Have you lately become a parent to a tiny little human? Is that tiny little human not letting you get a good night’s sleep? Does your baby become inconsolable right when it’s their time to bed? If you answered yes to all the previous questions, then dear parents, you have reached the right place!
It is common for newborns and babies to have trouble sleeping in the initial year of their life. Suffering through the tormenting crying spells and tantrums may get very exhausting for both the parents. It gets worse when you cannot seem to figure out what it is that is making the baby cry. Parenting in the initial years is debilitating. Wait, did I say initially?
Moving forward, since the babies cannot articulate what they feel, it becomes challenging for the parents to pinpoint the reason behind their troubled sleep and agitation. However, there are always a few primary culprits behind babies having disturbed sleep, such as gas, feeling cold or hot, SnottyNoses, etc. We, in this article, will list down these few underlying reasons that will aid you in figuring out why your baby is having difficulty dozing off.
- The Baby Is Over-Stimulated:
Babies have a fast-paced mind in their early years. They are in a new world where they need to learn and understand the things around them. They are in the phase where they keenly observe things and use their sensory abilities to recognize objects and situations. Introducing activities that stimulate their sensory capabilities is excellent for your child’s learning and growth. However, overstimulation can be a hindrance to your baby’s sleep time.
When a baby is over-stimulated, it means that they have been loaded with experiences, activities, and sensations. Over-stimulation can make a child cranky and anxious. It can also make them hyperactive, hence, ruining their sleep routine. Introducing too many activities close to their bedtime can make their sleep go away. They would want to continue playing and would hate going to bed.
One way of ensuring that your kids are not over-stimulated is to start preparing them for bed an hour before you get them into bed. This way, their mind will be ready to sleep. Also, during this winding down period, do not let them get involved in any exciting or invigorating activities or games.
- The Baby Does Not Have A Routine:
Often parents fail to understand the importance of this, but maintaining a strict routine for your baby is crucial. Your babies do not know what, how, and when to do things. As the parents, you are their time-clock. You must have your babies do everything on appropriate times to attune their mind clock to the right schedule.
Even the adult brains and body function according to a set routine. If you have been sleeping at 9 for the past two years, then you will surely feel like dozing off when the clock hits 10 PM at a family dinner. If you have a habit of being up at 8 AM, then your mind will wake you up at that time, even on a weekend when you feel like sleeping till noon. Our mental clocks work that way. And the same applies to babies.
The best way to make sure your baby does not give you a hard time while dozing off is to put them to bed on a specific time every day and be very strict about it. All activities should be according to a well-defined routine such as waking up in the morning, lunchtime, naptime, etc.
- The Baby Is Feeling Too Cold or Too Warm:
Have you ever tried sleeping without a blanket just because you were too lazy to get one? You must have realized how hard it is actually to fall asleep, shivering with cold. For a comfortable, relaxed night’s sleep, the human body must be at the right temperature.
However, it is quite difficult for parents to ensure the precise temperature for their babies. The only signs you can pick whether your baby is feeling hot or cold is through their behavior or the amount of sweat they have on their body. During cold weather, it is an impulsive reaction to don your baby with layers of clothing. However, this can, in turn, come to haunt you during the night when your baby gets extremely fussy due to the excessive heat.
Your baby may become agitated and fussy when feeling too hot. In such a case, you should consider removing one or two layers off the baby and relaxing them. On the other hand, your baby may also have difficulty falling asleep when they are feeling cold. They will toss, turn, and show signs of agitation. Adding a layer may be helpful in such a scenario.
- The Baby Is Teething?
Have you ever experienced a teething baby? They turn into cute and tiny biting monsters. It is because sprouting teeth is an excruciating process for the babies. It hurts, aches, and may even affect their eating and sleeping patterns in severe cases. If your baby is showing signs of agitation, restlessness and is chewing on things, then it is most probably true that they are teething.
Babies often start sprouting teeth around the age of six months and onwards. However, the painful process may begin around four months. It may cause the baby to have significant irritation and swollen, tender gums. As a result of the pain, your baby may also have trouble sleeping. If the symptoms of teething are excessively severe, then you should consult your baby’s doctor for a painkiller or teething gel to ease the process.
- The Baby Is Gassy:
Baby gas is a normal phenomenon and a painful one too. Babies often suffer due to gas before the age of six months when they have not adequately learned to sit up. Gas bubbles form inside the stomach of the babies, causing pressure and stomach aches. As a result of the pain, the baby may cry inconsolably and show signs of agitation and restlessness.
Having gas is normal for babies; therefore, when they seem restless or irritated for no reason, try doing remedies for relieving gas. There are many exercises and massage techniques to relieve gas in babies. Giving your baby adequate tummy time can also prevent gas bubbles from forming inside the baby’s tummy. However, the tummy time should always be given half an hour after the feeding when the baby has digested the milk. Massaging the baby’s belly with warm olive oil is also known to alleviate and give ease to a gassy stomach.
- The Baby Is Over-Exhausted:
Much like over-stimulation, excessive exhaustion may also lead your baby to reject sleep time. It is a mistaken belief that an overtired infant will sleep instantly and have a sound, good night’s sleep. It might massively fail because an overly tired baby might not sleep at all. They will toss and turn on the bed, finding it hard to feel comfortable and fall asleep. Even if they manage to snooze off, they will have difficulty staying asleep and will keep wakening up in the middle of the night. An overly exhausted baby may have a restless sleep at night.
One way of making sure your baby does not get too tired is to plan nap times during the day. However, there should be no nap time close to bedtime. The key is to keep them well-napped and also to give them enough workout to fall peacefully asleep at night.
- The Baby Has A Physical or Medical Issue:
You may have always been proud of your baby for sleeping through the night, but one day they may, all of a sudden, decide to prove you wrong. If your baby is crying for no reason, and it is not what they usually do, then you may need to rule out the possibility of any physical aches or pains.
Often babies who suffer from an ear infection, stuffy nose, etc. may have trouble sleeping due to the pain and irritation. Make sure you run your baby to the doctor when you feel the slightest of doubt that they may be suffering from a medical issue or pain.
- The Baby Is Not Getting the Right Sleep Environment:
Babies and adults alike need to have a serene and peaceful sleeping environment. We hate sleeping somewhere else than our beds. We hate not being with our pillows and soft blanket, then how we can expect babies to be okay with it?
Designate a sleeping space with their favorite teddy and blanket to ensure a night of relaxed, comfortable sleep. Also, make sure the room is dark to indicate that it is bedtime. Getting them changed into their night pajamas is also a great way to give your kids an effective nighttime routine.
The initial year of a baby’s life is all about setting a good day and night routine. It is troublesome and hectic. Establishing a routine for your babies may take months. Waking up through the night is part and parcel of being a parent; therefore, make sure to experience this phase with love and acceptance.