baby sleeping pjs

Ask a Sleep Expert: Why Did My Baby Stop Sleeping Through the Night?

In our new series “Ask a Sleep Expert,” we pose a question from a reader to pediatric sleep consultant Ingrid Prueher, founder of, and get her expert insight and advice.

“My baby was sleeping through the night. Then all of a sudden, at seven months, he stopped. What happened?” Regina, State College, Pennsylvania

Ingrid: In situations like this, there are a few things I’d look at. One, if the food schedule’s out of whack, then that becomes an issue. Is the child not on solids yet and starting to get hungrier because they’re growing and their needs aren’t being met? Or, are they having too many solids during the day and they’re making up for the milk that they’re not receiving until nighttime?

Sleep schedule is also important. Generally, at this point, kids are down to two naps and bedtime no later than 7 p.m. The way they go down to sleep is the way they’re going to expect to go back to sleep every time they wake. In certain situations, the parent could be rocking the baby to sleep and it was working before, but then it stops. It’s going to stop because that is a sleep association. And the child’s getting older and wiser and that kind of stuff stops working. Eventually it’s going to catch up. It always does. So then you have to sleep train to teach your child how to become an independent sleeper.

Another reason why kids can start waking up out of nowhere at seven months of age is because they are hitting very big developmental milestones. They’ve learned to sit up, they’re learning to stand up and pull themselves up and kind of “get stuck.” They also have discovered their voice, and now they’re screaming when there’s really nothing wrong. In situations like this, I let my clients know that the sleep disturbance is temporary and should last no more than a week, unless the child is hitting more than one milestone at once. I recommend that the parent continue to implement the sleep training method during these times because the child is only staying awake or waking up from sleep to practice mastering their new skill. The child is not fighting sleep to have help from their caretakers.

Separation anxiety can also start at seven months of age with the child waking up and looking for their parent. You can go to them. But there’s no need to take them out of their crib every single time. With some kids’ personalities, they’ll have separation anxiety several times throughout their life. And for other kids you won’t even see it until they’re four years old.

So seven months is a big, big age. And there are quite a few different reasons why kids cannot sleep at this age. The best thing that any family can do, at any point, is really to log what’s going on so that you can see what changed in their sleep.

Check out how Nanit makes sleep logging and tracking a breeze. Plus, don’t forget to share your biggest sleep questions with us on Facebook or Twitter you could be featured in our next “Ask a Sleep Expert” blog post!

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Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.