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Infant Sleep Problems And How To Help Them Sleep Better At Night

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By Author: Isabella Whitmore
Total Articles: 114
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As a new parent, the most common advice you’ll get is “sleep when your baby sleeps”. Having a baby is exhausting. You’ll need every chance you’ll get to rest, especially because you may not have enough. It’s usual for infants to have trouble sleeping which can be frustrating because it means you will be sleep deprived.

Here are the most common reasons why your baby is not sleeping well at night.

1. Your baby does not know that it’s night. Infants don’t have the same sleeping cycle as adults. They doze off anytime of the day and have no established sense that night should be sleeping time.

You can help your baby recognize day and night by doing the following:

- Expose your baby to the outdoors or to a bright area in your house during the day.

- Play with him/her during the day to keep him/her active and treat it as play time.

- At night, turn off lights early or use dim lights in the baby’s room to let him/her feel the change in the environment.

- Don’t play active games with your little one at night as it can make him/her excited and difficult for him/her to ...
... fall asleep.

- Keep nighttime quiet and calm.

2. Your baby is hungry. Just like adults, it’s hard for infants to sleep when hungry. It’s important to tank up your baby before sleeping at night. Even if you just fed him/her a few hours ago, it’s good to check if he/she wants to eat again. This helps the infant sleep longer and avoid frequent wakefulness because of hunger.

Be mindful though if your baby is below 3 months old. You can’t do much about sleeping interruption at this age. This is because newborns need feeding every 2 to 3 hours to ensure that they get enough nutrients to grow healthy and prevent dehydration. As babies get older, the number of hours they can sleep without feeding stretches.

At the age of 3 to 4 months old, babies can sleep straight for up to 6 hours without feeding. This is the time you can night wean your baby. Breastfeed or offer a bottle of milk to your child before bedtime to help him/her rest longer. Of course, this also lets you to have a good snooze at night.

3. The little one might be too tired. Many parents overtire their baby thinking that it would help him/her drowse faster. This is not good because it can only make the baby stress and more active.

Infants should have well-balance activities to sleep better. Play active games during the day and practise calm activities at night to help him/her nod off fast when it’s bedtime. It’s also important to allow your baby to nap multiple times a day as it is needed for his/her growth and development.

4. Your baby needs you. Little children feel secure and comfortable with their parents. They love you more than anyone or anything else in this world and don’t want to waste time sleeping. Especially when you are not beside them.

Consider room sharing with your baby instead of letting him/her sleep alone in a separate room. This helps your baby feel relax and sleep comfortably. It also enables you to provide your baby’s needs as quickly as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing but not bed-sharing with an infant as the latter has risks for SIDS.

5. He/she is not feeling well. Be patient when your baby is being fussy at night and refuse to sleep. He/she might be teething, having a cold, allergies, gas in the belly area, or constipation. Any of these discomforts can make it hard for babies to fall asleep or easily awaken.

Check your child’s gums for redness and inflammation to see if he/she is teething. You can make him/her feel better by offering a teether to bite or applying teething paste to ease the pain. For gas, gently massage the infant’s tummy. There are baby massage videos you can find in YouTube which are helpful. One of the most used and effective is the I Love U massage.

If you suspect allergies, fever, or other signs that might indicate sickness, it is best to talk with your pediatrician.

Sleep is critical for you and your baby. While it helps your baby to grow healthy, you need it to be physically, emotionally, and mentally present to take care of your little one and family. Inadequate sleep can contribute to stress, parental burnout, and postpartum depression. Additionally, it can be hard to catch up with everyday activities if you lack sleep.

Isabella Whitmore is a mother of two. She likes sharing tips and guidelines about baby care to help especially first time parents to have confidence in taking care of their infants. She works at https://electrickettlesplus.com, an appliance website that offers a wide selection of electric kettles including BPA-free kettles which are safe for babies.

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