Baby Doesn't Sleep

Lacking of sleep can make babies more prone to sudden infant death syndrome while parents who get little sleep can be at risk of depression, obesity and even accidents due to lack of attentiveness. Therefore, it is important to know why a baby doesn't sleep and learn to improve this situation.

Your Baby Doesn’t Sleep, Why?

To better understand how to help your baby sleep, you'd better learn the common reasons behind sleep troubles of babies.

1. They Have Problems with the Circadian Cycle.

It takes, on average, 12 weeks for babies to develop a circadian cycle which regulates when they feel the need to sleep or be awake. Some babies may take longer to adjust than others, which can be the reason behind irregular sleeping schedules.

2. You’re Over Stimulating Them

If you overstimulate your baby, you will excite the sympathetic nervous system, and this system will keep your baby alert. Therefore, an overly stimulated baby will have troubles going to sleep, even in a quiet and dark room.

3. You’re Waking Them Up

Novice parents might not be aware of this, but babies are noisy, even in their sleep. A sleeping baby will babble and even cry out. If parents get out of bed immediately to check on the baby, they may actually wake him or her up.

4. Your Approach Is Inconsistent

Babies need consistency approach to help them form a habit. If one day you ignore your baby, and the next day you overstimulate him or her when you’re trying to make your baby sleep, your baby will be confused. This can lead to sleep problems as your baby won’t know what to expect.

5. They're Teething

Depending on the age of your baby, he or she might be teething. The discomfort of teething is especially annoying at night, which makes your baby hard to fall asleep. Teething also may lead to tummy ache, restlessness and nappy rash, which will lead to a worse situation.

6. They're Leaning New Things

Babies are always learning new things and skills. Some babies are known to wake up in the middle of the night to practice what they’ve learned recently such like crawling, chewing, talking or more.

7. They're in Pain

Babies are very sensitive to discomfort and pains such like stomach ache, acid reflux, colds and coughs. Many things can make your baby feel unwell, and since they can’t tell us how they feel, they tend to show it through actions, such as crying when they’re supposed to sleep or being fussier than usual.

How to Put Your Baby to Sleep

There are many things to do when your baby doesn’t sleep, such as:

1. Put Them to Bed When They’re Sleepy

The best thing you can do is associating sleepiness with your baby’s crib. Keep an eye on your baby and lay your baby down in his or her crib whenever your baby looks like drowsy. This will also help your baby fall asleep on his or her own.

2. Lay Your Baby on His or Her Back

Lying on the back is not only the safest but also the most comfortable position for babies to sleep. Your baby will find it easier to breathe, and fall asleep faster than before.

3. Turn Off the Lights

The brain will begin to release melatonin as soon as you turn off the light, while melatonin can help babies get sleep. Keeping the lights off will also help your baby recognize the sleep time and finally form a sleep habit.

4. Use Movement

Gentle movements are very soothing for a baby doesn't sleep and this can be achieved in a variety of ways.

Gently rocking your baby or carrying him in a sling can help with sleep. Other options such as stroller and car rides will not only lull your baby to sleep but will also let you do other things at the same time, making it the best option for busy parents.

5. Establish a Routine

This can help your baby learn to go to sleep at a certain time, thus making it easier for them to fall asleep and for you to plan your day accordingly. You can set a sleep routine for your baby by following these tips:

  • Massage Your Baby: This will help your baby relax, helping him or her feel more comfortable and reducing any possible overstimulation.
  • Give Your Baby a Warm Bath: This is also a good way to help babies relax, plus they’ll be going to bed feeling fresh and clean.
  • Put on Fresh Diapers and Pajamas: Doing this will maximize babies' comfort, reducing the chances of them waking up in the middle of the night.

When to Worry

If you’ve tried all of these options and none of them seem to work for a baby doesn't sleep, you should consult your pediatrician.

These are some things that could be causing your baby’s problems:

  • Food sensitivity
  • Reflux
  • Allergies (Be it to airborne agents or clothes/bedding)
  • Colic or other forms of pain
  • Separation anxiety
  • Pinworms
  • Bladder infection
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