Babies wake up during the night because they are hungry/wet/lonely, and because it's natural for them to awaken. Buzzfeed talked to Darcia F. Narvaez, professor of psychology at Notre Dame University, and other experts about a human baby's natural sleeping and waking cycle, and found out a lot of interesting things.
Human babies are born earlier in their development than other animals – they need close contact or an "external womb".
"Human babies are born 9 to 18 months early compared to other animals," says Narvaez. "Other animals are able to walk around and start eating – we can't do that. We look like foetuses when we're born and we are.
"So that means you want to keep that baby calm while the brain systems are finishing because they only have 25% of the adult brain-size developed, and a lot of systems haven't set their thresholds and parameters yet. They're expecting good care – like in an external womb or nest. We call it the evolved developmental niche or nest."
A baby waking up at all hours of the night is not abnormal at all. What's really abnormal is the world we've created. We learn to sleep through the night because of scheduling conflicts with work, school, and the other people in our lives. Read about the way nature intended babies to sleep at Buzzfeed.
(Image redit: Sian Butcher/BuzzFeed)