My one year old baby is starting to wake up at night.

by Bailey

Question: HELP! We moved about a month ago to stay with my husbands parents. My daughter is one years old and has been sleeping through the night since she was 3 months. Ever since we got here she has been waking up at around 2am she goes to bed every night at 730-8 and used to sleep til 7am uninterrupted. She had been sick with a cold but is getting better. The first week or so of her waking up I would try to calm her down and walk out (we followed babywise from day 1) she would not go back to sleep and we thought maybe a growth spurt. We are staying on someone else's house so it is hard to let her CIO. Some days she will sleep through the night but mostly she is up and wont go back to bed without a bottle
Once she gets it she will go down without a fight. If this is a growth spurt I'm happy to feed her if not I don't want to create a bad habit. I don't know what to do! help!

Heidi's Answer: Hi Bailey, Moving in to a new place, having had a cold and possibly a growth spurt on top ... we don't have to look much further for an explanation of your daughter's sudden awakenings. Have you had to do CIO once or several times before?

One of the reasons I do not advise crying it out, is that parents often have to start all over again when anything temporarily disrupts sleep (illness, teething, moving...).

Anyway, it's not even an option now that you are staying at someone else's, and she seems to be quite a good sleeper (being able to sleep as she did until a month ago) so you will get good, long-term results, by gently encouraging her to sleep through again.

To avoid the growth spurt feeding (which may be quite necessary for a week or so but not much longer) becoming a bad habit: gradually reduce the amount she drinks.

Dilute it (less formula for the same amount of water) a bit more each night, until she drinks only water.

Always let her stay in her room, even when feeding the bottle (being taken downstairs or to a different bedroom can be a very tempting incentive for a child), keep lights dim and be as boring as possible.

All the while, if you do suspect a growth spurt, it is a good idea to try and top up on her intake during the day: not right before bed time, but just a little extra here and there during the day if she's up to it.

Lastly, it's worth checking if anything could be waking her up at 2am. Sometimes it's little details we hardly notice, or more important things that stay hidden:

- loud neighbours or street noises
- temperature decreasing in her room during the night
- does she always wake with a wet diaper?
- is her room much darker or lighter than where you lived before?
- any toys or decoration that's missing?
- maybe it's still her cold, or teething
- do you notice any baby separation anxiety signs during the day? these could also play at night

Finally, for more details, my No-Tears Sleeping Through the Night guide gives a thorough step-by-step approach to get rid of any unnecessary awakening.

Best wishes,

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