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What to Do When Baby Won’t Sleep
If your baby won’t sleep, there’s probably something that needs to change in their daily schedule, nighttime routine, or sleep environment. There are times when, despite our best efforts and intentions, our baby will not sleep. Even good sleepers need a little help now and then. Here are some of the things to consider that may be preventing you and your baby from getting a good night’s sleep. Correcting even one of these things may just do the trick if your baby won’t sleep well.
Baby Is Over-Stimulated
If your baby has trouble sleeping, or wakes up 20 to 30 minutes after falling asleep, then you may need to establish a good sleep routine. A baby needs time to go from a playful, excited state to a calm state. By using a good sleep routine every night and at every nap, your baby will calm down and settle into a calm state. Try things that will contribute to baby’s overall calm, comfortable state such as turning off the lights, swaddling baby and playing relaxing music or sounds from the womb.
Baby Is Hungry
If your baby is used to sleeping for long periods and suddenly wakes up every 3-4 hours, or wakes up at night crying and eats a full meal, then your baby may be hungry. Newborns need to be fed about every 2 hours, but at about three months old your baby should be able to go for 5-6 hours without needing to be fed. Sometimes these late night feeds can be avoided by giving your baby a full feed around 10 or 11 at night. Another good thing is to 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 beg you at night. Also, during growth spurts your baby will need to eat more. Prevent the extra night feed by adding another feed during the day.
Baby Is Too Attached To You Or Something Else
If your baby needs something outside of himself to be there to fall asleep (like being rocked 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 to. be very intentional about fixing these things. By improving these behaviors you will help your baby and you in the long run.
If letting your baby sleep in your bed once before has caused your baby to become dependent on sleeping next to you, then you need to take steps to remedy this. Start by helping her associate her sleeping space with positive things and give her time to adjust.
If your baby needs her pacifier in her mouth to sleep to the point where you are constantly putting the pacifier back in her mouth, then she is too dependent on that pacifier. Start by teaching baby to suck his own hand and only give baby the pacifier when he fusses. As soon as baby calms down again, remove the pacifier. After three months, consider removing them entirely, as they are no longer developmentally useful.
Also, a common misconception is that a baby needs to be comforted every time he gets out of bed at night. This is not true, as a baby will often wake up during sleep. Night waking 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 night and makes a lot of noise, she might just be a night waker and should be given the opportunity to self-soothe. In most cases, your baby will be able to go back to sleep without your help.
Baby Is Insecure
If your baby has difficulty falling asleep, or gets up every hour (except for newborns) or only sleeps during the day but won’t sleep at night, you may need a strong daily routine. An unstructured, unpredictable daily life can cause a baby’s insecurity. Fix this by making sure there are at least 3 distinct daily signs of consistency, such as feeding baby every three hours, tummy time and naps. Follow the pattern of eating, playing and sleeping.
It’s Too Hot Out There
If your baby is waking up every 2 hours and needs to feed and the tender spot on their head is more pronounced, they may be dehydrated. At only 5 weeks old, my daughter was sleeping for 5-8 hours, but when the first signs of autumn hit, she started waking up every 2-3 hours, needing to be fed. I soon realized that as it got colder, we left the heater on. The same reason I got up to get my water, my daughter cried for me. The simple solution is to use a moisturizer. By keeping the air moist, you will prevent or at least delay those night feedings caused by the dry, hot air.
Baby Is Too Hot
If the air temperature is too hot or too cold, your baby will let you know. Newborns have a hard time regulating their body temperatures, so they are very dependent on you to keep them comfortable. It is recommended that you put on one layer more than what you are wearing. The room temperature in your baby’s room should be kept between 65 and 75 degrees.
Creating a strong daily schedule, nighttime routine, and a peaceful sleep environment will go a long way to ensuring restful nights and alert days. These baby sleep tips serve to help your baby thrive as a great sleeper. Take some advice and be sure that your baby will not sleep the same way again.
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