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Why is my baby waking 30-45 minutes after bedtime?

Do you put your baby to sleep with little to no fuss at bedtime, only to hear them awake again only a half hour or so after?

This is what is known as a False Start. Which is when you put your child to bed and about 30-45 minutes later, they are awake again! Ugh…

While frustrating, it’s best to take a minute and understand why this is happening so that you can solve it and get baby sleeping soundly through the night.

Here are 4 common reasons for a False Start:

  1. Overtiredness or Undertiredness: Your child may be too tired once bedtime hits, becoming restless unable to connect sleep cycles OR your child is not tired enough to stay asleep. I know, you’re thinking “but which one is it?” From over I here, I can best advise you to start with wake windows. Try adjusting the wake window before bed to match their age. So, if your child is 7-months, you are working with a 2.5-3 hour wake window. Start with one for about a week or two. Based on the progress, adjust accordingly by 15 minute increments, allowing for a week or two with each change. For example, if you start with a 2.5 hour window and the problem persists, perhaps baby can go for longer, add 15 minutes.

  2. In bed already asleep or drowsy: This reason has to do with baby not being accustomed to her sleep space, as she is going into her bed already asleep...not aware of going down. Therefore, after a sleep cycle occurs (which is 30-45 minutes in length), she will wake and feel unfamiliar with the space she’s in. Falling back to sleep will not come easily in the case. I encourage you to work on independent sleep skills to help resolve this. Put baby down awake in their ideal sleep space for every sleep situation. Give them the chance to get to sleep on their own.

  3. Falling asleep at the bedtime feed: Much like the last point, this can often lead to baby staying asleep or drowsy going into the crib. I know it can be hard when baby is super tired and falling asleep at the breast or bottle during that nighttime feed...We want to get that full feed in before the night. but what to do if baby keeps falling asleep? Try moving the feed earlier in the bedtime routine, when baby is less tired and more alert to get in that full feeding.

  4. Your child is under 3 months and would benefit from a later bedtime: Newborn baby sleep does not begin to organize until after 3 months. Their sleep is more sporadic, often with a later bedtime. Before 3-months bedtime can look like 8-10pm. A catnap between the bedtime hour would also help. Ensure you get one in with the appropriate wake window before bed.

Is your child waking up shortly after bed? I'm here for it! Let's chat and get it sorted!! Need support? Book a free chat with me HERE  Follow for more baby and toddler sleep tips, advice and support.

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