Many people have asked the question of why babies seem to have such a difficult time getting to sleep. Is it just that the baby is being stubborn, is the baby not getting enough attention, is the baby missing his or her parent? The questions linger on in the minds of parents and the parents often blame themselves unjustly.
There are many reasons why your baby may be having difficulty getting to sleep at night or for daytime naps. Many of the causes of baby sleep problems are quite simple to resolve, once you know what those causes are. If you can understand why your baby has difficulty going to sleep, then you can come up with a solution that will help your baby’s sleep problem. Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons babies have trouble getting to sleep.
A Dirty Diaper. A wet or dirty diaper is not a comfortable feeling for your child. This is one of the easiest issues to address with your child. Check and/or change your child’s diaper before putting him or her down to sleep.
Heat. There is a school of thought that says a baby needs to feel much like it did in the womb to be able to achieve complete comfort. This statement has a good deal of merit, but some parents may overdo it by wrapping a baby in a warm blanket while wearing an outfit. If the room is not a comfortable temperature your baby, much the same as you would in a hot room, will have a hard time getting to sleep. The point here is if you would not be able to get to sleep in that room fully dressed, with a blanket over you, do not expect your baby to be able to get to sleep either.
Teething. Teething pain can begin for a baby as early as 3 months of age and continue off and on all the way through age 2. Teething pain is very uncomfortable for a baby and unfortunately he cannot tell us what is hurting, all we know is that he will not go to sleep. Pay attention to teething symptoms with your baby. There are many products on the market that can relieve teething pain, but as always you will want to check with your pediatrician before using these over the counter medications.
Eating Too Much Or Too Little. Most parents understand that a baby that is hungry will be fussy and difficult to get to sleep. Not all new parents know just how often they should be feeding their newborn though. Newborns need to eat every 2-3 hours up until they are about 6 weeks old. After 6 weeks old the feeding times will stretch out to every 3 hours and after 4 months of age feeding will be about every 4 hours.
Try not to feed your baby too much. This is quite easy to do, although your baby will usually let you know in the most unattractive fashion if he or she has eaten too much.
Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER). This is much like heartburn that adults experience and can cause your baby’s sleep pattern to be thrown off. There are many symptoms of this condition that you can detect. Some symptoms include irritability after meals, excessive spitting up, and wheezing. If you have any concerns that your baby may be suffering from GER you should contact your pediatrician and have your baby checked over by the doctor.
Lack Of A Baby Sleep Pattern. Some new parents do not know that babies need to be trained to go to sleep. Babies will often try to fight off sleep much the same way that many adults do. If you set up baby sleep patterns and rituals your baby will soon learn that after the ritual ends it is time to sleep. Some of theses rituals might include going to sleep shortly after a bath, taking a nap after a meal, etc.
As you can see, understanding the causes of why your baby might be having trouble getting to sleep leads to some simple solutions. Your baby can have difficulty sleeping for any one of the reasons above, or for others not listed. It could be a combination of any of these symptoms that keep your baby from going to sleep when you feel it is time for him or her to get some rest.
Hopefully you can see that it is not poor parenting or a “poor tempered baby” that keeps your baby awake. It can often be as simple as needing a clean diaper for your baby to get that needed rest. As you being to recognize the different symptoms of problems keeping your baby awake, the easier it will be for you to find a solution to those symptoms.