What causes frequent waking at the beginning of the night?

Looking back at your post from January 19th in regards to circadian rhythm. My 7.5 month old has been waking anywhere from 2-4 times during the first 3hours of sleep. I nurse him to sleep and lay him down in his crib. He wakes up sometimes 1/2 hr after first laying him down and it just continues from there. Tired momma could use some help!! I don’t mind the night nursings but it seems as though this is not “normal”. Thanks for any and all help you can pass my way!

You are right! Frequent night waking at the beginning of the night isn’t normal for a 7.5 month old. That is when deep sleep should be happening. There are three possible causes (or a combination of these could be causing the trouble: 1) his biological bedtime is a few hours later than you think 2) he has a medical problem like reflux disrupting his sleep 3) he isn’t getting enough sleep during the day and that is causing “hyper-arousal” at the beginning of the night. How do you tell? For #1, if you have to wake him in the morning or if he sleeps in, then it’s likely a schedule issue. I would wake him and make sure he sees light at about the same time each morning and make sure he gets a late nap, so that you can put him down later for bedtime and then gradually move his bedtime earlier (to a socially desirable time). For #2, obviously check with your pediatrician– no amount of intervention will fix a medical problem. For #3 do whatever you can to get your son to catch up on sleep during the day. Good luck!


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