Last week we explored Dealing with Baby Sleep Disruptions – Part 1, where we talked about habitual, pain, and movement related sleep disruptions along with solutions for them.
Today I’d like to continue with part 2 and talk about new environment, travel, temperature, hunger and growth spurt sleep disruptions. Jameson’s sleep was certainly disrupted by all 6 types of baby sleep disruptions at one time or another.
Sleep is not always an easy thing for parents, but I do think there are several practical solutions to help work through sleep disruptions without driving yourself crazy. Let’s get started.
1. New environment or travel.
This was the culprit of our most recent sleep disruption. We had been traveling for a month in the states before our move to Japan. After that we were in a one bedroom lodge while we waited for housing. All of the inconsistencies and big changes were obviously wearing on my son, and it came in the form of sleep disruptions.
Consistency comes in the form of ‘lovies’, a good schedule, a sleep routine, and a familiar crib or pack and play. At age 6 months, we started offering our son a ‘lovie’ in the form of a baby blanket and a small stuffed animal (Note: please consult with your child’s health care provider to determine when it’s safe to put items in the crib with your baby just to be sure).
Now at 13 months, those 2 lovies pretty much cue him for sleep no matter where we are. And the only time we allow him to have those 2 ‘lovies’ is for sleep or when we are dealing with a unfamiliar situations that may be trying or stressful for him. We do use them on long car trips and airplane flights to help him along.
We also use the same pack n’ play everywhere we go. Even if another one is available to us, I almost always bring my own. We bought this Carters Velour Playard Fitted Sheet. It’s super comfy cozy. Additionally, we also added a small amount of extra foam padding to the pack and play mattress since our one-year-old son would be sleeping in it for 6 weeks during our travel. That was too long to sleep on a cardboard mattress in my opinion (Again, please talk to your health care provider to determine what is safe to put in your baby’s crib). This was a personal choice for us.
Try to continue with a good predictable schedule and sleep routine even when you are traveling or moving. This can help immensely.
Read more about getting a good schedule and sleep routines here:
- My Top 10 Baby Sleep Tips
- How to Help your Baby Sleep Better During Travel
- How to Help your Baby Nap Better – Part 1
Is your baby too hot or too cold? Only you will be able to evaluate this. I use my son’s toes as a gauge. After he wakes from a nap or nighttime sleep, one of the first things I do is feel is toes. If his toes are too warm or cold, I usually have my answer.
Solution. This may seem obvious but you can adjust the temperature in your house accordingly. You can also use a wearable blanket or swaddle. I personally love the Halo brand and we’ve used it since birth. They come in fleece or cotton and have used both.
My son is like me (a freezy cat) so we used the HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle and the HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Wearable Blanketand we’ve loved them both. There are also cotton versions available. The best part is they never fall off, so no need to worry if your baby still have his blanket on. I’ve also used layers of clothes and socks to help my son stay at a good temperature during sleep.
3. Hunger and growth spurts.
If your baby normally sleeps well, and then wakes in the night, it is safe to always assume it is a hunger issue and feed your baby. If your baby is hungry, you should always feed your baby.
Solution. Feed your baby, change a diaper if needed, and then lay your baby back down to sleep after using your sleepy words and a few snuggles. If hunger is related to a growth spurt, it can last anywhere from several days to one week. After one week, if your baby is still waking, it is probably safe to move on to other causes. Once you move onto other causes, go ahead and try some of the techniques I listed above. (See also: How to Sleep Train Using Babywise and How to Lay your Baby Down Awake, but Drowsy)
Move on to other causes only, of course, after your baby hasn’t received night feedings for some time and doesn’t need night feedings. If your baby is still receiving night feedings due to nutritional and growth needs, you should definitely continue with night feedings.
So those are my top baby sleep disruptions that we’ve experienced and worked through over the past year. I know there are probably many more, so if you’ve experienced a sleep disruption, I’d love to hear how you worked through it! Please do share in the comments so we all can learn.
Print this free sleep printable!
This post comes with a free printable average sleep needs by age chart. It’s time to take the mystery out of baby sleep. This printable simplifies it! Here’s a preview:
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- Download the checklist. You’ll get the printable, plus get my Free 3-Day Baby Sleep eCourse! Just click here to download and subscribe
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Place it on your refrigerator. Use it as a quick reference and don’t forget a thing!
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