If your baby is waking up every hour, life will definitely get “interesting” very fast. A baby that wakes up so often is actually not unusual – in fact, many of us still do it, no matter how old we are. But as adults, we can often go right back to sleep, and not even remember that we woke up so briefly. Babies can do the same. However, if your baby wakes up every hour and you are aware of it, that means that your baby is involving you in his wake-up time – and that’s not good for either of you. So what can you do about it?

Baby Wakes Up Every Hour, Is It Normal?

Unless it’s caused by medical conditions, frequent waking up and short sleeping cycles are normal for babies, especially in the first few months.

Until your child is six months old, expect babies to sleep very lightly. So lightly, in fact, that some noises will wake them up very quickly, but they almost immediately go back to sleep. When they do sleep for long stretches, it will only be for about 50 minutes each time. Most will slowly drift back to sleep without making much noise. But others will go completely awake very shortly.

As they get older, babies will have longer sleep cycles. They will eventually learn to sleep for longer stretches, and they will also learn how to soothe themselves back to sleep. By the time your child reaches six months old, they will be able to sleep for much longer periods, and go right back to sleep when they do wake up, just like adults do.

Fortunately, there are many things parents can do when the baby wakes up every hour and won’t go back to sleep on their own.

Baby Wakes Up Every Hour, What to Do?

With a baby waking up every hour, nobody in the house is going to be happy with the lack of sleep. But there are several options that might help.

1.      Make Sure He’s Full

A baby who is hungry is a baby who will wake up too often. Make sure your baby has plenty to eat. Is he going through a growth spurt? Is she seeking more and more food lately? These are signs that you should increase the amount of food or formula or breastmilk your baby is getting. Increase the food gradually and see what happens.

2.      Comfort Him or Her

Never ignore your baby’s needs, especially when he’s very little. They might be hungry, sad, or uncomfortable but they cannot say it. They have to wake up or cry. During the day, your baby is moving all the time, enjoying playtime and not paying much attention to that little bruise he got this morning, or that bump he got on his toe that night. But at bedtime, those little things start to bother him. Pay attention to what might be hurting and respond accordingly at night.

3.      Burp Your Baby

Even if your child burped well right before going down to sleep, it is possible that there is some air left in that tiny tummy. That can lead to stomach pains, which then will wake the baby up. When your baby starts to fuss, pick her up and try a quick burp – sometimes a baby will go to sleep immediately when the air is out.

4.      Check for Reflux

A baby who has acid reflux will be very uncomfortable when lying down to sleep. Make sure to hold the baby in an upright position for 30 minutes before bed to make sure all the feeding stays down, and let the baby sleep in an inclined mattress. Talk to your doctor if you suspect reflux.

5.      Time the Naps

Having a baby wakes up every hour at night? Maybe he/she just had too much sleep in the day. If your baby has a nap that is too late in the day, his schedule might be thrown off enough to ensure that nobody gets any sleep at night. Fix this by gradually moving the naptimes around until you get a baby who is happy to sleep at night.

6.      Allow One Hour to Wind Down

Bedtime should be slow and leisurely, including the baby’s favorite things, like a bath and bedtime story. Anything rushed at this stage will not settle the baby in for a deep sleep, and you will pay for it an hour after the baby goes to sleep.

7.      Keep Schedules Even

A baby who wakes every hour might hate going to sleep because there is so much to see and do in this big world. A baby like this simply wants to play and get attention. Remember to have a full-hour wind down, and make the naps of good quality during the day.

8.      Check His Food

Allergies to any food or formula can lead to consequences for your little one, such as diarrhea, constipation, serious gas and bloating, pain in the abdomen, and sleeplessness. If all else fails, try a different formula or switch to an old tried-and-true food to see if the old stuff was causing a reaction.

9.      Use White Noise

A baby who is accustomed to lots of noise during the day will be unhappy in a very quiet room at night. A white noise machine or even a fan blowing in a corner of the room can help remedy this problem.

10.    Help Your Baby Learn to Soothe Himself

A baby needs to be able to soothe himself; help him do this by softly speaking to him when he wakes up, but don’t pick him up. He will gradually learn to go back to sleep on his own, without your presence needed.

11.    Is Your Little One Teething?

A baby who is teething will not sleep well, no matter what you try to do. So make it easier with cool teethers well within reach, and use an over the counter medication on the gums if your doctor says it’s okay.

12.    Break the Habit

A baby who has a set sleep pattern, such as waking up every few hours when they were very small, can be carried over even as the child ages. This habit can be tough to break, but with some patience, you can probably get him out of the awful schedule.

What Others Have Experienced

Understanding what others have been through when their baby wakes up every hour can help you figure out how to handle yours.

The situation: A baby who was sleeping through the night suddenly starts waking up all the time, with no apparent reason, and cries if she doesn’t get attention. She is about ten weeks old.

The explanation: babies at this age are much more aware of their surroundings, and they realize they are alone when they wake up in the room without mommy or daddy. Soothing the baby by simply showing them that you are there can help them get back to sleep and overcome that separation anxiety.

The situation: An eight-month-old child wakes up in the middle of the night and demands to be fed or comforted for hours. His mother has never had him on a firm schedule and now she has no idea when he will be awake or asleep.

The explanation: Babies who are allowed to set their own routine will never get to sleep on a regular basis. A mother who allows this is going to face many sleepless nights! It is vitally important to set a routine for your child from a very young age, or you will wind up having to do it when they are older – and that will turn into a major struggle. Start Sleep training at the proper time.