Tinto logo
Mum of 1

Hi! My 12 week baby is currently sleeping from around 11pm-6:50am. But from about 4am onwards she rocks her head from side to side a lot during the night and I feel like she is on the cusp of waking up at any moment if I don’t pop her dummy in or stroke her head.

I thought at first that it might be stomach related as she seems to do it and then pass wind. My husband doesn’t hear a thing and says I should just leave her. But I feel if I do she will wake up.

At the moment she’s having five feeds of 7oz of formula from 7am-11pm, so she’s getting enough food. We don’t put her to bed until her last feed at the moment and she sleeps on my husband until then. We are doing a bed routine, bath, massage, story, and milk and then she’s usually asleep by 7:40pm and then wakes again between 10:30 and 11:30 pm for her last feed. We would like to get her into her own bed by 7:40pm.

Am I doing something wrong? Is this normal? Any advice would be great, thank you!

Please be reassured that you’re doing nothing wrong. A newborn baby has very different patterns of sleep to an older infant and will spend over 50% of their sleeping in a stage of active sleep, which is typically very active and often very noisy. Sleeping like a baby does not actually mean what we think it does!

Towards morning, usually around 4am, it is very common to hear your baby grunting or grizzling more than normal. This often appears to parents like stomach concerns, which - if you’re concerned - you should speak to your GP about. But often, your little one rouses in the night because their circadian clock has not fully matured and then, as a consequence, their gut activates too.

You can support your little one’s maturing circadian clock by giving them as much exposure to natural daylight as you can as well as other daytime cues like people talking. Be wary of big blocks of sleep during the day, which may impact their sleep patterns at night. And if you find popping the dummy back in and stroking her head helps her to calm down then please don’t stop - it is helping her move into the parasympathetic side of autonomic nervous system (i.e. rest and digest).

Emma, Tinto Expert