Do you find yourself waking up every night to tend to a crying baby? Guess what – you’re not alone.
Unlike adults who can just roll over and drift off, babies need more help getting the sleep they need to grow well. Although it sounds simple, the problem is you are oftentimes clueless on why they’re having trouble sleeping!
Do you want to understand why your baby won’t sleep? Read up on these 9 reasons so next time, you can tend to your baby’s needs and give your little one a good sleep!
9 Common Reasons Why Your Baby Can’t Sleep
1. Your Baby is Hungry or Thirsty
No matter how frequently you feed your baby during the daytime, they may still wake up at night simply because they’re hungry. This can be a problem whether you’re feeding your baby with formula or breastmilk.
It’s best to feed your hungry baby on demand. If they’re bottle-fed, give them a little more milk than usual. If they’re breastfed, let them feed without worrying about milk supply.
Is your little one 6 months or older? Some 6-month-olds won’t sleep simply because liquid food just doesn’t cut it for them anymore. Start them on solids and try to let them drink water.
2. Your Baby Depends on a Sleep Prop
Do you rock or nurse your child to sleep? Or alternatively, does your little one only drift off when they’re lying on your tummy? Unfortunately, this means your child has a sleep prop and has problems settling themselves without it.
You’ll have to patiently phase out the sleep prop and teach your baby to sleep on their own. Try putting them to bed when they’re drowsy! Keep an eye out for when your baby begins to:
- Close their fists
- Pull at their ears
- Flutter their eyelids or space out
- Get fussy with food or toys
3. Your Baby is Overstimulated or Overtired
Babies and grown-ups alike can have problems sleeping in a bright and noisy environment. To help your little one fall asleep faster, avoid screens, physical exercise, or other exciting things right before bedtime!
On the other hand, an overtired baby won’t sleep either and may even become cranky when they wake up! Solve this problem by putting your baby to bed earlier if they’re showing the signs of drowsiness listed in #2.
4. Your Baby Skips Daytime Naps
Naps are crucial to your baby’s development! A baby who skips their naps will easily get overtired and grumpy.
However, you also need to make sure your baby naps at the right time. If they take a nap too late in the afternoon, they’ll have a hard time drifting off at bedtime. Mid-morning and early afternoon are ideal times for the baby to snooze. You’ll also want to avoid disturbing your little one’s naps!
DID YOU KNOW? Babies aged 4 months and younger need naps every one and a half hours. This drops to every two hours by the time a baby hits 9 months.
5. Your Baby Doesn’t Have a Bedtime Routine
A good wind down routine is an easy way to prep your little one for bed without any problems. It’s even backed by research! Whether you go for a warm bath, a massage, or cuddles, the most important thing is to be consistent.
6. Is Your Baby Not comfy
Babies can feel surprised and frightened if they wake up in a different environment than where they remember going to sleep. So whenever bedtime rolls in, be sure to put your baby to sleep in all the same conditions, from the light levels to the temperature.
Your little one may also wake up if they feel too warm or cold. Help them keep warm by dressing them in layers for bed. If they get sweaty, take off a layer. You can also try out Hello Night sleepwear, made with ultra-light and breathable Merino wool that adjusts to your little one’s body warmth.
Wet diapers are a classic problem for babies at bedtime, too. A bit of nappy rash cream might be all it takes to solve this problem!
7. Your Baby is Sick or Teething
Health problems like tummy aches, acid reflux, gassiness, colds, and teething can all keep your baby awake. Here are a few quick ways to soothe your baby’s discomfort:
- Colds, Coughs, and Other Upper Respiratory Infections: Use a humidifier in the room, and apply a bit of chest rub on your little one.
- Tummy Ache or Gas: Lay your baby on their tummy and rub their back to help them pass gas.
- Teething: Check with your caregiver if your baby can take a painkiller like Panadol for babies.
8. Your Baby Has Just Learned a New Skill
Has your little one hit a wonder week and mastered the art of rolling, kicking, or standing? Amusing as it sounds, they might be inspired to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to polish their skills. You can solve this “problem” by carving out some practice time during the day.
It’s also common for babies who sleep on their back to roll onto their tummies without knowing how to roll vice-versa. They’ll often cry for help simply because they’re stuck. But no worries–once they learn to roll onto their backs again, their sleep will return to normal.
9. Your Baby Has a Bit of Separation Anxiety
It’s natural for your baby to want to be close to you or feel frightened when they wake up and don’t find you there. Make yourself emotionally available, no matter how tired you are. Give them a quick cuddle to soothe them. Then, if you don’t co-sleep, you may simply place them back down in their crib.
Training your little one to self soothe? When they start crying at night, stay within sight at first and then slowly step away. You can return to reassure your baby every now and then.
Still have problems putting your little angel to sleep? The Nurture Sleep Program may be the solution you’ve been looking for. This holistic approach to baby sleep covers bedtime routines, self-soothing techniques, and even specific food that can soothe your baby. Feel free to read up on happy families who’ve given the Nurture Sleep Program a spin, too. Contact Nurture Parenting today to get started!
Liked this post? Visit our blog regularly for more tips on solving your baby’s sleep problems.
Nurture Parenting, a company in Australia that offers a holistic approach to baby sleep through The Nurture Sleep Program that is designed to take babies from sleepless to slumber.
Nurture Parenting is recognised as Australia’s baby sleep expert. Headed by Karen Faulkner, a Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultant, the company offers The Nurture Sleep Program that helps babies and children on sleep training. This is a tried and tested approach that has already transformed the lives of families through its exclusive baby sleep methods that help baby self-settle and promote blissful sleep.