Why do my baby’s sleep patterns change?

Kinderling News & Features

When it comes to parenting there’s absolutely no issue that invites more questions. Parents don’t get enough. Children seemingly don’t want it. And just when you think you’ve finally got the hang of one routine, your beautiful baby changes the rules.

Sleep: why does it change SO much when we have a baby?

We turned to Kindlerling's Mothercraft nurse Chris Minogue for the answers.

“Babies are reactive to their environment,” said Chris. “In their first year of life they will, on average experience between 5 and 7 different development stages and each of these stages will interrupt the flow of their sleep in some way.”

1. Sleepy stage (1- 3 weeks)

Generally, falls across the first three weeks of a baby’s life where they will usually sleep a lot of the time.

2. Alert stage (10-12 weeks)

 At 12 weeks, baby ‘wakes up’ and starts to take in their surroundings

3. Movement stage (4 - 5 months)

Baby is around 4-5 months, they may be starting to roll onto one side or the other.

4. Roll and sit (7 - 9 months)

They will wake up in their sleep and sit up and probably cry out to you. Sometimes they may even just go back to sleep so give them a while before you go in and check then. 

5. Pull to stand (10 -12 months)

Once baby can stand they will often wake up and stand up in the cot and be unsettled by it.

6. Language ( 10-12 months)

Baby will wake up and start talking in their sleep, this can sometimes go on for about 15 minutes or so. 


At all of these stages your baby will rouse for some time in their sleep, says Chris.

“It’s important to remember this is not regressive behaviour. It’s actually a development stage so don’t be disheartened by it. It’s a positive thing and means your baby now needs help with learning how get themselves back to sleep.”