I’ve been up so many times in the middle of the night that I’m afraid I’m going nuts.
Even if it only lasts a few nights in a row, being awake for hours at night is highly exhausting and debilitating.
Days become weeks, and weeks become months, and so on. Anyone who is unable to sleep through the night suffers, especially the adorable baby.
You may be willing to put up with this for a while, but your mental health warns you otherwise.
However, there is no need to worry, as we were all born with the ability to sleep in a restorative and regenerative manner.
They can’t always train themselves to sleep on their own, but with your continuous and patient guidance (and some healthy sleep practices), they’ll be able to master the skill!
Top 10 Reasons Your Baby Won’t Sleep
These are the top 10 most common causes, however there are many more.
Start spotting patterns in baby’s sleeping habits by downloading our daily baby records. As a result, you may be able to pinpoint where the problem lies.
Your baby can’t sleep because she’s overtired
Babies who are overtired don’t always sleep better than those who aren’t.
Not at all.
They will have a more difficult time sleeping, and as a result, the baby will be fussier and more whiney.
They will have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep as a result.
As a matter of fact, it always backfires.
Keep your infant on a regular sleep schedule to avoid overtiredness and crankiness. You’ll need a nap and bedtime regimen for your child..
You may find out how to stop contact naps peacefully here: How to Stop Contact Naps (Peacefully)
Put your child to bed early if they’re overtired. To make it more difficult for your baby to go asleep, don’t put them to bed while they’re already tired.
Baby is overstimulated
Over stimulation, like being overtired, makes it harder for a baby to drift off to sleep.
An overly stimulating environment might cause a baby to become hyper-alert, irritable, or even fidgety and agitated, making it difficult for them to relax.
A fussy infant will have problems falling asleep and then staying asleep because he is overstimulated.
There’s nothing special about babies. They will get overstimulated if there are too many screens, older siblings, toys, books, scene changes, errands, and people chatting in their faces.
To avoid this, make sure your child follows a regular schedule, monitors their sleep, and relaxes before nap or bedtime. Consider this if you’re experiencing some “witching hour” symptoms.
Baby can’t sleep because she doesn’t have a good routine
There is no one-size-fits-all regimen in the world.
And it doesn’t even have to be that way!
With your children, you don’t need to do anything in particular, but you do need regularity, stability, and constancy.
Routine has been proven to be beneficial in numerous studies, so there’s no reason your infant shouldn’t have one, too.
They’ll sleep better, eat better, be happier, and lead a more serene existence as a result of this.
You can use these printable routine cards in your baby’s nursery to keep track of your child’s nighttime routine.
You may help your child sleep better by using sleep aids such as music, gentle rocking, and doing the same things every day at the same time. Routines aid in the development of a baby’s circadian rhythm, which helps them get a decent night’s sleep.
Baby is awake too long before napping and then won’t go down at naptime
It’s possible that you assume your baby isn’t “tired” because they’re able to remain up for so long. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter how long your infant can stay awake.
Aside from the fact that they can keep themselves awake even when they should be asleep.
About 1.5 hours after a baby wakes up, they will require a nap. This will necessitate more frequent, shorter naps.
This is exactly what we should be doing!
Even at 9 months old, babies are still only required to be awake for around two hours after they woke up. At this time, they’ll be exhausted and need to take a nap to avoid sleep issues.
After each meal, he takes a snooze several times during the day. Here is a guide to baby sleep times, including naps and nighttime.
I’ve had five babies, each with their own unique personality traits, and they’ve all napped well when I followed these general recommendations.
They will fight sleep if you keep them awake for too long.
Baby has a sleep prop and can’t sleep without it
A sleep prop is something you can only give your infant if they are having trouble falling asleep on their own. The milk they require for survival (but cannot obtain on their own) is not included in this list.
Various methods, such as rocking or nursing, may be used to get a child to fall asleep.
They won’t sleep well or long if they can’t fall asleep on their own and have to rely on you to help them.
What you do in bed is the most essential thing you can do for yourself.
Baby has a physical or medical discomfort
Acid reflux will make it difficult for your child to sleep since they are in pain. Follow your pediatrician’s advice for how to bring your baby comfort.
Your child’s discomfort from acid reflux will make it difficult for them to sleep. Make sure you follow your baby’s doctor’s instructions on how to comfort him.
Sleep deprivation is another side effect of teething. First and foremost, seek medical attention if they were previously able to sleep well.
Babe can’t transition from active to passive sleep alone
Active and passive sleep cycles are a part of every person’s daily routine. Babies will wake up every 45 to 60 minutes or so to switch between slumbers.
In the event that they have mastered the art of falling back to sleep, they will simply continue to do so. They will wake up if they are using a sleep aid and are unable to fall asleep on their own.
This is the cause of insufficient slumber and frequent nighttime awakenings.
By putting them in their cribs when they are still tired but awake, you can assist them transition to sleep on their own.
Baby won’t sleep because he doesn’t eat enough solids
If your infant is older than 5 months and not yet on solids, they are likely to wake frequently at night.
If your pediatrician advised you to wait until 6 months or you aren’t ready, I won’t tell you to start feeding them solids. However, if they are waking up, it is because they are hungry.
You’ll notice an improvement in your child’s sleep as soon as you start feeding them food. In the hours leading up to bedtime, it’s critical to make sure baby is getting enough to eat and is satisfied.
When a baby eats too much and does not get enough milk, he will not be able to sleep.
Your little one is too hot or cold
All the time, it’s exactly what you want to hear about!
It took me about a week before I discovered my son was complaining of being chilly because he kept waking up at night.
Finally, I figured out a way to keep him warm at night. Being able to sleep all the way through the night. Remove a layer if you see they are perspiring.
Baby can’t sleep because she’s having a growth spurt or wonder week
It’s not uncommon for our infants to move from sleeping soundly to waking up frequently.
I’m always on the lookout for signs of a growth spurt. As a result, I give them additional milk and/or food during the day.
To ensure that kids get more of what they need, I alter their daily schedule. Increasing your milk supply will also benefit from this.
A “wonder week” is a notion popularized by this book that identifies the weeks in which your baby is most likely to become fussy based on developmental leaps.
Sleep problems: 0 to 3 months old
During the first few months of life, babies are still learning how to sleep on a regular schedule.
In a 24-hour period, newborns typically sleep between 14 and 17 hours, waking up regularly for feedings during the day and night.
It is recommended that 1- and 2-month-olds obtain 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day, separated into eight to nine hours of nocturnal sleep and another seven to nine hours of daytime sleep spread out over numerous naps. In a 24-hour period, a 3-month-old requires between 14 and 16 hours of sleep.
Even if your kid is getting enough of shut-eye, you may be under the impression that he or she isn’t. Because they need to eat so frequently, infants tend to sleep in short, catnap-like snoozes.
Hang in there if it feels like your little one is continuously shifting between slumber and waking. Right now, everything is as it should be, but that will soon change.
However, various difficulties can arise that make it more difficult for babies to have a good night’s sleep. At this age, the most common problems include:
When you put your baby on her back to sleep, she cries or refuses to go to sleep. On the other hand, sleeping on a baby’s stomach is connected to a substantially increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). As a result, pediatricians strongly advise that you always place your infant to sleep on her back.
Solution: If your infant refuses to lay on her back, consult with your pediatrician. He or she may wish to look for any physical causes for this refusal. It’s far more likely that your baby isn’t feeling as safe on her back as she used to. Swaddling and giving a pacifier at bedtime can help get your infant to sleep on their backs if that is the case. You don’t need a sleep positioner if you stick to a regular schedule. You and your baby’s body will grow acclimated to your baby sleeping on her back eventually.
Mixing up day and night
If your baby is like mine, he or she will sleep during the day and then stay awake all night.
Fix: Your newborn’s nocturnal habits will likely correct themselves as she gets used to life outside the womb, but you can help her learn to distinguish between day and night by limiting her daytime naps to three hours and drawing clear lines between the two (such as keeping her room dark when she naps and not playing loud music in the background while she feeds at night).
Restless sleep due to frequent late-night feedings
Look for: Most 2- to 3-month-old babies, particularly breastfed ones, still need to fill their tummies at least twice a night. When it comes to feedings in the middle of the night, waking up every two hours is simply too much for most babies, who don’t require it.
Talk to your child’s pediatrician about how many times a night your infant should eat. It’s important to make sure your kid gets enough food throughout the day if you’re planning to reduce the number of overnight feeds. After that, gradually increase the interval between evening feedings.
Sleep problems: 4 to 5 months old
By the time your kid is four months old, he or she should be sleeping 12 to 16 hours a day, divided between two or three three- to six-hour naps during the day and another nine to 11 hours at night.
How long should a 5-month-old baby sleep? Today, most people get between 10 and 11 hours of sleep each night. During the course of the day, your infant should take two to three naps.
When your kid is four months old, he or she may be ready for anything but bedtime, even if you’re ready to put him or her down. In this article, you’ll learn all about sleep regression, which is a totally normal phenomenon that many babies go through between the ages of 4 months and 6, 8, 10 to 12, and even as old as 12 years (though it can happen at any time).
What’s going on right now that’s causing this to happen? In most babies, the 4-month sleep regression occurs around the time that your infant begins to take notice of the world around her. Life is far too exciting at this point to waste time sleeping, what with all the exciting new things and people to discover.
There’s no way to “diagnose” sleep regression, but if you’re experiencing it, you’ll probably recognize it right away. Your kid may be going through sleep regression if he or she is no longer sleeping through the night or is waking up more frequently than before.
It can be solved by: Keep or begin your baby’s nighttime ritual, including the bath, feeding, story, songs, and hugs. It’s considerably more difficult for a sleep-deprived baby to sleep at night if he or she doesn’t receive enough sleep during the day. Also, bear in mind that sleep regression only lasts for a short time. Your baby’s sleep patterns should normalize after she gets used to her new abilities as she grows.
Changing nap routines throw baby off at night
What to expect: Babies’ naps get shorter as they get older. This milestone should be celebrated if your infant is satisfied with the new schedule and sleeps well at night. Your child may be overtired if she’s not sleeping as much yet is fussing more or having difficulties falling asleep at night.
Before each nap, try a shorter bedtime routine (some peaceful music, a massage or some stories) and be patient – it may simply take her longer to fall into a habit, but she’ll get there eventually.
Sleep problems: 6 months old and up
There is a good chance that the sleep habits of your kid have changed dramatically since just a few short months ago.
You should expect your kid to sleep 10 to 11 hours at night and take two or three naps during the day around the age of six months..
When she’s 9 months old, she’ll begin sleeping longer at night and taking only two naps during the day. When your baby is 12 months old, he or she may begin to exhibit signals that he or she is ready to only take one long afternoon sleep (though for most babies, that happens at around 14 to 16 months)
In addition, six-month-olds and older can sleep through the night without a problem. Then again, there are plenty of things that can keep them up at night.
Not falling asleep independently
Adults and babies alike wake up a few times during the night, and it’s a common occurrence. Babies need to learn how to fall asleep on their own both at bedtime and overnight in order to develop appropriate sleep patterns for the rest of their lives. Considering sleep training if your 6-month-old still requires feeding or rocking to sleep is a good idea (also known as sleep teaching or self-soothing training).
It can be solved by: Changing the bedtime routine is a good place to start. The last feeding of your baby should be at least 30 minutes before her customary bedtime or nap time if she relies on a bottle or breast to go asleep. Make your move and place her in her crib when she is tired but not asleep. Initially, she’ll be apprehensive, but give it time. After a while, she’ll be able to calm down and fall asleep on her own, perhaps by sucking on her thumb or a pacifier (harmless, useful habits for babies).
It’s okay to go in to your baby if she wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep on her own. There is no need to pick her up or nurse her, though. Once she has acquired the technique of self-comfort, your voice and a light brush should be enough to get her back to sleep.
It’s entirely up to you how you’d like to go about it. Scream it out for a little with your 6- or 5- month kid before administering the medication (or let them cry it out for a bit). This is the reason: By the time they reach the age of six months, babies have figured out that when they cry, they will either be scooped up, soothed, or fed. After a few nights of sobbing and trying to convince themselves that Mom and Dad aren’t interested in what they’re selling, most children will give up and go to sleep.
At least six months and potentially a year is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for sleeping in the same room as your baby. It doesn’t matter if you run into this issue when you’re still sharing a space with a roommate, though. Even if your child disagrees and cries as you leave the room, say goodbye and mean it.
Even if your baby wakes up in the middle of the night while you’re sharing a room, it’s appropriate to reassure her that everything is fine, but you should have a strategy in place for responding to her screams when she does.
No idea what to do? Decide whatever kind of sleep training you think will be most effective for you, and then give it a try.
Restless sleep due to frequent late-night feedings (again)
What it looks like: Many kids no longer require nighttime feedings by the time they are six months old. Because screaming typically results in being scooped up, rocked, and fed, your baby may have learned that it’s better to keep on crying to obtain the same treatment. If this is the case, try rocking and nursing your baby to sleep before putting her down for the night. Consult your baby’s pediatrician before discontinuing nighttime feedings.
For babies who frequently get up to feed throughout the night, if you’re comfortable with sleep training, it can be a useful alternative. Even if this is the case, it’s important that you teach your child self-soothing techniques so she can go back to sleep by herself.
What you’re seeing: Your infant is waking up early and staying up, often until the wee hours of the morning.
Adjusting nap schedules, experimenting with alternative bedtimes, and making her room more light and sound-proof are some of the methods you might use to get your baby to sleep in later.
Teething pain keeps baby up
An indication that your baby is experiencing teething pain at night is if she is displaying indicators of teething during the day such as excessive drooling, bitting or fussiness when eating or drinking. It is important to remember that teething-related sleep problems can develop at any point throughout the first year: When teething pain begins at 3 or 4 months, some babies have their first tooth by 6 months of age, while others remain toothless until their first birthday.
While you shouldn’t neglect your child, resist scooping her up as often as possible. Instead, offer a teething ring, some soothing words and pats, or even a lullaby to help soothe your baby to sleep. You may have to leave the room for her to settle down on her own. Ask your pediatrician consider giving your baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen at bedtime if her tender gums continue to cause her discomfort night after night.
Sleep problems at any age
During the first year of a baby’s life, sleep problems can arise at any time (and well beyond). There are two major ones you might run into:
Disruptions in routine
Sleeping habits of a newborn might be completely thrown off with the slightest perturbation. A new babysitter or the return of Mom to work can disrupt sleep patterns just as much as a cold or an ear infection.
Also, key life milestones, such as mastering crawling or walking, can interfere with a person’s ability to sleep on a regular schedule.
When a baby’s sleep schedule is in flux, it’s important to be understanding of your baby’s mood swings and give him or her some leeway when it comes to napping. Do what you can to help your child cope with the changes in her daily routine.
Follow your customary bedtime ritual in the same order as usual to go back into your regular pattern as quickly as possible (a bath, then a feeding, then a story and so on).
Trouble settling down to sleep — even though baby seems very tired
What happens if a baby isn’t getting enough rest? While fatigued and cranky, they can become overtired and unable to relax.
When a baby doesn’t get enough sleep, it’s a classic example of what can happen: It’s obvious that your baby needs a nap or bedtime because she’s irritable and displaying other indications of exhaustion. In spite of this, she refuses to shut down.
Soothers, such as rocking or feeding, may be resisted by younger babies. After the age of five or six months, even newborns who can fall asleep on their own find it difficult to doze off when they are placed in their cribs.
Put your baby down for a nap or bedtime when she’s tired, but not yet exhausted, to alleviate the problem. When she starts rubbing her eyes, yawning, gazing away from you, or fussing a lot, it’s time to put her in her cot or bassinet.
Resist the temptation to encourage her to remain up later, as this will only make it more difficult for her to fall asleep.
Try to keep track of how many hours of sleep your child gets. Consider putting her to bed earlier if she wakes up early from her last nap of the day, for example, to make up for the missed shut-eye. Increase the amount of time she can spend napping if she has a bad night or gets up earlier than usual.
Sleep problems after illness
Babies and adults alike can find it difficult to sleep if they have a painful or scratchy throat, congestion, or a fever.
Your first priority is to keep your little one comfortable and well-rested, which may include administering a dose of fever-relieving medication, such as infant acetaminophen or infant ibuprofen, if your pediatrician approves, or nursing her for a short period of time to help ease her congestion.
However, it is feasible for a newborn to become accustomed to nighttime visits, snuggles, and even feedings if they occur frequently enough. And it could lead to sleep problems even if she’s feeling better.
What it looks like: Now that your kid is well enough to sleep through the night again after being sick, she’s still waking up wailing for you.
Solution: Once your baby is back to her normal, happy self during the day, it’s time to return to her regular nighttime sleep routines. Be patient; it may take her a few nights to get back into the swing of things. The more consistent you are, the sooner she’ll get the message nighttime is for sleep, not hanging out together.
Restore your baby’s normal sleep patterns once she’s back to her healthy, bouncy self throughout the day. Getting back into the swing of things may take a few evenings, so be patient. The more consistent you are, the sooner she will learn that bedtime is for sleeping, not spending time with you.
Even if you can’t do anything about it (like a newborn who messes up her days and nights), take comfort in the fact that they are only transitory. Sleep patterns will fluctuate as your baby develops and changes.
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