Night Waking: How do I respond??

Night Waking: How do I respond??

Your little one has been sleeping for an hour or more and now appears to be waking up… Now What???

Before you feel like running out the door there is a way to respond that may assist your little one with getting back to sleep in a timely fashion (in some cases 🙂 ).


When our little ones wake up we often run to them which does not give our little ones a chance to try to go back to sleep. Sometimes we actually end up waking our little ones up because they were making noise or moving around in the REM stage of sleep. When we run in we end up waking our littles.

Now, Am I saying you have to wait 10 to 15 minutes? Nope, 2 minutes will do. If you can wait 5 to 10 minutes there is no harm. I was never able to wait so I do not expect others to wait.

If time does not help them I would move on to the next step.

There were a number of times that as soon as I walked in the room our son would roll over and go back to sleep. This was after I jumped up and rushed to prepare a bottle. I learned to go in first before preparing a bottle.

If you go close to your child and they are still in distress then I would move on to the next step.

This is when you state your nighttime phrase, shush, talk lightly, sing or hum to your child. If they calm then you slowly reduce how much you are saying to give them a chance to get drowsy. If they just get upset then talk, sing, hum or shush until they go to sleep.

If this does not work after a minute or 2 then move on to the next stage.

This is when you reach into the bassinet or crib and provide the soothing touch your child responds to. Sometimes all you need to do is to put your hand by or on your child.

If this does not begin to calm your child after a minute or 2 your move on to the next step.

Pick up
Some children get very agitated when waking up and try as you may, they will not go back to sleep after trying all the previous steps. I would then pick your little one up. I would give them comfort. When your little one is calm I would lay him/her back in the crib. You may have to start back to step one if your child starts to scream.

What if you have tried all the above steps and there is no change. Every time you put your child down the crying starts. Well, you have a few choices. You can hold your little one a little longer until he/she is in a very drowsy state or asleep. If you choose this path, know that it may take longer for your child to go back to sleep without assistance.

I was perfectly fine with the sleep teaching process taking a longer period of time. If you believe that you or your child would be better off if your child fell back to sleep faster I would recommend that you do not respond to your child right away. You may have more intense crying for a shorter period. I would then move to a timed check-in approach to sleep teaching.

If you have any additional questions please ask in a private message, on the website or in the private Facebook group.