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Why Is My Baby Waking Up Every Hour?

why is my baby waking up every hour

Infant sleep cycles are notoriously short. And it’s not uncommon for new parents to find themselves awake at four in the morning, googling “Why is my baby waking up every hour?” with bloodshot eyes. 

New parents can expect their newborn to wake frequently while they sleep. Plus, there are many reasons why parents might hear sleep transitions – depending on their baby's age and unique circumstances. Stay tuned, as our overnight baby nurses explain what's keeping your infant up at night in today’s blog post. 

Why Is My Baby Waking Up Every Hour?

So, why is my baby waking up every hour? Well, here are some common reasons why newborns (up to three months) won’t sleep: 

Short Sleep Cycles

Newborn babies experience two sleep cycles: rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM). And they cycle through both phases every 30 to 45 minutes. That means your newborn returns to light, easily disturbed sleep every 45 minutes or so – making them more susceptible to wake-ups. 


Your newborn’s tummy is tiny. Therefore, hunger is a common reason why babies have a hard time sleeping longer stretches. During the first two weeks, babies eat every two to three hours to get in the calories they need. However, many infants can stretch to four to five hours at night by four weeks.  

Physical Discomfort

Until your infant’s GI matures, gassiness and reflux can make babies uncomfortable. However, ensuring good burps with feedings and troubleshooting feeding intolerances can help. Generally, parents should expect some gas, spitting up, and discomfort. If the discomfort persists, we recommend speaking with your pediatrician.

Why Won’t My 3-5 Month Baby Sleep?

Many babies experience a sleep regression around the four-month mark – which is when they transition from newborn sleep into more adult-like sleep phases. Creating a consistent bedtime routine, encouraging your baby to self-soothe, and working with an infant sleep consultant can help your baby return to regular sleep patterns. 

Why Won’t My 6-12 Month Baby Sleep?

Several factors could be to blame for your 6-12-month-old’s sleep troubles. Your baby might be learning new skills — crawling, sitting independently, making sounds, etc. — that could cause sleep disruptions. Additionally, sleep regressions commonly occur around developmental milestones (around six, eight, and twelve months). And finally, your baby’s daytime schedule could impact their nightly sleep habits. (Note that most babies are ready to transition from three naps to two around six to eight months old.)

Overnight Infant Care in Texas

If you’ve found yourself typing Why is my baby waking up every hour? into your search bar, we hope today’s blog post offered some clarity. As we mentioned, babies’ sleep cycles are delicate – and there are many reasons why your baby could be waking up throughout the night. 

Newborn Nightingales offers overnight infant care and newborn consulting to families in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and beyond. We’d be happy to assess your newborn’s sleep habits and environment. Then, we’ll help them establish healthy sleep patterns and learn to sleep long stretches. 

Additionally, our qualified overnight nurses and Nightingales can watch your baby through the night, so you can get some well-deserved rest. Contact our team to get started. 

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