You’ve gone to bed and drifted off, or you might have had a few hours sleep and then suddenly… your little one wakes up and is awake for a good chunk of time! They eventually go back to sleep and it takes you a little longer to nod back off with the confusion and the question “why the split night…why me?!”
It can be draining, confusing and it can make for one sleep deprived child (and parent) the next day!
Usually, the circadian rhythm (your internal body clock) and sleep pressure (the build up of being tired) come together to help you go to sleep at night time. If this is out of whack, it’s common for your child to wake up and be ready to party at 2am in the morning. We all love a party, but gone are the days of partying at 2am for most of us!
Let’s look at what might be causing your split night and what you can possibly do about it to make them end!
- Check the amount of daytime sleep your child is having (if they still have naps) and make sure it is age appropriate. This is usually the culprit of a split night! If they are getting too much day sleep, they will be less tired during the night and might be treating the nighttime sleep like 2 long naps rather than a consolidated longer stretch of sleep.
- If they do nap, they might possibly be ready for a nap transition from 4-3, 3-2, 2-1 or 1-0 naps. These transitions are huge and can definitely affect night sleep, causing a split night.
- It could also be a self-settling problem, if they aren’t able to effectively and reliably self-settle themselves then they may be waking and waiting for their sleep association (parent, dummy, feed, teddy, back rubs etc) to appear. You’d need to work on some self settling strategies- we can help with this!
- You may be putting them to bed too early (especially if their nap is transitioning). When they then wake in the night, they’ve already had a good period of rest and may think it is morning time!
- Continue to wake your child in the morning at their usual time. Don’t be tempted to let them sleep in later and this has a knock on effect through the day and then into the next evening.
Another helpful tip is to not rush into them too quickly! It’s very normal to wake up in the night but we often don’t remember it. If they are happy in bed and not calling out/crying, it is perfectly ok to leave them to fall back asleep without your support.
Good luck and get in touch if you still need help!