10 Reasons Baby’s Not Sleeping (and How to Cope with It)

Night after night, you’re finding yourself barely keeping your eyes open while your little one has no clue that it’s the middle of the night (or doesn’t seem to care). These sleepless nights are typically caused by some of the most common sleep problems that your baby might be experiencing, and each of these problems has a solution.

1.      Your baby has an inconsistent sleep routine

Without an appropriate routine, your baby will lack consistency and stability when it comes to their sleep. Different studies have shown that having a routine benefits babies and enhances their sleep and mood. However, keep in mind that your baby’s routine may need to change as they grow. Thus, it’s important to follow your baby’s development and create a routine that suits your baby the best.

2.      Your baby’s hungry

There’s nothing like that tasty midnight snack and your baby knows it! All jokes aside, hunger is typically the most common reason why babies wake up during the night. Different reasons may be behind their changing appetite – they may simply need more food on that particular day or they may be experiencing a growth spurt. In addition, if you’re breastfeeding your little one, they might require food every two or three hours because breastmilk is quickly digested.

3.      Your baby’s thirsty

Thirst often passes by overlooked, but it may be the reason that keeps your baby awake on some nights, especially when it’s hot. It’s important that you keep your baby hydrated throughout the day and possibly give them some water at night, but make sure to consult with a doctor if they’re less than six months old.

4.      Your baby’s in pain

Considering the fact that they’re sensitive little creatures, any discomfort, such as tummy ache, teething pain, ear infection, acid reflux and other aches, may cause your baby pain and prevent them from sleeping. If your baby usually sleeps well, but suddenly starts waking up, you need to check whether it’s a medical issue and consult with a doctor.

5.      Your baby’s physically uncomfortable

The crib should be the safest and most comfortable place for your baby. However, there might be something that makes your baby feel uncomfortable – the sheets may be scratchy and irritating, they may be too cold or hot, etc. Thus, you should furnish your baby’s crib with soft cot bedding that can be easily cleaned and washed. This is of the utmost importance for eliminating possible allergens, such as dust and mites, that may be irritating your baby’s skin.

6.      Your baby’s too tired

The fact that your baby cannot sleep because they’re overtired may sound ironical, but it’s true. When babies are overtired, they keep waking up more, sleep worse and feel moody and irritable. To prevent this, you should stick to your baby’s sleep routine and put them down for naps regularly. You should also put them to bed earlier if you notice that your baby’s too tired.

7.      Your baby’s too stimulated

If they’re exposed to numerous stimuli and spend time in an overly stimulating environment, babies will have difficulties calming down and falling asleep. When overstimulated, your baby may become anxious, fussy and hyper-alert. You should try to create a soothing environment in the nursery that will help them relax and, once again, stick to their daily routine. 

8.      Your baby needs movement

Babies experience the world through sensory experiences – they want to be carried around, especially if they feel uncomfortable. Thus, if your baby wakes up, whether because they’re hungry, in pain or simply feeling restless, they may need to calm their nerves by moving. In this case, you can use a wrap or a sling to calm them down.

9.      Your baby needs you

Your touch makes your baby feel safe and calm. When holding your baby against you, they can smell you and hear your heartbeat, which keeps them calm. So, when they wake up in the middle of the night, they may want to be close to you, especially if you’ve cuddled them to sleep. You can either cuddle them back to sleep or consider co-sleeping.

10. Your baby’s learning a new skill

It’s not uncommon for some babies to wake up wanting to practice a new skill they’ve learnt, such as sitting, crawling, waving, etc. This enables them to process the new skill, so if your baby wakes up and feels playful and cheerful, this might be the reason. To prevent this, you should provide them with plenty of opportunities to play during the day and remain consistent with their routine.
Identifying the reason behind your baby’s sleepless nights will help you solve the problem and ensure that both you and your baby get enough sleep.

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