Session note Session notes

Session notes for Night waking what's the problem? Stages: Multiple

When their child is waking up regularly during the night, whānau can find themselves really struggling with the lack of sleep.

It can be so difficult to manage a full day of paid work after nights of broken sleep. Stay-at-home parents can struggle too, not only with their own tiredness, but often with an irritable or grizzly child who — like their dad and mum — is suffering from insufficient sleep.

Pātai atu ki te whānau

  • What happens when you put them to bed the first time?
  • How are you managing these nightly disturbances?
  • What do you think has caused this wakefulness?


However minor it might seem to adults, change can be the cause of unsettled or wakeful nights in young children.

Change could be related to something:

  • physical — teething or sickness
  • emotional — a new sibling, a new partner in mum or dad’s life, or even a fear of the ‘unknown’ — something like COVID-19
  • intellectual — increased awareness and understanding of the world and the kōrero going on around them
  • environmental — a new ECE teacher, bed or house, or even new people staying in their home.

 Pātai atu ki te whānau

  • Can you think of something that’s changed for them recently, even something small?
  • What have you noticed about their daytime behaviour during this period of unsettled nights?

Figuring out what’s causing this nightly waking can be hard, especially if your child doesn’t even know themselves. Dealing with an upset child at 2am is also hard, especially when they start screaming as soon as you leave their side or they simply follow along behind you.

Devising a plan might be worthwhile, as will getting all members of the whānau on board with it.

Pātai atu ki te whānau

  • How have you been responding to them when they wake?
  • Are you happy with how your approach is working?
  • Would you like some help to put a plan together? 

Further information

Other resources from SKIP:

Other resources on external websites:

How does this relate to the SKIP resources?

Baby Wall Frieze

Whakarongo mai -Listen to me Opens in new window

Because you might hear something that alerts you to how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking that could be disturbing my sleep.

Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau - Tell me you love me Opens in new window

Because when I feel secure and loved I’m much better able to deal with changes in my life.

Six things children need Te ārahi me te māramatanga - Guidance and understanding Opens in new window

It works best when kids have clear and simple rules about bedtime that they understand.


Email this resource Email