*This post is brought to you by Procter & Gamble and our favorite Swaddlers diapers that are now cooler than ever!
When you sign the parenting contract, you agree to lose a lot of sleep. Might as well kiss it goodbye, because from birth until they’re grown, kids will cause you to lose a heck of a lot of sleep. Good thing they’re so dang cute.
Newborns are expected to wake up many times during the night. But by about four months old, your baby is capable of sleeping 6-8 hours a night. Toddlers should be able to sleep uninterrupted for 10-12 hours and school-aged children should get a good 9-12 hours of restful sleep each night.
So why are they still waking up so much?
There have been nights I’ve been up with all four of my children at different times because one has a bad dream, one needs to use the bathroom, one is crying for no reason and one just threw up. Is it too much to ask for a decent night’s sleep?
So what are some of the main reasons your little one isn’t sleeping through the night? I’ve asked myself this question a lot in relation to my three-year-old who comes into my bed once, twice, sometimes three times a night. Here are four of the most common reasons your little one might be waking up.
4 Reasons Your Little One Isn’t Sleeping through the Night
1. Blame it on REM
In a normal sleep cycle, your child will vacillate between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement). NREM is that deep, dreamless sleep we all want. REM is light sleep where the eyes twitch and you dream. Kids go back and forth from REM to NREM all night long.
REM id the time your kids are most likely to wake up.
Many babies and kids can go back to sleep on their own, but others may need your help. Some little ones have separation issues and get anxious when they wake up and you’re not there. They may toddle into your room and crawl into your bed or want rocked back to sleep.
Is there anything you can do to encourage more NREM? Not really, but having a regular bedtime routine helps. Start with a soothing bath, jammies, and then a bedtime story.
Avoid putting them to bed too early or too late to help them maintain a regular sleep cycle.
Oftentimes dreams are the reason your little one is waking up. Good ones or bad ones, but it’s usually the bad ones that cause the most anxiety.
Nightmares and night terrors are two different things. Night terrors usually happen within four hours of bedtime and leave the child confused, disoriented, and inconsolable. Kids who have night terrors usually have no memory of the event and can fall back to sleep fairly quickly.
Nightmares on the other hand happen later during the night. They can fully awaken your child and make them scared and too upset to fall back to sleep.
To calm nightmares, try soothing your child with hugs and caresses. With night terrors, your child is actually still asleep and you won’t be able to comfort them. Just stay near them and let the night terror run its course. Night terrors can be caused by staying up too late or being over-tired after a busy day.
Kick bad dreams to the curb with a special “bad dream medicine” (lavender essential oil). I rub this on my kids ears before bed and it explains that “it keeps the bad dreams away because they don’t like the smell.” This little placebo has worked wonders with my four kids!
3. Tummy Trouble
Many parents make the mistake of giving their babies or children too much to eat or drink before bed. It’s a myth that a full belly will help children sleep better; actually, full bellies have the opposite effect.
Zero to six-month-old babies need to eat at nighttime, but if older babies eat too often at night, they develop the habit of needing fed to go back to sleep. Too much milk or food before bed can cause upset tummies and that discomfort can be the reason your baby or child is waking up.
4. Soaked Diaper
Another big reason little ones wake up is because of a soaked diaper or a wet bed. Most diapers can’t handle the volume at night time and babies and potty trainers wake up wet and uncomfortable.
The very best diaper I’ve found that can do the job is the new Pampers Swaddlers Overnights by Proctor & Gamble. They are blankie soft, just like the original Pampers Swaddlers and have that handy color-changing indicator so you know when it’s time for a change.
Swaddles diapers are the only diaper I used for my newborns and I’m thrilled that they now come in an Overnight version with a perfect fit and even more lasting overnight protection—up to 12 hours! They are the same comfort of Pampers Swaddlers with a boosted core to handle even the heaviest nights.
Total protection with nighttime in mind, meaning you don’t have to wake up to change baby—yay!
You can purchase the new Pampers Swaddlers Overnights at all Babies R Us stores.
With my kids all very close in age, I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have a package of diapers in the house! For eight years, Pampers Swaddlers have been a presence in my home.
It’s kind of cool how one product can help raise a family.
Another thing I love about Pampers Swaddlers Overnights is that they are a great potty training diaper. This little guy is just starting to potty train and Swaddlers Overnights are the perfect overnight protection for him.
Is your little one ready to hop on the potty training roller coaster ride? Take this fun quiz about what to expect when potty training!
Having little ones who wake up during the night can be super frustrating. Some reasons you just can’t help, like bad dreams or REM cycles. But you can control the quality of your child’s diaper. Choosing Pampers Swaddlers Overnights is a smart move to keep your littles comfy all night long, which means better sleep for you!
We took the conversation to Facebook LIVE. Thanks for joining in the conversation!
*This post was sponsored by Procter & Gamble. All opinions are my own.
*Photography by Shelley Coates with here little cuties as models.