Why Do Newborns Cry In Their Sleep

Recognize And Cope With Colic

Reasons Why Babies Cry Before Sleeping & Ways to Soothe Them

Colic is a general term used for babies who cry more than three hours a day for more than three days a week. A baby with colic will often cry inconsolably despite all attempts to comfort and soothe. The cause of colic, which affects one in five babies, is not clear. Some experts think that colic may be connected to the development of the infants intestinal system, related to acid reflux , or to food allergies.

Is My Baby Having A Nightmare

Some parents worry that their babies nighttime crying means theyre having a nightmare. Its a topic without a clear answer.

We dont know at what exact age nightmares or night terrors may start.

Some babies may begin developing night terrors, which are uncommon, as early as 18 months of age, though they are more likely to happen in older children. This kind of sleep disturbance differs from nightmares, which are common in children starting around age 2 to 4.

Night terrors take place during the deep sleep phase. Your baby may begin crying or even screaming suddenly if for some reason this stage is disrupted. Its likely more disturbing for you.

Your baby doesnt know theyre making such a commotion, and its not something theyll remember in the morning. The best thing you can do is just make sure your baby is safe.

How To Ensure Your Child Will Sleep Like A Baby

These suggested steps to take could help reduce the chances of your child having a nightmare or a night terror.

  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep.

Children need enough sleep, not only to help them grow fast but also to help reduce the number and intensity of restless nights because of nightmares.

As medically reviewed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine the following are the needed sleep each age level should get:

  • Infants four to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Toddlers one to two years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children three to five years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children six to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

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What Should I Do If My Baby Cries In Their Sleep

If your baby cries during the night, before picking them up to comfort them, try leaving them for a moment or two. See if they are able to drift back into more restful sleep on their own.

Your baby might just have a lot of brain development going on as they progress mentally. Strange as it sounds, these mental leaps can make your baby more unsettled for a while, and cause crying and sleep regression .

If the cry is more urgent and they seem unable to settle, they might be too hot or too cold. Or they might need a feed or have a cold and wet nappy.

As your baby grows youll be able to better pinpoint whats happening. But as with all parts of parenting, the learning curve is steep. Whatever it is, try to keep the disturbance to a minimum, and the atmosphere peaceful and calm. This way your baby will get used to the idea that night-time is for sleeping.

In most cases, occasional crying in their sleep is entirely normal and nothing to worry about. But if you are worried about persistent crying in longer bursts, remember you can contact your GP or health visitor.

Tips For Settling Your Baby

Baby crying in sleep: What
  • Once youve checked the basics theyre clean, dry, comfortable and fed consider if they just need to be close to you. Often, babies dont need anything ‘done’ for them, they just want to be held by the people they feel emotionally connected with.
  • Hold your baby close to you and gently pat, rock or sway. Use a soothing, reassuring voice to let them know youre there. Sometimes the only way youll be able to settle your baby is to hold them until they fall asleep. See your child health nurse if your baby always needs to be cuddled to sleep.
  • Take a walk outside and have a change of scenery this can help because its distracting.
  • Try holding them in different positions in your arms. Offer skin-to-skin contact if theyre still very young.
  • Offer a dummy if your baby has one.
  • Give your baby a warm bath and a massage afterwards. Be sensitive to your babys cues some babies love baths and others dislike being undressed.
  • Offer your baby a comforting breastfeed. If your baby is bottle feeding, they may need some extra milk.
  • If your baby is younger than 3 months, swaddle them with a light cotton or muslin wrap.
  • Put some music on, try humming, singing a song or reading to your baby. The sound of your voice may be enough to soothe them.
  • Hand them to another trusted adult. Have a break from the intensity of your babys crying.

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Sleeping Babies Often Cry Is That Normal

Parents may find it unsettling when their babies cry before bedtime or seem really sleepy, but they ought not to worry. This is because the sleep pattern of an infant differs from that of an adult.A baby spends most of the time in REM sleep, which is the sleep phase in which dreams occur. There may be twitching or fluttering of the eyelids during this time. It may also feel as if their breathing is irregular, they may whimper from time to time, and seem as if they are about to wake up.

When And How To Put Your Baby To Sleep

A lot of people may tell you that you should put your baby down to sleep when they are drowsy, but not fully asleep. This is a good goal, but it is not always possible. Many babies fall asleep while you are holding them, breastfeeding or bottle-feeding them.

You also might hear from advocates of the eat, play, sleep bedtime routine, in which babies feed, play for a short amount of time, and then go to sleep. But, this method can lead to unnecessary frustration for parents and dehydration and failure to thrive in babies.

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Very Real Reasons Why Your Baby Cries

Focus on these and stop worrying about the other stuff!

1. Your baby is crying because she is hungry. This is the first thing to check. Even if you fed your baby 30 minutes ago, she might just need a touch more to be satisfied.

2. He is uncomfortable. Today you dont need to worry about pokes from open safety pins, but do check if hes hot, cold or has a diaper rash. These are common reasons why newborns cry.

3. She has tummy pain. Some sensitive babies hate the normal peristalsistightening of the intestinesthat happens after eating. But, a little tummy massage or the5 Ss usually do the trick. BTW, no studies have proven any benefit from gripe water or burp drops.

4. He is over-excited or over-tired. Noise and commotion can overwhelm a baby. And, keeping your baby awake to make him extra tired so hell sleep longer at night usually BACKFIRES! Overtired babies cry more in the day, and wake more at night!

5. She wants to be held by you! In the womb, the little guy had non-stop cozy touch. Thats why fussy babies often calm as soon as they are held, carried in a sling, put skin-to-skin or swaddled snugly.

But, if you check everything and your baby is still upset, then there is

When To Consult A Paediatrician

Baby Crying in Sleep Reasons and Ways to Soothe

Usually there is no need to consult a paediatrician if your baby cries during sleep a couple of times. But, if you have tried every trick in the book and you still see your baby crying when asleep, you probably need to see a doctor to check if theres something wrong. Always remember an inconsolable baby even after doing everything above needs attention and you must try to find the cause or consult your Pediatrician. Your baby may just be teething or may have an illness, both of which will need a paediatricians advice.

Making sure to have a fixed routine and looking after the health of your child will definitely have a big impact on your baby getting a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep. Try to develop a bedtime routine for your child and keep any waking moments during the night time quiet and short, so that your baby quickly associates night with sleep.

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How To Calm Your Crying Baby

Once youve determined the cause of your babys crying, you can start taking the following steps to help calm your baby.

Soothe Your Baby

If you think your baby cries out in its sleep is because of a nightmare, try to comfort it by gently rubbing its back or chest and talking softly to the baby. Some parents find that giving their baby a pacifier can also help calm it. You can also try picking the baby up and rocking or feeding it until it falls back asleep.

Young babies are often overstimulated from interacting with others throughout the day. Try giving your baby a gentle massage before bedtime. You can also use a noise machine or white noise app to help soothe and lull it to sleep.

Ensure Your Baby Is Not Hungry

When parents hear their babys cries, the first thought that comes to mind is that its hungry. To most newbie parents, it can seem like their baby cries nonstop in sleep, and they often spend nights on high alert. Crying, however, is the last stage of hunger. If your baby is overly stressed due to prolonged hunger, it might be difficult to calm it down.

Some of the usual indications of a hungry baby include waving legs and hands, hands in its mouth, and moving its head from side to side.

Observe Your Babys Sleep Pattern

One way to keep track of the babys sleep habitseven when youre not in the roomis to add a baby monitor to your nursery. You might consider choosing one from some of the most popular baby monitors available on the market.

What Is Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma, is when a child’s brain is injured from physical abuse. Most cases happen when a parent or caregiver shakes a baby while angry or frustrated, often because the baby won’t stop crying. These injuries can cause permanent brain damage or death. No one should ever shake a baby for any reason.

Finding ways to ease a parent or caregiver’s stress when a baby is crying can help stop shaken baby syndrome.

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Crying Due To Teething Pain

When teeth buds begin emerging, babies may be very uncomfortable and theyll let you know it. Teething babies are noticeably fussier and will often whine due to the discomfort both day and night.If you suspect your baby may be working on a new tooth, you might notice more frequent mild crying or whimpering while sleeping. Ask your childs pediatrician what they recommend for discomfort associated with teething.

Unless youre concerned for their safety, its a good idea to wait and watch before intervening when your baby is crying in their sleep. When you respond too quickly, you may inadvertently wake your child all the way up or prevent them from falling back to sleep on their own.

Brief episodes of crying during sleep are developmentally appropriate and dont necessarily require help. So, the next time you discover your baby is crying with eyes closed, take a little step back and wait to see what happens next. Your baby may surprise you, and stop crying all on their own!

How To Calm A Crying Baby

10 Reasons For Baby Crying In Sleep And Tips To Soothe

Try some of the following ways to comfort your baby. Some may work better than others:

  • If you’re breastfeeding, let your baby suckle at your breast.
  • Having some gentle noise in the background may help distract your baby.
  • Some older babies like to use a bit of cloth or a blanket as a comforter.
  • Hold your baby or put them in a sling so they’re close to you. Move about gently, sway and dance, talk to them and sing.
  • Rock your baby backwards and forwards in the pram, or go out for a walk or a drive. Lots of babies like to sleep in cars. Even if they wake up again when you stop, at least you’ll have had a break.
  • Find something for them to listen to or look at. This could be music on the radio, a CD, a rattle, or a mobile above the cot.
  • Try stroking your baby’s back firmly and rhythmically, holding them against you or lying face downwards on your lap.
  • Undress your baby and massage them gently and firmly. Avoid using any oils or lotions until your baby’s at least a month old. Talk soothingly as you do it and keep the room warm enough. Some health centres and clinics run baby massage courses. For information, ask your midwife or health visitor.
  • Try a warm bath. This calms some babies instantly, but makes others cry even more.
  • Sometimes too much rocking and singing can keep your baby awake. You might find lying them down after a feed will help.
  • Ask your health visitor for advice.

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How To Soothe The Baby

When a baby briefly cries out in their sleep, they often settle on their own. Picking them up may wake them up, disrupting their sleep.

If the crying continues, try talking softly to the baby or rubbing their back or stomach. This can help shift them into a different stage of sleep and help them stop crying.

Breastfed babies who nurse in their sleep may find comfort from nursing. Caregivers should decide whether or not the baby is likely to awaken from nursing and assess whether they are willing to risk waking the baby.

It can also be helpful to simply observe the babys sleep pattern. Some babies let out a soft cry as they fall deeply into sleep, or immediately before waking. Identifying the babys typical sleep pattern can help caregivers assess the cause of crying.

Some babies might cry in their sleep when they are sick or teething, but pain that causes crying will usually wake the baby. Caregivers can talk to a pediatrician about how to ease the babys pain.

Although we do not yet know when nightmares start, a caregiver who thinks that they hear their baby having a nightmare can soothe them by talking calmly to them or rubbing their back. Babies who are still breastfed may also find comfort from nursing.

If a baby wakes up after having had a nightmare, comfort them and follow a soothing sleep ritual to get them back to sleep. Older babies and toddlers may need reassurance that the nightmare was not real.

What Are Some Of The Common Reasons For Crying

Sometimes it may be hard to know why your baby is crying. But its helpful to be able to rule out a few of the more common causes of crying and to understand why your baby is upset.

Consider whether your baby might be:

  • feeling uncomfortable try changing their nappy and checking theyre not too hot or cold
  • hungry, tired or have a tummy ache overtired babies often cry loudly when they need to sleep
  • in need of cuddles and reassurance
  • not feeling well sometimes crying is the only obvious sign that a baby is unwell

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Baby Crying At Night: Normal Or Cause For Concern

Its a well-known fact that babies wake up frequently at night. They fuss cry and wail for many reasons and sometimes for no reason at all. Every baby is an individual and there may be many factors that cause your baby to cry at night.

Hunger is one of the primary reasons for a baby crying at night. A newborn grows rapidly and has a small stomach which means that parents should expect to be awakened several times a night to feed their baby.

Babies are doing a lot of growing and developing in a short amount of time which means they need time to rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation a newborn needs 14 to 17 hours of sleep in a day. As the baby develops his or her sleep habits change requiring less sleep as they grow and staying asleep for longer stretches at a time.

It isnt reasonable to expect a baby to sleep through the night until theyre able to go without eating for at least six hours and that can mean theres a wide variation concerning when individual babies will begin sleeping through the night. However theres some hope. According to the National Sleep Foundation by 9 months of age 70 percent of babies will stay asleep all night.

Crying: Other reasons

When to speak to your pediatrician

If you need guidance on your baby crying at night call the babys pediatrician. He or she can assess the baby for conditions that may be contributing to your babys long nights awake and also provide helpful advice to get your baby his or her best sleep.

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