Solving the Mystery: Why Won't My Baby Sleep?
As a parent, there is nothing more agonizing than being up late at night with a newborn baby who won’t sleep. You try everything you can think of to get your little one to drift off into dreamland, but no matter what you do, it seems like they just won’t settle down and rest.
You find yourself asking why won't my baby sleep? What am I doing wrong? Why isn't this working?
It's only natural for parents to feel overwhelmed and frustrated when their babies don't seem to be getting the rest that they need.
But before giving up in despair, it's essential to understand why babies often have trouble sleeping and what steps you can take to help them get the shut-eye that they need.
The Common Frustration Of Parents
It's no surprise why many parents feel like they've tried it all when it comes to getting their baby to sleep.
From rocking them in your arms, bouncing on an exercise ball, singing lullabies, and playing soothing music, to wrapping and swaddling - there are so many methods that parents use, yet the problem persists.
Studies show that when having a newborn in the house, men lose an average of 13 minutes per night, while women lose over an hour of sleep each night. It's no wonder why some parents find themselves exhausted and sleep-deprived!
Medical Causes for a Baby Not Sleeping
In some cases, there may be times when the reason why your baby isn't sleeping is because of an underlying medical condition. Here are a few medical reasons why your baby or newborn won't sleep at night:
Newborns: 0 to 3 Months Old
Newborns up to 3 months old can have atypical sleep patterns due to their immature central nervous system. They tend to require 8 hours up to 16 or 18 hours in 24 hours while waking up frequently throughout feeding.
Newborns tend to regurgitate or spit up during feedings. This is normal for newborns as their digestive systems are still developing. To prevent this, rather than lying flat after feedings, have them sleep in an upright position to ensure that the meal has been digested.
Colic is a condition that affects infants and can cause babies to experience bouts of crying, usually in the evening. The crying episodes can last up to three hours and it is believed to be due to digestive sensitivity or immaturity. However, the cause is still unknown.
Infants: 4 to 6 Months Old
At this stage, your baby may be sleeping more regularly and for longer periods. It's important to keep in mind that infants need an average of 14 hours of sleep in 24 hours.
Irregular Sleep Schedule
If your baby won't sleep at night, you may have to take a closer look at their daytime sleep schedule. Your baby may have an irregular sleep schedule as they are still developing their circadian rhythm.
To help, you should aim to create a regular bedtime routine that will signal to them it's time for bed. While also minimizing the number they get during the day.
Infants: 7 to 12 Months Old
At this stage, your baby should be able to sleep through the night and also have a regular bedtime routine.
When a baby is between 7 to 12 months old, they may experience separation anxiety from their parents due to developing social and environmental awareness. This can prevent them from falling asleep and result in frequent night wakings. A red night light is recommended to provide some comfort and familiarity while they sleep.
Developmental and Environmental Factors
Your baby's nighttime sleep may also be affected by various developmental and environmental factors.
Many babies begin teething between 7 to 12 months old and this can result in difficulty sleeping. Having something that they can chew on, such as a chilled teething ring, can help provide relief.
Babies may also be sensitive to noise and light during sleep time, so it is important to create a calm and quiet environment in the nursery. However, offering a soothing sound machine can help provide a consistent white noise that will help drown out any unwanted background sound.
Common Mistakes Parents Make
When trying to figure out why your baby won't sleep, there are a few common mistakes parents make that can lead to difficulty sleeping.
Avoid the following mistakes to ensure your baby gets a good night of sleep:
Avoid overexposing your baby to stimuli such as lights, sounds, and activities that can cause them to become overstimulated.
Feeding Too Late
Try not to feed your baby close to bedtime as this can increase their energy levels and make it harder for them to settle down. Plus, spit-up is a common problem after late-night feedings.
Not Establishing a Routine
Establishing a regular bedtime routine is important as it will not only help your baby settle down quickly and easily, but also make them familiar with the idea of nighttime.
When to Seek Help
If you've been trying all of the above and your newborn won't sleep, it may be time to seek help. Consulting your pediatrician or a sleep specialist can give you additional insight and advice on how to get your baby to sleep.
Baby Shusher, A Portable Sound Machine That Helps Soothe Babies To Sleep
When it comes to why your baby won't sleep, sometimes the answer is simpler than we think. A portable sound machine like Baby Shusher can help provide the perfect combination of white noise and soothing human sounds to help your baby drift off into a peaceful sleep.
Now you can get the rest you need, knowing that your baby is getting the sleep they need. Give it a try, and you won’t regret it!