If you’re the parent of a young baby, then you’ll know that the idea of consistently getting a full night of rest is ridiculous. It’s just part and parcel of becoming a parent — you’re going to be tired! However, that doesn’t mean that you just have to accept that sleep is a thing of the past. While you might not get as much rest as you like, you can still get some. The way to do that is to understand the reasons why your baby might not be sleeping. If you can do that, then you’ll be in a position to take action, and maybe you’ll end up in a scenario where, hey presto, they’re sleeping.
In this blog, we’re going to run through some of the most common reasons why babies struggle to sleep.
They’re Too Tired
If an adult is overtired, then they’ll likely crash and fall asleep. But if a baby is overtired, then they likely won’t fall asleep. That’s because, in part, they don’t even know that they’re tired. All they know is that they’re uncomfortable, and so they’ll keep on tossing and turning because they’re trying to escape the tired feeling. They don’t realize that the way to get rid of it is to fall asleep! If you sense that your baby is becoming over tired, put them to sleep as soon as possible. The problem won’t go away on its own.
The Environment Is Too Active
If you’re tired and want to fall asleep, then you’ll do your best to minimize the stimuli that might be keeping your brain in an active state. But baby’s don’t know how to block it out. There are some kids who fall asleep anywhere, but most babies will struggle if they’re resting in an environment that has a lot going on. Even if you move them to a restful room, you might find that they struggle to fall asleep if they’ve spent the whole day playing with stimulating toys and so forth. So be sure to wind their minds down before you lay them down to sleep.
A Lack of Routine
A regular sleeping routine is one of the best things that all humans can have in order to rest well. It’s the same for babies as it is for adults. Of course, as an adult, it’s on your shoulders. If you don’t set up a routine for yourself, then that’s on you. Your baby can’t set their own schedule, however. Studies have shown time and time again that a routine can have a huge impact on your baby’s wellbeing, and not just on their sleep — on everything. So rather than playing it by ear, try to create a schedule where your baby goes to sleep and gets up at the same time each day. You might need to go through a few days of struggle, but eventually, it’ll sink in.
Their Prompt Is Missing
We all have things that help us sleep. And your baby is probably the same. In an ideal world, this would be a product, such as a teddy or something. That’ll always be there with them. But it could also be something that you do. For example, they might only sleep when you’re holding their hand. That’s pretty cute, and it’s handy when you’re there, and you’re able to do it. But what if they wake up and you’re not there? At that point, they might be lying awake all night because their sleeping prompt isn’t there. To get around this, be wary of any sleeping habits that may be developing — and get rid of any that might prove to be problematic.
You wouldn’t be able to sleep if you were uncomfortable, so you can’t expect your baby to, either! There’s a host of things that can cause discomfort, even something as simple as a stuffy nose. If you notice some baby congestion symptoms, then look at taking care of them straight away — the quality of your baby’s sleep might depend on it! They’ll also be likely to have some problems sleeping when they’re teething, too.
Too Hot, Too Cold
Of all the potential reasons why a baby might not sleep, this is the one that you’ll wish it is. If your baby’s too hot or too cold, then they’ll likely not be as comfortable as they need to be to sleep well. But thankfully, the solution is easy — it’s just a matter of adding or removing a blanket!
Sometimes, you just have bad luck. That’s what’ll happen if your baby’s sleep is interrupted by a loud noise. Imagine this: you’ve just gotten them down, and then you drop a plate on the floor. Or, even worse, someone makes a loud noise outside. At those points, there’s not much you can do except go through the whole process again. And this time, just hope that you don’t drop the plate!
Napping Too Much
Finally, let’s think about napping. If you were to have multiple naps in a single day, then it would be unlikely that you’d fall asleep at night. You just wouldn’t need it! Well, the same principle applies to your baby. If they’re dozing all day, then they won’t magically fall asleep just because it’s nighttime and you want to rest. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to keep them engaged, rather than letting them drift into slumberland. It’s sometimes tempting to let them sleep so you can catch up on some housework or whatever, but it’s worthwhile avoiding it!
As we said at the beginning of the article: you can’t expect that your baby is going to sleep all the time, and especially not for as much time as you’d like. However, as we’ve seen, it’s normally possible to pinpoint why a child is not sleeping well. And once you’ve got the problem in sight, you’ll be able to work on a solution. The main thing is to try to stay calm — and sane — so you can correctly identify the issue.