Your baby is finally sleeping through the night. You’re feeling less exhausted and you’re starting to catch on everything you’ve been putting off while coping with the seemingly endless cycle of feeding, changing and comforting your infant. Then, someone tells you that the four-month wakeful period is just around the corner.
What Is It?
At about four months, babies suddenly start paying more attention to the world around them. Their senses are developing and they become interested everything they see and hear. Your baby may be less focused on feeding, constantly looking around to see what’s happening. Around the same time, babies who have previously been sleeping well at night often wake up crying long before dawn. This can be frustrating to parents who have just started getting a solid night’s sleep again.
What’s Going On?
The first thing you need to figure out is why your baby is crying. Is it hunger, discomfort or loneliness? If changing and cuddling don’t work and the baby doesn’t seem ill, then your baby is probably hungry.
You may wonder why your baby would suddenly be waking up hungry in the middle of the night after learning to sleep through until morning. One common reason is that during the day, she hasn’t been eating as much as usual because of all the interesting distractions at feeding time.
If you’re breastfeeding, it can be difficult to tell how much your baby is consuming, but if your infant has seemed less interested in nursing, chances are she’s not eating as much and is consequently hungry at night.
How Can I Get the Baby Back on Track?
If you’re hoping to get back to a full night’s sleep, make sure your baby gets plenty to eat during the day. Try feeding in a dim room with few distractions to help your baby focus on eating rather than exploring. This is especially important for the feeding right before bedtime, but doing it throughout the day will help build your baby’s reserves, making it more likely that she will sleep longer at night.
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