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Should you wake a sleeping baby?

If you ask Aunt Karen, the answer is probably no. But if you ask me, I will say, yes! Sometimes it's absolutely necessary to wake a sleeping baby. I know it might feel cruel, especially when you are finally able to enjoy some me-time after trying to settle your child for hours, but your child (and you) will be better off in the long run.

Yawning baby waking from nap

So what are some of the scenarios where I would tell you, yep wake that sleeping baby?

  1. With newborns, we want to aim for about 3-hourly feeds during the day. So if your baby has been asleep for 2-3 hours, it might be time to raise them from their slumber to offer a feed to make sure they are getting enough food during the day.

  2. Sometimes it's necessary to wake a sleeping baby to make sure we can fit in the naps they need, meaning, if they have a huuuge morning nap, it might shift the whole day out of whack making it hard to fit in the other 1-2 naps before bedtime.

  3. If your child has fallen asleep too late in the day you want to wake them after a while to ensure they will still go to bed at their normal bedtime.

  4. If your child is only on one nap, it's sometimes necessary to cap that nap to make sure they are still getting adequate night's sleep.

There is only so much sleep your child needs over a 24-hour period, so letting them sleep for as long as they want to during the day, can set you up for a wakeful night.

But there are definitely times when I would let my kids sleep for (almost) as long as they want to, the most important one being when they are sick or unwell. The thing to keep in mind during times of sickness is to wake your child when it's time to feed so they are getting enough nutrients and hydration and the other if they are on medication that needs to be given at certain times.


Waking your baby will help you establish a routine and setting you up for a successful night.


Do you have questions about your baby's current routine? Why not book in for a 30-minute ask me anything call.




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