Getting babies to sleep is an uphill task for many parents. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps without creating a fuss. In fact, on average, parents of a newborn baby will lose around 44 days sleep in a year. If your baby is not sleeping at night, it might be due to various reasons.
It is important for parents to know what to do if their baby is not sleeping at night. This might help you make the baby sleep better at night and also give you an idea about when a baby should start sleeping through the night.
Here is a quick guide to provide a solution for what to do if your baby is not sleeping at night.
Table Of Contents
Creating A Bedtime Routine
Newborns until the age of 4 months find it difficult to get accustomed to a schedule. But once a baby reaches the age of 4 months, you can effectively plan a sleep schedule. It might sound like a mundane and a bland option, but as the saying goes ‘there is power in repetition’.
Your baby might not be feeling sleepy because or baby might be feeling restless during the night if they do not have a fixed routine and feel the activity levels high during nights. Try to plan your routine in a predictable manner. This helps in two ways, the first is that it will help in creating a sense of security for the baby. The second and important reason is that this will let the baby know that its sleep time and make them fall asleep.
For example, if you chose to read a bedtime story, then stick to a place and time and adhere to it. Repeat the same action every day. Read a story to your baby every day at the same place and at the same time. Doing simple things like things like this will help your baby to fall asleep easily.
Putting The Baby To Sleep While Drowsy
The way in which your baby is being put to sleep at night is telling. Many studies and experts in the field have recommended to put your baby asleep in a state of drowsiness and not when the baby is fully asleep. This teaches the baby an important lesson in how to fall asleep on their own.
For example, if you are rocking your baby before they are put to sleep this might cause dependence for the baby. In this way, you are essentially doing the baby’s work of falling asleep. This might appear to be a gesture of love towards your baby, but, in the end, it is only causing them to harm rather than good.
When your baby gets used to such actions in order to feel sleepy or fall asleep, this will cause problems when they wake up in the middle of the night. They cannot naturally fall asleep without rocking. This is the reason why many experts’ advice on weeding out the negative sleep associations. Negative associations include actions such as feeding the baby, rocking them to sleep etc.
Bad Day Schedule
Many people neglect the fact that it is important to monitor the baby’s daytime activity. If your baby is getting too much sleep time during the day, then it might affect their ability to sleep during their sleep time at night. This doesn’t mean that you restrict the baby from getting sleep during the day.
It is crucial to give the baby enough nap time during the day. If the baby doesn’t get enough sleep during the day, then it might make the baby fussy and this might cause the baby to be restless while sleeping at night. Try to mimic the same sleep routine you follow during the night time to make your baby fall asleep. This kind of consistency is very important. Make sure that you put the baby to sleep at the same time every day during the day too.
If your baby has been sleeping well recently but has suddenly stopped, then something could be causing disruption to their sleep. The reasons can vary from things such as physical developments to small things like travelling. The reasons can often be things such as a physical development or a physical milestone that might cause a disruption in their sleep cycle.
For example, if your baby is learning to how to stand up or your baby is teething then this could be a potential cause for their sleep being disrupted. But physical developments are not the only case for such disruptions. Separation anxiety is another major reason for cause in sleep disruption.
When a baby grows 6 months old they develop a sense of you. When they lack the feeling of you being near them, they might start to cry or wake up during the night. When you approve such things, try to tend to your baby and then return to your baby’s regular sleep schedule once the disruption has passed. Illness could also be a cause for such behaviour of the baby, try to look for any fever or cold symptoms in the baby.
Baby’s sleep space is an important factor in your baby falling to sleep. As mentioned above it is absolutely necessary that your baby sleeps in the same spot every day.
1. If your baby is sharing a room with you or a sibling, make sure the baby has enough space and try to section off the room with a divider if it is possible. This will be an ideal situation for the baby to sleep.
2. Next, one of the crucial steps is to make sure the room is dark. The darker the room the better. Dark environments cue the release of melatonin. Darker environments make it easier for the baby to fall asleep.
3. Make sure the temperature in the room is not too hot or too cold. Dressing the baby in footed pyjamas or light layers is a good way to make the baby cosy without causing overheating.
4. Try to introduce your baby to their sleep environment while they are awake. This will allow the baby to get accustomed to their sleep environment and feel comfortable. This way they won’t get startled or panicked during the night when they wake up.
Seeking Expert Advice
It is not possible to get to the root of problems all on your own. Sometimes a parent can’t crack the code as to why their baby is not sleeping at night. Instead of scratching your head and being worried endlessly try to consult a paediatrician for advice. They will often be able to diagnose the problem that your baby is facing accurately and provide you with a number of sleep training methods. They can even provide you with methods that best suit you and help you keep the baby healthy. Don’t hesitate to consult an expert when you are in doubt. They can give you an insight into what to do if your baby is not sleeping at night and help you put the baby to sleep easily.