong sense of smell, will smell “you” on the comfort item, causing them to relax and fall back asleep quickly.
  • Establish night vs. day – Make daytime feedings full of interaction with your baby, and night feedings relaxed and quiet. This will help your baby learn the difference between night and day. 
  • Train them to fall asleep on their own – After your baby is six weeks old, you can encourage them to fall asleep without relying on you to feed or rock them. When your little one is drowsy, but not fully asleep lay them down in bed. Being able to fall asleep on their own, will help them to fall back asleep easily, without your help, if they wake during the night.  
  • Establish a bedtime routine –Try giving your little one bath, before putting on PJs and finishing the evening with a song or a story. Infant massage can also be a relaxing part of your routine. Establishing a short routine (45 minutes max) can help your little one understand clearly what bedtime means- time to sleep. Whatever you do, end the routine in your baby's bedroom so you can easily make the transition to the crib. 

Is your baby fully awake or crying in sleep? 

If you hear crying, don’t rush in immediately – your little one might be crying in their sleep, and will calm quickly. Rushing in may disrupt their sleep more then the tears. If they are awake, they might be able to settle themselves faster then if you come to the “rescue”. 

Thinking of trying co-sleeping?

Some parents help their babies sleep by snuggling up in bed with them until they are asleep, while others may even bed-share all night. If your baby is six months or younger, it's safest for them to sleep in their own space next to your bed, but if you want to try having your baby in bed with you, check out this advice on safe co-sleeping.

Don’t do it alone

Without sleep, it’s hard to function, so try and share the burden with your partner. When your baby is old enough to sleep through the night without needing fed, your partner can jump in to help. You might even find your baby will stop waking when they realize waking up doesn’t actually get them anything to eat.

Make adjustments 

Be prepared to change up the routine as your baby grows and their needs change. If you need more advice about getting into a new routine, give your doctor a call. They are a great resource and know all about the different developmental changes your little one will go through.  

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