Why Does My Newborn Not Sleep At Night

How Much Should Newborns Sleep By Month

Why does my 3.5-month-old baby self-settle at night, but is unsettled for her naps?

Infants need a tremendous amount of rest because their tiny bodies are developing at a rapid pace. Their muscles and brains need fuel to sustain these changes, and that fuel includes rest.

When tots are first born, they’ll need about 16 hours of sleep per 24 hours period. It may seem like a lot however, if you’re already a parent, you probably know by now that these come in short bursts.

As your munchkin grows and ages, they’ll need less and less. Once they hit the three-month mark, they’ll need about 15 hours of sleep per day, and at one year, they should be sleeping somewhere around 11. Keep in mind that, this is merely a jumping-off point, as each child is incredibly unique and some need more or less sleep than others.

Find out more in this guide:Parent’s Guide to a Child’s Sleep

Your Baby Needs A Better Schedule Or Routine

Children thrive on routines, and babies are no different. They know it is time for bed or a nap based on their circadian rhythm and external clues.

Place your baby in a dark room. Change their diaper. Swaddle them, if they are still young enough to do so, and reassure them it is okay to rest.

Be compassionate yet firm in your tone and use the same verbiage every time and day, i.e. It is time for bed. Lie down. Go to sleep. Courtney Zentz a pediatric sleep expert, certified lactation counselor and the owner of Tiny Transitions in Philadelphia tells Healthline, napping your child at the same time every day, and in the same way, sends them a signal that sleep is coming.

Why Is My Newborn Awake All Night And Sleeping All Day

Is your baby up all night? Don’t worry, it’s completely normal. Here’s how to deal with your newborn’s sleep patterns.

By Tara-Michelle ZiniukMay 1, 2018

Dacia Carney vividly remembers driving her newborn son Evan around the quiet streets of her neighbourhood in the wee hours, trying to get him to sleep. Evan had his days and nights mixed up, snoozing for stretches during the day, but wide-eyed and ready for fun at night. The Calgary mom was exhausted from her newborns sleep patterns.

According to Burlington, Ont., paediatric sleep consultant Alanna McGinn, day-night confusion happens because newborns have yet to develop their internal rhythms. These clocks drive our circadian rhythms and create an internal timing mechanism that makes us more awake during the day and more tired at night, she explains. Parents tend to have unrealistic expectations that a newborn baby can adjust to their new world too quickly, after spending nine months in relative darkness. Theyre just not developmentally ready.

In fact, Leigh Anne Newhook, a paediatrician in St. Johns, Nfld., says that for the first six to eight weeks, many, even most, newborns have their days and nights mixed up. Around-the-clock feedings also play a big role in this, since little ones have a high biological need to eat, and their tiny tummies empty quickly. Newhook adds that a new moms oxytocin and prolactin levels are elevated at night, which means she produces more milk, encouraging babies to feed frequently.

Also Check: How To Bathe A Newborn Boy

Newborn Sleep: A Discussion With Elizabeth Pantley

What is the number one issue among parents of babies? Sleep!

We wanted to talk to someone who has spent many years helping parents with infant sleep issues, so we interviewed Elizabeth Pantley, who has written the No-Cry Sleep Solution series of books. Her new book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns, was released in October 2016.

Why Is My Newborn Not Sleeping

How To Get My Baby To Sleep At Night

When I had my first child I read ZERO parenting books. Not one. I read ten zillion pregnancy books, but it didnt even occur to me to question what I would actually do with this baby once I had it. I have no idea what I expected to happen babies were easy werent they?! Everyone I talked to seemed to say that babies just ate and slept, ALL THE TIME. I could cope with that. Sounded like my husband actually.

And then I had my eldest. Fine. First few weeks we actually had to tickle her feet to keep her awake long enough to feed. Fine. Everyone said I was lucky I had such a good baby who never cried and just slept. Fine..

Week four.

SCREAMING BABY. For 5 hours in a row. And yep, that meant she hadnt been asleep for 5 looong hours. I hadnt had a shower, I hadnt had much to eat, I was home alone, with this super unhappy baby who was feeding fine but then just crying and unsettled and I had no idea why. Surely she would just fall asleep when she was tired? So she mustnt be tired. I instantly regretted bypassing the parenting section at the book shop.

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Talk To Other Parents

There will be some new parents whose babies sleep through the night but if this is not you, dont worry. Although it may feel like it in the middle of night, youre not alone. Most parents will have reassuring stories to tell about sleepless nights. They may even have a few useful tips of their own that may help.

Reason : Chiropractic Adjustment

Many times babies are born fussy or have trouble feeding, sleeping, or with their digestion. If there is nothing medical causing the issues, parents will turn to a chiropractor for help. I have had great success adding my good friend and pediatric chiropractor to our team of baby care experts.

Now, chiropractic care is not for everybody. But if you can find a chiropractor who is well-trained and knowledgeable about infants, perhaps a minor adjustment can help a fussy baby feel better.

The theory behind chiropractic care for the newborn is that its easy for things to get shifted in their journey out the birth canal. Consider when you sleep with your neck or back at an odd angle and the pain and reduced range of motion you might feel the next morning.

A skilled chiropractor might be just the ticket to relieving some of your babys discomfort. Always discuss with your childs pediatrician before taking your babe in for any work.

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Signs Your Newborn Is Tired

Your baby may get tired after any activity – a feed, a nappy change, or when youve had a cuddle or playtime. Theyll likely get tired after theyve been awake for one to one and a half hours.

When theyre tired, your baby might:

  • clench or suck on their fists
  • have tense or jerky movements
  • arch backwards
  • have trouble focusing, or stare into space
  • startle easily.

Tips For Better Sleep

Baby Sleep Problems: 4 Month Old Waking at Night | CloudMom
  • Help your baby know that its nighttime by making sure that shades are drawn and lights stay low or off.
  • Establish a bedtime routine early! This can help to send your little one the message that its time for a good, long rest.
  • Encourage your baby to eat frequently during the day and especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. During growth spurts, itll be much easier for you if they cluster feed during the day not at 2 a.m.!
  • Expect changes.

Just when you think you think youve got it all figured out and your baby is following a sleep pattern, things may change.

Take a deep breath and remind yourself that its because different stages of growth and development require different patterns and amounts of sleep. Your calm attitude can go a long way in soothing your baby back to sleep youve got this.

Also Check: How To Get Newborn In A Routine

They Are Being Woken Up By Someone/thing In Their Sleep Environment

Studies show infants are less likely to sleep soundly through the night if they are room sharing. Ask your pediatrician when is the safest age for your child to sleep in their own room. Do not move your baby to their own room without discussing it in detail with your pediatrician first. Also, make sure their sleep environment is conducive to sleep.

Are There Any Signs Of Sleepiness In A Newborn That New Parents Often Miss Or Misinterpret

A very common mistake is to misread a babys signals and respond in just about the opposite way that your baby means for you to. A typical sign of tiredness is looking away and losing interest in people or toys. Many people interpret these tired actions to mean Im bored, or I need you to sing louder, or shake the rattle more, or bounce me more, or try harder to get me to smile, when what the baby is desperately trying to say is, I am tired and I need to sleep please help me to fall asleep! If you learn to speak your babys language you will enjoy the prize of clear communication and easier sleep.

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When Did Your Children Sleep Through The Night Regularly

You must figure out where your own problem lies. Is it in your baby’s routine, your management of it, or simply in the minds of others?

If you can honestly say you want to change your baby’s sleep habits because they are truly disruptive to you and your family, then you’re ready to make changes.

But if you feel coerced into changing your baby’s patterns because Great Grandma Beulah or your friend from playgroup says that’s the way it should be, it’s time for a long, hard think.

Certainly, if your little one is waking you up every hour or two, you don’t have to think long on the question, “Is this disruptive to me?” It obviously is. However, if your baby is waking up only once or twice a night, it’s important that you determine exactly how much this pattern is disturbing to you, and decide on a realistic goal. Be honest in assessing the situation’s effect on your life. Begin today by contemplating these questions:

  • Am I content with the way things are, or am I becoming resentful, angry, or frustrated?
  • Is my baby’s nighttime routine negatively affecting my marriage, job, or relationships with my other children?
  • Is my baby happy, healthy, and seemingly well-rested?
  • Am I happy, healthy, and well-rested?

Once you answer these questions, you will have a better understanding of not only what is happening with regard to your baby’s sleep, but also how motivated you are to make a change.

Three Realities About Sleep

3 reasons why my baby wasn
  • Sleep is a pillar of health, just like healthy eating and exercise.A number of areas in a childs development are linked to sleep, including thinking , interacting with others , growing , feeling emotions and healing . Sleep and health work in tandem, while the reverse is also true: being healthy promotes good sleep quality.

  • Sleep development is specific to each child, just like learning to walk. Sleep needs vary with age and arent the same for everyone. A baby does not have the same needs for naps and night sleep as an adult.

    We grow at the same speed, on average, but we dont all develop at exactly the same pace. Like walking, sleep develops at a different pace for each child. This period is called the sleep maturation stage. Sleep quality varies greatly until the age of two. Two studies that followed babies over time found that the time it takes to fall asleep decreases during the first six months of life, and that children wake less in the night during the second year of life.

    By six months of age, a child may experience variability in sleep. And up to age three, sleep varies from one child to the next. To create the winning conditions to positively influence a childs sleeping development, the important thing to consider is not their age, but where they are in their development.

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    Start Weaning The Night Feedings

    Once you get the okay from your doctor to stop night feedings, you should slowly start to reduce them. In many cases, feeding becomes a sleep association because you fed your baby every time they woke up. Just because thats no longer necessary, doesnt mean your baby wont want it anymore. Slowly wean them off the night feedings , feeding them less and not as frequently over a few days or a week to get them used to not feeding every time they wake.

    Your Baby Needs A Better Sleep Environment

    If your baby struggles to sleep during the day and at night, the problem may not be with them or your approach, it may be with their environment.

    Older children in particular need a quiet, dimly lit space. Draw the blinds and use blackout drapes, when possible. Consider a white noise machine, if/when appropriate, and keep babys room cool. It is also important you make sure they are dressed appropriately for sleep.

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    They May Not Need A Night Feeding Anymore

    Never cut night feedings without the express permission from your pediatrician. When infants keep night feedings for longer than necessary, they may be confused as to why some wake ups overnight are responded to with a feeding , and others are not. They may cry for extended periods looking for the same assistance to sleep as they had when they are fed.

    After 6 months of age, if you have sleep trained your child and they still struggle with night wakings or early morning waking, ask your pediatrician if it’s okay to stop all night feeds cold turkey. And ask if it’s okay to respond with whatever check-in method you used to train your child to fall asleep independently in the first place. If your child is given permission to go 12 hours overnight without eating and you are nursing, make sure you pump each night before your own bedtime in order to maintain your supply. Also, ask your own medical doctor if this pumping session will be sufficient to maintain your supply.

    Find Out More About Safe Sleeping

    Reasons Your Baby Is Waking At Night & How to Stop It

    If youre a first-time parent, you may be anxious about the best way for you and your baby to sleep safely. If youre not sleeping well, this can increase your anxiety levels.

    Find out more about safe sleep for babies. This may help give you peace of mind that youre doing the best you can to get a good nights sleep in the safest environment possible for you and your baby.

    The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a separate cot or moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months, even during the day.

    Some parents choose to share a bed with their babies. If you want to do this, try to follow the advice provided by The Lullaby Trust. Following this advice can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome , which is commonly known as cot death.

    Never sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby, this can increase the risk of SIDS by 50 times.

    Your health visitor will also be able to tell you more about safer sleeping.

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