Why Does My Baby Wake up When I Lay Her Down

Why Does My Baby Wake up When I Lay Her Down?

One of the most common challenges new parents face is getting their baby to stay asleep when they lay them down. It can be frustrating and exhausting, leaving parents wondering why their little one keeps waking up. There are several reasons why babies may wake up when laid down, and understanding these factors can help parents find solutions to promote better sleep for both their baby and themselves.

1. The Moro reflex: Newborns have a startle reflex called the Moro reflex, which causes them to jerk their arms and legs when they feel a sudden change in their environment. This reflex can cause them to wake up when transferred from your arms to the crib.

2. Sleep association: Babies often develop sleep associations, such as being rocked or held, to fall asleep. When they are laid down, they may notice the absence of these associations and wake up.

3. Temperature changes: Babies are sensitive to temperature changes. If the crib feels colder or less cozy than your arms, they may wake up due to discomfort.

4. Hunger: If your baby is hungry, they may wake up when laid down. It’s important to ensure they are well-fed before putting them to bed.

5. Digestive discomfort: Babies may experience digestive issues, such as gas or acid reflux, which can cause discomfort when lying flat. This discomfort can lead to frequent awakenings.

6. Overstimulation: If your baby is overstimulated or overtired, they may have difficulty settling down when laid down. Creating a calm and soothing environment can help them relax and fall asleep more easily.

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7. Developmental milestones: Babies go through various developmental milestones, such as learning to roll over or crawl. These milestones can disrupt their sleep patterns and cause them to wake up more frequently.

8. Sleep regression: It’s common for babies to experience sleep regressions at different stages of their development. These regressions can be triggered by various factors like illness, teething, or changes in routine, causing babies to wake up more frequently.

9. Lack of routine: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine helps signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep. Without a routine, they may have difficulty transitioning from being held to being laid down.

10. Separation anxiety: Around six to eight months, babies often experience separation anxiety, making them more clingy and reluctant to be put down. This anxiety can result in frequent awakenings when laid down.

11. Noise and light disturbances: Babies are sensitive to noise and light, and sudden changes in their environment can disrupt their sleep. Creating a quiet and dark sleep environment can help minimize disturbances.

12. Illness or discomfort: If your baby is unwell or experiencing discomfort, they may wake up more frequently when laid down. It is essential to address any underlying health issues to promote better sleep.


1. How long does the Moro reflex last in babies?
The Moro reflex typically disappears around three to six months of age.

2. How can I prevent my baby from waking up when laid down?
Swaddling, using white noise machines, and gradually transitioning them to the crib can help prevent awakenings.

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3. Should I let my baby cry it out when they wake up?
This is a personal decision and depends on your parenting style. There are various sleep training methods available, including the cry-it-out method, but it’s crucial to choose an approach that aligns with your beliefs.

4. Can sleep training help my baby stay asleep when laid down?
Yes, sleep training techniques can be effective in teaching your baby to self-soothe and stay asleep when laid down.

5. Is co-sleeping a solution to prevent awakenings?
Co-sleeping can provide comfort to some babies, but it is essential to follow safe co-sleeping guidelines to minimize the risk of accidents.

6. Should I feed my baby right before bedtime to prevent awakenings?
It can be helpful to ensure your baby is well-fed before bedtime, but be cautious not to create a sleep association with feeding.

7. When should I start a bedtime routine for my baby?
You can start a bedtime routine as early as a few weeks old. Consistency is key to establishing a routine.

8. What can I do if my baby has separation anxiety?
Gradually introducing short periods of separation during the day and providing reassurance can help ease separation anxiety.

9. Is it normal for my baby to wake up multiple times during the night?
Yes, it is normal for babies to wake up multiple times during the night, especially in the early months. However, they should gradually start sleeping for longer stretches.

10. How can I create a calm sleep environment for my baby?
Dimming the lights, using a white noise machine, and keeping the room at a comfortable temperature can create a calm sleep environment.

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11. Can teething cause frequent awakenings?
Teething can disrupt a baby’s sleep, leading to more frequent awakenings. Provide teething toys or consult a pediatrician for pain relief options.

12. When should I consult a healthcare professional about my baby’s sleep issues?
If your baby’s sleep issues persist or significantly affect their well-being, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for guidance and support.