I recently had the pleasure of working with baby Eve, she was 8 months old and had recently learnt to crawl!
Eve had slept through the night since she was 4 months old, having a quick feed at 11pm and then waking at 7am ready to start the day.
But at 8 months she was waking for a second time at 2am and refusing to go back to sleep for 1-2 hours! Mum called us and was very exhausted, this had been going on for over a week and nothing was working, rocking, feeding, patting, Eve would not go back to sleep!
We had a big conversation and became apparent to me the night wake ups coincided with Eve learning to crawl, she literally started waking the night after she crawled her first 3 paces.
This is what is known as a developmental leap, babies learn new skills all the time – crawling, standing, sitting, walking and talking, all of these skills involve the building of new synapses in the brain which can cause what is known as a developmental leap wake up at night.
Often a wake up between 1-3am is exactly this, especially if bubs is not at all upset and is just practising their new skill, crawling around the cot, or standing in the cot or even practising their new words! The issue arises when this wake up frustrates mum and dad as we can hear they are awake in their beds and we want them to go back to sleep, so interfere and rock bubs back to sleep – thus creating a new habit!
Eve needed some space to practise her new skills and then some space and support to go back to sleep without being forced to sleep with rocking/patting/or feeding.
Have you noticed developmental leaps in your children?