Why Does My Baby Not Sleep Well At Night?

Apr 11, 2017
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Babies are sensitive little human beings and are learning the way as we as parents are as well. It can be a frustrating and tiring time when your baby struggles to settle to sleep and you feel like you have exhausted all options. Working through different options through a trial and error basis can prove helpful. Taking a deep breathe and going back to basics with the needs of your baby can also help. We all know the saying ‘sleeping like a baby’ but this in reality does not always happen.

5 Reasons Why Your Baby May Not Sleep At Night

1. Hungry

Most babies are hungry during the night and can feed every two hours in the first few months. This sole time with your baby is the most special time but can equally be frustrating.

You can often start to wonder why is your baby hungry again. But the reality is that your little bundle of joy has such a small stomach that they need frequent feeding. Most babies tend to settle down with night feeds as they grow older. Other factors can affect a baby’s feeding pattern, such as teething or having a growth spurt. When a baby cries during the night this is usually the first option that is thought to be the problem, and quite often is the case.

2. Teething

Some babies only suffer with mild symptoms and discomfort when teething whilst other babies can become inconsolable with pain from their milk teeth trying to make an appearance. This process can seem to take a long time, and symptoms such as drooling and flushed cheeks are visible for days to weeks.

Teething can be worse at night due to your baby being tired and not distracted in anyway. There are some remedies that parents use to try and relieve the pain, such as teething gel or granules. However, sometimes until the tooth has cut through does the pain subside a little.

3. Overtired

Babies need lots of frequent sleep during the day. Newborn babies are likely to only manage around 45 minutes before they are in need of more sleep. This awake time extends once they reach 6 months, but they still need regular naps. Being overtired can leave your baby restlessness and they can struggle to settle properly. Often waking in the night and not being able to get back off to sleep effectively.

Recognising signs your baby is getting tired and preventing your baby getting overtired is essential in trying to combat them getting overtired. When you recognise their signs, such as yawning, becoming clingy, fussing, try laying them down for a nap before they reach the point of becoming over tired.

4. Pain

Babies of course cannot verbally communicate other than crying so trying to ascertain if they are in pain can be difficult at times. This is their way of telling you they need your love and care.

When your baby cries it can become more insistent and louder when in pain. If for example, your child is suffering from trapped wind they can bring their legs up to their chest. Being observant and looking for other signs can help you to determine if your baby is in pain. Always checking their temperature if necessary and seeking medical advice if needed.

Soothing your baby as best as you can, cradling them, giving them a comfort teddy, feeding them or using a dummy are some of the ways to try and soothe your baby during the night.

5. Comfort

Babies like to be close to you, they feel safe and secure. If all else fails giving your baby a cuddle will give the reassurance it requires to settle to sleep. It is important to remember that babies do cry and it will improve with time.

One Comment

  1. As a newborn I would swaddle my baby, you can buy proper swaddling blankets or just use a large muslin. It gave him the feeling of being cuddled while asleep and helped him sleep much better.
    By 4 months he’d grown out of the swaddle and was waking in the night when he startled in his sleep, and although it isn’t advised, I let him sleep on his front. He could lift his head by this point and for extra reassurance I installed a breathing and heartbeat monitor. At 9 months old he still sleeps on his front.


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