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Night Waking

Up to the age of six weeks, my son was only waking once in the night, usually between 2 and 3am, feeding well and settling back to sleep until nearer 7am. For the last 10 days he has been waking up twice a night, usually around 2am then again at 5am.

Answer:

Babies go through a growth spurt at six weeks, and it is possible that this is what has triggered the twice-a-night waking. I would suggest that you try giving a split feed at the late feed until this problem is resolved and he is back to waking up once in the night again. By having him awake longer and giving him a slightly bigger feed, he should soon begin to sleep one longer stretch in the night again.

For the late-evening split feed to be effective, it is important to begin to wake your baby by 9.45pm and make sure he is fully awake before feeding him. Turn on the lights brightly and remove any covers from him. Babies can be sleepy at this time of the day so you may need to undo his sleep suit and expose his legs to the air to fully wake him. Offer him the first breast, or as much as he will take from the bottle. Then allow him to spend some time kicking on his play mat, but do not overstimulate him too much by talking a lot at this time. Keep a close eye on him for signs of tiredness. Between 10.45 and 11pm, you should take him to the bedroom, change his nappy, dim the lights and offer the second breast. If you are bottle-feeding he should be offered a small top-up feed of freshly heated milk, do not reheat any left-over milk from his earlier feed. Ensure he is well winded and settled back in his cot by 11.15pm, making sure that he is well tucked in, and that the sheet and blanket go under the mattress so that he cannot kick his covers off in the night, which is another reason that babies often start to wake up earlier in the night.


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