Being a parent is one of the best things in life, but it also comes with its challenges. One challenge that many parents face is getting their baby to sleep. It can be very frustrating when your baby won’t sleep and you don’t know what to do about it. Below are 9 common reasons why your baby won’t sleep, and helpful tips for dealing with them:
* OVERTIRED: Your baby won’t sleep because she is overtired
It is a misconception that your baby will sleep better if they are super tired. Your baby may be overtired if they’ve been up too late and are showing signs of sleepiness. You could try to put them in bed a little earlier than usual or take an early evening nap with your baby. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to feed the baby before putting them down so that they’re not hungry or thirsty. Make sure you keep to age-appropriate wake times. You can find a list of these here.
*LACK OF ROUTINE: Baby doesn’t sleep well because she doesn’t have a good routine
If your baby doesn’t have a consistent bedtime routine, they may wind up overstimulated and unable to sleep well when trying to go to bed. Establishing a predictable pattern of activities before naps and at night can help them feel more comfortable with going down for sleep. A good nighttime routine may include a bath, milk, story, and into bed drowsy but awake.
*NOT ENOUGH SOLIDS: Baby won’t sleep because he hasn’t eaten enough solids.
If your baby is under 12 months old and not eating solids, they may be too tired to sleep at night because their immature digestive system can’t process food efficiently late in the day. Try a light snack or milk before bedtime instead of feeding them later than usual. Your baby still also requires an adequate amount of milk for their age.
*TOO MUCH STIMULATION: It can be hard for babies to sleep if they’re overstimulated.
This could include too many people in the room, bright lights, noisy toys, and sounds. Try keeping your baby’s sleeping space as dark and quiet as possible by closing any blinds, and turning off any other electronics. A white noise machine can help to block out noises that may disturb your baby, see our range here. Having time for your baby to wind down before they go to bed can also be useful.
*GROWTH SPURT: Baby can’t sleep because they are having a growth spurt or learning new skills.
This is a common reason why your baby won’t sleep, as they are likely learning new skills. Your baby may be experiencing a growth spurt, which can cause them to have more trouble sleeping. This is often due to baby’s body going into overdrive as they grow and develop new skills. Try giving your baby milk or water before bedtime so that their hunger pangs don’t wake them during the night. A dream feed before you go to bed at night also works for some people.
*Trouble Transitioning Through Sleep Cycles: The baby may be experiencing difficulty with transitioning through sleep cycles.
This often happens after a baby has undergone some sort of change to their routine, such as starting solids or adjusting bedtime routines. Try waiting until your baby is drowsy but still awake before putting them down in the crib so they can learn to fall asleep on their own.
*The Temperature of the Room: If baby’s room is too hot or cold, it may be difficult for them to sleep comfortably.
Try keeping baby’s sleeping space at a comfortable temperature that you’re also happy with – this could mean adjusting your thermostat if necessary! Ensuring that your baby is appropriately dressed for the season will also help.
*Discomfort: If baby is uncomfortable, they may not sleep well.
This could include baby being too hot or cold, in a wet diaper for extended periods of time, having gas pains, or trouble with their nappy. Try changing baby’s clothes and diapers regularly to ensure that they’re comfortable at night – this should help them get better rest. Being unwell will result in poor sleep so if your baby has ongoing issues with sleep it may help to seek medical advice.
These are some of the common reasons why your baby won’t sleep. This is by no means a completely comprehensive list of reasons but it could be a starting place for you. We hope that you are able to find a solution that works for your baby and therefore allowing everyone to have a peaceful and restful night’s sleep.