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Should you ever wake a sleeping baby?

Sleep   |   Age: 6 weeks 5 days


Should you ever wake a sleeping baby?

The cliche is, “let sleeping dogs lie,” but it could just as easily be applied to babies - no matter how sweet your little bundle of joy is, once your baby goes down for a nap, letting her sleep can feel like as important of a priority as breathing oxygen, or managing to squeeze in time for a shower now and then. Is it always true, though? Or are there situations where the best option is actually to wake the baby?

Sleep schedule adjustments

As a general rule, waking a sleeping baby will only leave you with a tired, cranky baby. But when babies get into sleep schedules that just aren’t sustainable, either for themselves or for the rest of the family, like mixing up day and night, or just trading a 4-hour afternoon nap for a regular 4 a.m. wake-up, sometimes gently waking them in order to redirect their sleep schedules can be the best way to make sure everything is on-track.

As (another) general rule, well-rested babies sleep more, so waking one up is a dangerous game, but timing is everything when it comes to sleep, especially when adults may not have as much control over their schedules as the smallest members of their families do. In this way, gradual adjustments of sleep schedules can do a lot to keep a household running smoothly.

How to wake a sleeping baby

There are a lot of grown-up skills your baby hasn’t mastered yet, and waking up to an alarm clock and going calmly about the rest of her day may not be one of them. This means that a more refined approach to waking her up may be called for. Here are a few ideas:

These strategies are all sound for healthy babies who might just be a bit more in love with naptime with their peers, but not being able to rouse a sleeping baby at all is a problem, and should definitely prompt parents or caregivers to seek medical help right away.

Sources

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