Everybody has experienced this situation: Your baby has been up for hours, rubbing their eyes, whining, and yawning, but just won’t fall asleep.
All newborns, at some point, may struggle to go asleep, unable to sit still and just close their eyes, despite the fact that you know they need to rest. Yet why?
Learn more about why newborns struggle with sleep and how to assist them in getting the rest they require.
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What does “fighting sleep” even mean?
First off, the phrase “fighting sleep” can be a little deceptive because babies don’t actually fight to sleep. Humans naturally sleep when they are prepared for it and when their bodies aren’t overworked from stress. Babies experience the same thing.
Babies who appear to be “fighting” their natural inclination to sleep almost invariably have another issue going on. They sense that it’s unsafe for them to sleep because of whatever is going on. It’s up to us to become interested in the cause of the tears. Finding out what your baby is trying to tell you could take a few tries, but that is completely normal.
What does “fighting sleep” look like?
There is no single symptom of “fighting” sleep, just as there is no one universal baby sleep remedy. From infant to baby, it genuinely can vary. Usually, what’s reported to me—and what I’ve personally experienced!—is a baby that is extremely agitated, irritable, or even unconsolable. There may be a lot of sobbing or yelling, as well as back arches, stiffening, pushing away from you, scratching, etc. Baby might *almost* fall asleep before jerking awake and become incredibly angry once more.
You might also notice changes in their routine, such as the difficulty of the final nap of the day getting harder or missed entirely, the timing of the morning nap, etc. “Fighting sleep” won’t always appear dramatic in babies with laid-back personalities, but you’ll notice they suddenly have trouble falling asleep. See more about How To Put A Baby To Sleep In 40 Seconds?
Why does my baby fight sleep?
Knowing the cause of your child’s sleep difficulties will enable you to resolve the situation and ensure that your child gets the much-needed zzzs. What could be the reasons that prevent you from falling asleep?
While you may quickly fall asleep the moment you stop moving due to weariness (mid-Netflix viewing, anyone? ), it’s not always the case with your young child.
Babies frequently have a window when they are ready to go to sleep. They may become overtired if you miss the window, which can cause agitation, fussing, and difficulty falling asleep.
Not enough fatigue
On the other side, if your baby isn’t sufficiently exhausted, they could not be ready for bed. This might be a one-time occurrence brought on by the fact that today’s nap was longer than normal, or it might be an indication that they’re growing and changing, resulting in altered sleep requirements.
You’ve undoubtedly heard a million times to put your phone away an hour before bed to help you relax and sleep more soundly. For your child, the same is true, but it extends beyond screens. They may feel overstimulated and unable to unwind for sleep as a result of noisy toys, boisterous music, or engaging play.
Has your child behaved like a shadow all day, demanding to be held constantly and never being more than a few feet away? They may have some separation anxiety, which might manifest itself around night.
Your infant may resist sleep because they don’t want you to leave. This is frequently observed in babies between the ages of 8 and 18 months.
Around 6 weeks old, infants begin to develop their circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycle that governs our bodies. Around 3 to 6 months old, these circadian rhythms are ready to create a real sleep routine. Of course, every infant is unique, so some might not develop a consistent sleep schedule until then.
Your infant is growing rapidly over the first few years; by the time they turn one, most kids have tripled their birth weight. The amount of growth calls for plenty of nutrition.
Depending on your baby’s age, how much they are consuming at each feeding, and whether they are breastfed or bottle-fed, make sure they are receiving the appropriate amount of feedings each day.
Your baby’s sleep may occasionally be impacted by discomfort caused by an illness. Watch out for further signs of illnesses including colds or ear infections.
What can you do when your baby fights sleep?
The actions you take will partly rely on the causes of your baby’s sleep problems, but no matter what your difficulties, the following advice is helpful for fostering a healthy sleep environment.
- Discover your baby’s sleep signals. When your baby exhibits indications of fatigue, such as wiping their eyes, yawning, avoiding eye contact, fussing, or losing interest in play, put them to bed as soon as possible. Remember that for small newborns, some waking spells may be as brief as 30 to 45 minutes.
- Create and adhere to a relaxing bedtime routine. To assist a child go to sleep, try giving them a bath, reading to them, or cuddling with them in their favorite chair.Be consistent by performing the same actions at the same times every night.
- Establish day-night habits by interacting with your baby during the day, playing with them, and exposing them to lots of sunlight in the morning and afternoon. However, towards sleep, reduce your activity and become more relaxed.
- At least an hour before going to bed, avoid rough physical play, loud noises, and screens.
- Based on your lifestyle and that of your infant, establish a nap and sleep regimen. Make sure they have the opportunity to acquire enough daytime and nighttime sleep by taking into account their overall sleep requirements.
- Make sure your infant receives enough feedings throughout the course of a 24-hour period. Usually, newborns will eat whenever they want, every two to three hours.The intervals between feedings will lengthen as your child gets older.
- Make sure the baby’s room is comfortable for sleeping. To promote a tranquil environment, use white noise machines, blackout curtains, or other components.
- When your infant has trouble falling asleep, try to respond with patience and composure. They get their energy from you, therefore keeping a calm attitude can also encourage them to calm down.
The amount of sleep your kid need will depend on a variety of elements, such as their age, temperament, level of development, and more. However, there are several rules that can assist you in creating a good sleep pattern for your infant.
Of course, if you’ve exhausted all your options (pun intended!), and they don’t seem to be working, talk to your doctor.
Watching your baby fight sleep can be very frustrating. But most of the time, they respond to one of the interventions above. The time you spend helping your baby sleep is an investment in their growth, development, and happiness.