If your baby is suddenly waking at night, trust your instincts on what to do. If your baby isn’t waking suddenly, I want you to keep this in mind for the future when your baby hits a regression.
When your baby wakes at night suddenly, as in after they are already sleeping well through the night, you will either 1) go back to your chosen sleep training method or 2) throw your sleep training out the window and care for your child. It’s really up to your gut feeling on what to do:
Let’s cover some common situations for each:
Common causes of sudden night wakings include illness or teething. When this happens, I want you to give your baby additional grace and love. Here, you throw your sleep plan out the window until they are better. Think of it as a light switch, and the switch is OFF. Once your child is starting to feel better, turn the switch back ON at the beginning of the night. Because your baby is already a good sleeper, they will pick it back up so quickly. We’d rather you comfort them while they are feeling low.
Another cause of sudden wakings is your baby is nearing a nap transition. If you are a Lovebug subscriber your app is going to guide you through your transitions, but if your baby is waking suddenly for 7 nights in a row, that’s an entire week, AND you cannot explain it, then you might want to transition earlier. You can view the lesson series on transitioning from 3-2 naps here, or the lesson series on transitioning from 2-1 naps here.
And my favorite cause of sudden wakings is when your baby is about to do something amazing. Sleep is when your baby practices their new skills. The first half of the night is a body-focused sleep. An early night sudden wake can signal sitting, crawling, standing, steps. The second half of the night wake is brain-focused sleep. Well, think new connections, new skills, maybe some new babbling, words, or an explosion of language! Every baby is different!
To dive deeper into what might be going on with your little one's sudden night wakings, you can watch the full lesson series on sudden night wakings here. See you in the app!