Babies and their new mothers anticipate sleep and look forward to the customary tuck-in process. Even after a nice warm bath, one last feeding, and that particular song you croon every night, your baby may resist the sleep you think she deserves.
Take heart, because while protesting the crib put-down is rather frequent, there are various possible causes.
What does it mean to “fight sleep”?
There is no single symptom of “fighting sleep“, just as there is no single miraculous sleep remedy that works for every infant. It varies a lot from one infant to the next. A very agitated and irritable, or even inconsolable baby is typically recounted to me — and what I’ve experienced myself! There may be a lot of wailing or screaming, as well as arching their backs, stiffening up, pushing off of you, scratching, and so on. The baby may be on the verge of falling asleep, just to jerk awake and become agitated all over again.
You may also notice that their schedule is changing – the last nap of the day is getting increasingly difficult to take or is being skipped entirely, or the morning nap is being taken later.
Continue reading to learn how to get your baby back on track with sleep.
Why do babies fight sleep?
Knowing why your child is having trouble sleeping will help you address the problem and ensure that they receive some much-needed rest. So, what are the possible reasons for sleep deprivation?
The baby is exhausted
It may sound strange, but not getting enough sleep might result in a newborn who is wired and has problems falling asleep at night.
The baby is overstimulated.
Overstimulation and the desire to fight sleep can occur from a bright, active household, screens, beeping toys, or a sobbing fit. At least an hour before the baby’s bedtime, avoid stimulating activities.
Regression in sleep
This disruption in your baby’s nightly habit can occur at any point throughout the first year, including at 4 months, 6 months, between 8 and 10 months, and again at 12 months.
Anxiety about being separated
This clingy phase may begin about 8 months (but it might begin earlier or later), resulting in tears when you leave your baby alone in the crib.
Teething pain can lead a baby to wail and resist sleep around the age of six months (but it can happen earlier or later).
The baby is not exhausted
Babies sleep 11 to 14 hours between the ages of one and two years, rather than the 12 to 16 hours they slept when they were younger. If your baby is having trouble falling asleep, she may not require as many Zzzs as she formerly did.
Baby woke up from his snooze
Babies begin to miss their morning nap around the age of 12 to 15 months, so if yours refuses to be put down, it could mean she’ll be a one-nap tot from now on.
Achieving a major goal
Some infants like practicing babbling, rolling, sitting up, crawling, and walking at night.
A different crib or a change in the typical bedtime regimen can cause a baby to fight sleep during a vacation.
In the first few years, your baby will treble his or her birth weight; most kids will triple their birth weight by their first birthday. All of that growth necessitates a lot of food.
Check to see if your baby is getting the right amount of feedings each day, based on their age, how much they’re eating at each feed, and whether they’re breastfed or bottle-fed.
Your baby’s sleep may be affected if he or she is in pain due to an illness. Other signs of disease, such as ear infections or colds, should be kept in mind.
When your child refuses to sleep, what can you do?
The measures you take will be influenced by the reasons your baby is having trouble sleeping, but no matter what your issues are, the following suggestions will help you create a happy sleep environment.
- Recognize your baby’s sleep signals. Keep an eye out for symptoms that your baby is weary, such as eye rubbing, yawning, avoiding eye contact, fussing, or losing interest in play, and put them to bed as soon as possible. Keep in mind that for small newborns, waking intervals might be as short as 30 to 45 minutes.
- Create and stick to a relaxing nighttime routine. Bathing, reading books, and cuddling in a favorite chair are all methods for lulling a youngster to sleep. Make a habit of doing the same things in the same order at the same time every night.
- Play and interact with your baby during the day, exposing them to plenty of sunlight in the morning and afternoon, but being less active and more sedate before sleep to establish day-night habits.
- At least an hour before bedtime, avoid rough physical play, loud noises, and screens.
- Create a nap and sleep routine that fits your baby’s needs as well as your own. Consider their overall sleep requirements and make sure they get enough sleep both during the day and at night.
- Within a 24-hour period, make sure your kid is getting adequate feedings. Every 2 to 3 hours, newborns will normally eat on demand. The interval between feedings will increase as your baby develops.
- Ascertain that the baby’s environment is sleep-friendly. To create a relaxing ambiance, use blackout curtains, white noise, or other features.
- Try to be patient and calm when your infant is having trouble sleeping. They get their energy from your emotions, so keeping calm might help them relax as well.
Do you ever wonder if your clingy baby will ever fall asleep in his crib? Keep in mind that you’re probably fighting sleep owing to a predictable phase. Once you’ve figured out what’s wrong, you can help her get through it and go back to the sleep you both need.
Of course, if you’ve tried everything (pun intended!) and nothing seems to be working, consult your doctor.
It’s stressful to watch your infant struggle to fall asleep. However, they usually respond to one of the above therapies. You’re investing in your baby’s growth, development, and happiness by spending time with them when they sleep.