Many parents pity the fact that babies often fight sleep, especially at night. That can be quite a stressful and long experience.
I remember when I had to spend hours to calm down my baby, never mind getting it to fall asleep without it waking up the moment I put it in the crib.
So, if you’ve also been in my spot, it’s logical to seek answers to why your baby can’t seem to drowse off to dreamland.
In this article, we’ll answer all your questions and finally unravel the reasons for the “beef” (Yay, I used modern slang!) between babies and sleep.
Why Sleep is Important for Babies
Sleeping is essential for any baby’s development. They need the energy to perform their daily antics while acting cute and innocent.
And not to mention how crucial it is for parents to get some sleep as well, so they can keep up with their children’s daily routine.
Sleeping benefits baby’s cognitive and physical development, including their memory skills as well.
Sleep is also for your baby’s physical growth. Essentially, food and sleep are the biggest non-genetic growth factors.
Lastly, sleeping gives your baby a chance to calm down, regroup, and fuel up for a new day filled with tons of adventures.
When Should my Baby go To Sleep at Night?
According to medical professionals, as babies grow, they’ll need less sleep, but there should always be routines for nap and bedtime.
Most parents get their baby to sleep depending on its preferences (because we should treat babies like royalty).
Well, although every baby is different, there are some general bedtime rules for babies at different ages.
For babies between 0-3 months old, it’s best to get them to sleep around 7 p.m. since they need about 14-17 hours of sleep daily.
Babies around 4-6 months old should go to bed around 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. to get their good night’s rest.
Moving on, babies around the age of 7-11 months should go to sleep between 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Lastly, babies between the ages of 12-24 months should develop a routine of going to bed at around 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Keep in mind that these aren’t strict rules, and you should adapt your baby’s bedtime according to how much energy it needs.
Reasons Why Babies Fight Sleep at Night
Many emotions, feelings, and all kinds of discomfort can be a hurdle on your baby’s path to nighttime rest.
It’s our job as parents to help our babies jump over those hurdles so they can get a good night’s sleep.
So, in the following paragraphs, we’ll analyze the main culprits for sleepless nights and later discuss how to overcome them.
· Not Being Tired Enough
The most common reason your baby can’t fall asleep is that it’s probably not tired enough. That’s why physical activity is crucial for babies, too.
So, the next time you give your baby a phone and let it calmly slouch on the couch, remember that you’ll have trouble getting it to bed at night.
Instead of sedentary activities, encourage your little pumpkin to play with toys, move, and avoid screens that emit blue light.
Not only will that make it easier for your baby to fall asleep at night, but it’ll also help with your baby’s health and development.
It’s good if your baby is active, but you should go overboard with that, too. Everyone needs rest, especially babies.
So, find times during the day when your baby is calm and rests its body and mind. The best way is to develop a healthy nap routine.
· Separation Anxiety
Have you ever left the room to get something, and your baby started throwing tantrums because you left? That’s called separation anxiety.
So, although it’s always good to give your little one affection, slowly try to grow your baby into an independent little person.
· Uncomfortable Environment
Uncomfortable bedding can be a parent’s biggest enemy at night. I mean, who wants to sleep in an uncozy bed?
So, make sure you wrap your baby in warm blankets, dim the lights, and eliminate any loud noises in your house.
If you’re a good singer, you can even sing lullabies. If you think your singing voice will hinder your baby’s sleep even more, resort to shushing.
Illnesses can also cause discomfort in your little ones. So, make sure to call your pediatrician if your baby is feeling unwell.
A combination of food, medicaments, and parental care can bring back the urge to sleep in your baby and get rid of the habit to fight sleep at night.
· Teething and Growing
Teething and growing can make your baby feel pain. And pain is definitely not sleep’s best friend. Medical professionals advise using sugar-free painkilling medicine to deal with pains caused by teething.
· Hunger or Thirst
Snickers wasn’t wrong, people, including babies, aren’t who they are when they’re hungry (and let’s include thirsty as well).
So, make sure that your baby’s tummy is well full before putting it to sleep. Keep in mind that the last meal should be at least half an hour before bedtime.
How to Quickly Put Your Baby to Sleep
As we already know, every baby is a precious and unique individual with different bedtime habits.
So, managing your baby’s sleeping pattern depends on your daily routine, the baby’s activities, and, of course, its energy needs.
When parents have problems putting their baby to sleep, they rely on their instincts. Here are some methods that I used when my baby couldn’t doze off:
- Gently take your baby in your arms, gently pat it on the back, and feel the precious moment;
- Calmly talk to your little one- your baby will recognize your voice and feel safer and more comfortable;
- Sing or play calm music while rocking your little one;
- Make sure your baby is warm, the lights are dimmed, and there are no loud noises;
If you still have trouble helping your little one drift off, read our article, where we explain how to put your baby to sleep in only 40 seconds!