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What to Do When Baby Won’t Sleep
If your baby won’t sleep, chances are something needs to change in their daily schedule, nightly routine or sleep environment. There are times when, despite our best efforts and intentions, our baby won’t sleep. Even good sleep needs a little help every once in a while. Here are some of the factors that can prevent you and your baby from getting a good night’s sleep. Adjusting even one of these things may just do the trick if your baby won’t sleep well.
The baby is too excited
If your baby has difficulty falling asleep, or wakes up 20 to 30 minutes after falling asleep, then you may need to establish a good sleep routine. Babies need time to go from a fun, excited state to a quiet state. By using a good sleep routine every night and in each nap, your baby will calm down and ease into a rested state. Try things that will contribute to the general calm, comfortable state of the baby such as turning off the lights, swaddling the baby and playing relaxing music or sounds from the womb.
If your baby has been sleeping for a long period of time and wakes up suddenly every 3-4 hours, or wakes up in the middle of the night crying and takes a full feed, then your baby may be hungry. Newborn babies need to feed about every 2 hours but by about three months your baby should be able to go for 5-6 hours without needing to eat. Sometimes these late night feedings can be avoided by giving your baby a full feed around 10 or 11 at night. Another good thing to do is feed your baby every 2-3 hours during the day. The idea is that if your baby is getting enough calories and nutrition during the day, they won’t need to ask you for it at night. Also, during the growth spurt your baby will need to eat more. Prevent additional nighttime feedings by adding another feeding during the day.
The baby is too attached to you or something
If your baby needs something outside of himself to fall asleep (such as being fed or a pacifier), or needs to be held and can’t be put down or won’t sleep in his own crib, then you may need be very intentional about fixing things. By improving these behaviors, you will help your baby and yourself in the long run.
If not letting your baby sleep in your bed once before has caused your baby to depend on sleeping next to you, then you need to take steps to remedy this. Start by helping him associate his sleeping space with positive things and give him time to adjust.
If your baby needs his pacifier in his mouth to fall asleep to the point where you keep putting the pacifier back in his mouth, then he is too dependent on that pacifier. Start by teaching the baby to breastfeed with his own hands and only give the baby a pacifier when he is tired. As soon as the baby is calm again, remove the pacifier. After three months, consider getting rid of them completely because they are no longer beneficial to development.
Also, a common misconception is that babies need to be comforted every time they wake up in the night. This is not true because the baby wakes up often when he is sleeping. Waking up at night is something that everyone does. Most people will wake up, look around and check to make sure they are still safe where they are and then slip back to sleep. So even when a baby wakes up in the middle of the night and makes a lot of noise, he might just wake up at night and should be given the chance to calm himself down. Most of the time, your baby will be able to go back to sleep without your help.
The baby is safe
If your baby has difficulty falling asleep, or wakes every hour (with the exception of newborns) or sleeps only during the day but won’t sleep at night, you may need a solid daily routine. An unstructured, unpredictable daily life can cause the baby’s insecurity. Remedy this by making sure there are at least 3 different daily markers of consistency, including baby feedings every three hours, tummy time and naps. Track eating, playing and sleeping patterns.
It’s too hot in there
If your baby wakes up every two hours he needs to eat and is more stressed, he may be dehydrated. In just 5 weeks old my daughter slept in stretches of 5-8 hours, however, when the first signs of falling hit, she began to wake up every 2 – 3 hours needing to eat. I soon realized that because it was getting colder, we left the heater running. The same reason why I am getting up to get my water, my daughter is crying for me. The simple solution is to use a humidifier. By keeping the air humid, you will prevent or at least postpone those night meals caused by the dry hot air.
The baby is too hot
If the temperature is too hot or too cold your baby will let you know. Newborn babies have difficulty regulating their body temperature, so they rely heavily on you to keep them comfortable. It is recommended that you put on one more layer than you are wearing. The room temperature in your baby’s room should be kept between 65 and 75 degrees.
Creating a solid daily schedule, nightly routine and peaceful sleep environment will go a long way to ensure restful nights and vibrant days. These baby sleep tips help your baby thrive as a great sleeper. Take some tips and make sure your baby never sleeps the same way again.
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