Why does my grand baby wake up at night between 2-6am?
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Dr., I have a very bright 23 month granddaughter who wakes up every night around 2-6a.m. She doesn't cry or seem unhappy. She just plays in her crib until she goes back to sleep. She stays awake at least 2 hours every early morning. What must we think of this habit. She has done this all her life. Thank you so much.
Posted Sat, 1 Feb 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX Thanks for writing in to us. There can be various reasons for the early morning waking of your little grand daughter. Some of them are as follows: 1. Hunger 2. Learnt hunger 3. External stimuli 4. Accidental parenting (learned behavior) 5. Needing less than average sleep 6. Unrealistic expectations (ready to start the day early) 7. Overtiredness (restlessness and fighting against sleep) 8. First nap of the day is too early 9. Having an early sleep phase 10. Developmental Changes So you can see the many possibilities and most of them are harmless in nature. Hope your query is answered. Do write back in case of doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
Follow-up: Why does my grand baby wake up at night between 2-6am? 21 hours later
Thank you for your answer. I appreciate the list of possibilities causing my granddaughter to awaken and play. She does not take a bottle and has not eaten at this hour for months. Wouldn't she complain if she is hungry? She is happy while she is awake, She loves her cribs and never complains when she is put to bed. After she goes back to sleep, she will probably sleep for another 3 or 4 hours. It is extremely hard to fit her sleep schedule into a normal family life. We all can't sleep until 9:30 or 10:00 and feel that she wouldn't either if she sleeps at night. Thanks for any suggestions.She has no toys in her crib except for a "cuddly" but she amuses herself anyway.
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 7 hours later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, You are welcome and thanks for writing back with an update. Your granddaughter is very young to let out her opinions vocally and this is causing further confusion in identifying the cause of her wakings past midnight. I am sure hunger is not causing her to wake up. We must think more in terms of her developing a learned behavior or something to do with her sleep phase. A baby or 23 months may need 11-13 hours of sleep in 24 hours. We can review if the baby is having an early bed time (which is less likely from what you have written) or she is having a generalized overtiredness leading to restlessness. It doesn’t seem to be any demanding problem because she is relatively happy and not sending any worrisome signals on waking. You can slowly try to cut down on her sleep hours in evening and observe her sleep pattern. Hope your query is answered. Do write back in case of doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek