Baby Won’t Sleep? Everything You Need to Know

FAQ

Table of Contents

So your baby won’t sleep? If this is the case, then you’ll definitely want to pay close attention to this post. A baby that won’t sleep may be annoying, but you might be surprised to find that it can also become dangerous. Everyone needs sleep, including your baby, so if you’re baby is not sleeping you’ll definitely to make sure it’s nothing serious.

Therefore, for this brief post, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about a baby that won’t sleep. Whether they’re having trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, we have something for you. Let’s get right into it.

Why Is My Baby Not Sleeping?

We know you’ve been there. Tossing and turning, not sure whether or not the baby will stop crying. Well, if this sounds like you, it’s time to find out why this is the case. Let’s take a look.

Your baby has absolutely no idea what time of the day it is

We give babies too much credit, and sometimes we give babies too little credit. This is due to the fact that your baby might not know what time of the day it is, which can definitely lead to some sleepless nights. Think about, when a baby is in the womb for 9 months, do you think that they know what time it is?

So if you notice that your baby seems to be a bit more nocturnal than you would like, this could definitely be the reason that they’re not sleeping. Now, there is no need to panic yet, because there is a way to fix this.

Here is a quick look at some tips that you can utilize to help your baby get into their circadian rhythm a bit easier:

  • Try to make sure that your baby gets some fresh air, and expose them to some sunlight; make sure that you provide them with a bit of protection if you do so
  • One great way to tire them out is to keep them awake a bit more during the day; doctors recommend playing around with your baby after a feeding session instead of letting them drift away in your arms
  • Turn the lights off at night!
  • Make sure you swaddle your baby at night, this way they look at this practice as a bedtime ritual
  • Try to place their crib near a window, this way they can observe the difference between night and day

If you follow these steps, with a little bit of patience, you should be getting your sleep cycle back to normal.

Your baby is not feeling well

When we feel sick as adults, we tend to feel exhausted. This usually leads to us wanting to stay in bed all day, and you know what doctors always say, get more rest. Now, while this may be the case for adults, this is not exactly true for babies.

This is due to the fact that any type of illness will usually make a baby cry, which will lead them to quite a bit of discomfort. This will create a cycle of discomfort that will lead to crying, and with that crying, a lack of sleep as well.

If you’re unsure about how your baby may be feeling, here is a quick little list that you can use as a reference:

  • Check your baby’s temperature, if they have a fever, they’re definitely not feeling well
  • If you hear your baby’s little tummy rumbling, this issue could be caused by gas or constipation
  • They may have certain allergies you were unaware of
  • If your baby has new teeth growing in, this will definitely keep them up at night
  • Have you ever heard of restless leg syndrome? Well, most babies have restless feet syndrome, which will cause them to constantly kick around at night
  • Your baby could simply have a cold or other illness

If you do notice that your baby happens to have an illness, you should always contact your doctor first. This is due to the fact that even the slightest issues in infants can become severe, so making sure that your baby gets the care it needs is very important.

Your baby wants some good old fashioned attention

Throughout the day-to-day of taking care of an infant, sometimes we forget that they’re loveable little people. So if you find that your baby is not sleeping well at night, sometimes they just want some attention.

This is a bit harder to distinguish from the other factors, but you’ll notice a happy baby in the night hours. So if your baby seems playful at night, they might just want to play.

Now, obviously you can’t always play, so the best way to solve this problem is to set up their crib in your room. This will at least let them know that you’re there, and if you need to give them some love at night, at least you won’t have to go very far.

Your baby might be starving in there

Baby’s eat a lot, and we mean a lot. This means that you should be feeding your newborn quite often throughout the day. While this may be the case, it’s not always an easy thing to notice. Sure, you might feel like you’ve fed them enough, but it’s not always easy to tell.

Now, if you notice that your baby is hungry at night, be sure to give them the food they need. You should never try to restrict this from them, because your baby needs food in order to grow. Plus, on the bright side, they should pass right back out after you feed them.

Some other minor causes that may lead your baby wake you up in the middle of the night

There are so many little things that can cause your baby to lie awake at night, so we want to make sure that we go over everything; even the little things.

So if you’ve tried everything else, here are another few reasons as to why your baby won’t sleep:

  • If there was too much stimulation during the day, it can lead to a sleepless night (this can anything from too much sugar in breastmilk to simple playing)
  • If your baby needs their diaper changed
  • If there are loud noises (you live near a train or airport), it can take time for your baby to adjust
  • They may feel lonely if they’re by themselves
  • If you have pets in the home, they’re interactions may be keeping your baby up at night

So as you can see, there are really quite a few reasons as to why your baby may be stuck awake at night. If you want to learn some really nice ways to get a baby to stop crying, be sure to give this video a watch.

How Long Do the Restless Nights Go on For?

During the first few months with your newborn, you’ll probably be exhausted. There is really no way around this, and you sort of just need to do your best to manage your baby’s sleep cycle. Now, with that being said, we’re more than sure that most of you are curious about when things will go back to normal.

It depends on your baby

This is probably not the answer that you were looking for, but it’s true. Every baby is different, and each baby has different needs. While this may be the case, it’s safe to assume that this will not last forever. So for the average baby, everything should start to calm down within a few days or weeks.

Keep in mind that if this does continue for months, you should definitely consider reaching out to your doctor. Babies need sleep, and if they’re not getting enough, it can certainly lead to issues down the line.

How Can I Get My Baby to Sleep at Night?

Now that we’ve gone over most of what you’ll need to know, we want to focus on showing you some great ways to get your baby to sleep at night. Therefore, in this section, we’ll be showing you some great tips and tricks to make sure that your baby sleeps soundly through the night.

Don’t play too much when you wake them

If you need to wake your baby up for a diaper change, or even to feed them, try to keep stimulation to a minimum. Stimulation can cause them to become playful again, so you’ll want to enforce the fact that it’s still bedtime. Is a little head petting okay? Absolutely, but there is no need to make bedtime playtime.

If your baby is fussing around at night, give it a second

If you notice that your baby is crying every single night, and you’re pretty sure it’s only because they want some attention, restrict this a little bit. It might seem painful to leave your baby alone while they’re fussing, but you want to instill a little bit of independence when you can. Therefore, we definitely recommend leaving the baby alone a little bit before you intervene. This way they don’t get used to it.

Try to tire them out or keep them awake during the day

We know that baby’s need a lot of sleep, but if you want to make sure that they’re tired at night, try to keep them awake more during the day. You can really approach this however you would like, but we definitely recommend getting most of your baby’s playtime in during the day.

If you ever feel like you’re alone, we definitely recommend giving this article from the New York Timesa read.

How Much Sleep Do Babies Need?

Knowing how much sleep your baby needs is very important, because it will help you understand why they may not be sleeping at night. Think about it, if they get too much of their sleep during the day, why wouldn’t they be up at night? So let’s take a look.

The first few months

The first few months are going to be a bit hectic, which is why you’ll find it hard to believe that newborn babies need between 14 and 17 hours of sleep every day. So if you notice that your baby has slept all day, there is a very good chance that they’ll be up all night long.

Once they reach the 5 month mark

Now, remember how we said things will calm down in a few months? Well, there is definitely a lot of truth in that. This is due to the fact that once your baby reaches that magical 5 month mark, the amount of sleep they need will drop down to about 10 or 12 hours. That’s why, at this point, babies will typically start sleeping through the night.

Once they reach 1 year

Once your baby reaches about a year old, they’ll only need around 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day. So be sure to make sure that naptime doesn’t last too long, or you could be in a bit of trouble.

The reason that we wanted to spend some time on this is due to the fact that naptime is not always the best time. If you notice that your baby is napping too much during the day, you’ll notice that your baby won’t sleep at night.

When Should I Call a Doctor?

It might seem silly to call your doctor over your baby not sleeping at night, but there can really be some serious issues at play here. Sure, most things that keep your baby awake at night may be temporary, but this is not always accurate. For example, if your baby has an illness, you should definitely get that taken care of right away.

So when do I give the doctor a ring?

The first thing that we’ll tell you is simple; use your best judgment. If you’ve tried everything that we’ve gone over, and notice that your baby is still awake at night, it might be time to call your doctor.

Unfortunately, some doctors don’t take this issue very seriously, so make sure that you convey just how serious this is to them. If anything, they’ll be able to give you advice, and if you need to you’ll be able to set an appointment for a checkup.

Also, if you notice that these sleepless nights continue well after a month or two, this is no joke. Your baby should calm down in a few weeks, so if the issue persists, there might be something a lot more serious going on beneath the surface.

At the end of the day, never be afraid to pick up the phone and call your doctor. Babies are fragile, and sometimes it can be hard to determine whether or not they’re sick or suffering from allergies.

Final Thoughts

We know that there was a lot, but we know how frustrating it can be to deal with a baby that won’t sleep. It can keep you up at night, keep the baby up at night, and even lead to issues down the line. That’s why it’s important that you know all of the facts.

Now that you’ve given this post a quick read, hopefully you’ll leave here with exactly what you need. While this may be the case, we know how hard it can be to remember things with an infant around that won’t sleep, so please be sure to use this post as a guide if you need to.

Now that you know the facts, hopefully you can finally put that restless baby to sleep… and maybe get some sleep of your own.