Why Is My Newborn Not Sleeping At Night

Mixing Up Day And Night

Why is my 4 month-old baby NOT sleeping?

What it looks like: Your baby sleeps all day, but then stays up all night long .

How to solve it: Your newborns nocturnal ways should correct themselves as she adjusts to life on the outside, but there are a few things you can do to help baby differentiate between day and night, including limiting daytime naps to three hours, and making clear distinctions between day and night .

They Dont Know How To Sleep In It

Often, infants are used to falling asleep in moms arms while breastfeeding or with a bottle in their mouths. Or, theyre accustomed to being rocked to sleep and only placed in their bed when theyre already asleep.

While this behavior is okay during the first few months of a newborns life, these bedtime habits need to modified once your infant doesnt need to be fed every couple of hours. However, its not always easy. Put yourself in your babys trendy moccasins: if youre used to dozing off to warm snuggles, being laid down on a firm mattress without anyone to cuddle you is quite a transition!

Are You Too Quick To Intervene When You Think Your Baby Has Awakened

Babies sometimes make noisesand may even cry outwhen they are still asleep or only partially aroused. In other words, babies are sleep talkers.

So its easy for newbies to make a crucial mistake assuming that a baby is awake and signalling for attention when shes really just sleeping in a fitful, noisy way.

If you intervene under these conditions touch and talk to your baby you may be doing the very thing you most want to avoid: Waking up a sleeping infant!

Thats one reason to be cautious before interacting with your baby. And heres another:

Video recordings of sleeping infants reveal that babies as young as 5 weeks can spontaneously resettle themselves after waking up in the middle of the night .

During the study in question, babies sometimes went back to sleep quietly. In other cases, the infants cried or fussed briefly before going back to sleep on their own .

But either way, these babies fell back to sleep on their own, without coaching or marked distress. Thats the sort of thing you want to promote.

So intervening too soon can backfire. You think you are being proactive, responding quickly so your baby will be able to go back to sleep quickly. But instead you are awakening a sleeping baby, or interfering with a drowsy baby who was about to nod off. Ouch.

To avoid becoming the cause of infant sleep problems, dont jump in at the first signs of movement or noise.

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Is Irregular Timing Or A Lack Of Routine Is Making It Harder For Your Baby To Settle Down

Young children may sleep longer at night when they observe regular bedtimes .

Research also suggests that children fall asleep faster, and spend less time awake at night, when their parents implement a consistent bedtime routine at night like bathing, quietly dressing for bed, and reading a bedtime story .

So if youre struggling with infant sleep problems, its worth introducing a bedtime routine. Indeed, in one experimental study, parents improved infant sleep problems after introducing bedtime routines .

But are regular bedtimes really necessary to avoid sleep trouble?

Cross-cultural studies suggest otherwise. In many parts of the world bedtimes are fluid or irregular, and babies go to sleep without fanfare .

Indeed, its the norm among hunter-gatherer societies the peoples whose life-ways most closely resemble those of our ancestors. And hunter-gatherers are remarkable for their lack of sleep complaints .

Its evident, then, that there is more than one way to achieve healthy sleep patterns. But before you conclude that anything goes, keep in mind these crucial points.

First, irregular bedtimes can cause trouble if they lead to irregular morning wake-up times.

If you wake up at different times each morning, it can disrupt your circadian rhythms. Maybe thats why anthropologists have observed morning regularity among hunter-gatherers: They tend to get up at the same time each morning regardless of when they fell asleep the night before .

References: Infant Sleep Problems

Baby Sleep Problems

Adams LA and Rickert VI. 1989. Reducing bedtime tantrums: Comparison between positive bedtime routines and graduated extinction. Pediatrics 84: 756-761.

Anders TF. 1979. Night waking in infants during the first year of life. Pediatrics 63: 860-864.

Anders TF, Halpern LF, and Hua J. 1992. Sleeping through the night: A developmental perspective. Pediatrics 90: 554-560.

Anuntaseree W, Mo-suwan L, Vasiknanonte P, Kuasirikul S, Ma-a-lee A, Choprapawan C. 2008. Night waking in Thai infants at 3 months of age: association between parental practices and infant sleep. doi: 10.1007/s12519-017-0025-6.

Cheung CH, Bedford R, Saez De Urabain IR, Karmiloff-Smith A, Smith TJ. 2017. Daily touchscreen use in infants and toddlers is associated with reduced sleep and delayed sleep onset. Sci Rep. 13 7:46104.

Fauroux B. 2007. Whats new in paediatric sleep? Paediatr Respir Rev. 8:85-9.

Eckerberg B. 2004. Treatment of sleep problems in families with young children: effects of treatment on family well-being. Acta Paediatr. 93:126-34.

Ferber R. 1986. Sleepless child. In: C. Guilleminault , Sleep and its disorders in children. New York: Raven Press, pp. 1410163.

Ferber R. 2006. Solving your childs sleep problems: New, revised, and expanded edition. New York: Fireside.

Ferber SG, Laudon M, Kuint J, Weller A, Zisapel N. 2002. Massage therapy by mothers enhances the adjustment of circadian rhythms to the nocturnal period in full-term infants. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 23:410-5

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Your Newborn Doesn’t Feel Well

Unfortunately, the only means of communication before our kiddos learn to speak is crying. Due to their still-developing cognition, they aren’t able to articulate their precise needs, and sometimes we may not guess correctly.

If your munchkin is having trouble sleeping, it may be due to an illness. Running a fever, or colic can be common in little ones, and they aren’t always easy to spot. Make sure you check their temperature and look for symptoms if they’re sleeping irregularly.

Newborn Not Sleeping Let The Baby Sleep Site Help

Being the parent of a newborn is simultaneously the most difficult and the most wonderful thing on earth, isnt it? But all of us at The Baby Sleep Site® know first-hand how exhausting and overwhelming it can be to try and help your newborn sleep well. Yes, newborns are supposed to wake around the clock for feeds, but that doesnt mean you cant gently encourage better, deeper sleep from your baby. And we can help with that! Connect with a consultant today, and she will craft a newborn-focused Personalized Sleep Plan® specifically for your baby, that aligns with your unique situation and challenges, and with your parenting goals.

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An Itchy Baby Is Not A Happy Baby:

Does your sleeping newborn have a diaper rash? Is she experiencing skin rash all over her body due to any lotion or cream that you have recently applied? And this involves your perfume, cream and washing powder as well. Your baby might be allergic to a certain perfume or lotion that you use. Read our articles on diaper rash and skin rash for more information on how to eradicate these issues.

Sleep Myth : Babies Should Sleep Through The Night

Why Won’t My Baby Sleep At Night?

Many parents dream of nothing more than getting their baby to sleep through the night. Most babies have the capacity to make it 8 hours or more without a feeding when they are about 4 months and at least 16 pounds. If babies at this age and stage are still waking up in the middle of the night, the problem is usually not the waking upits the getting back to sleep.

Most babies wake up one or more times during the night. As adults, we usually just roll over and go back to sleep. Babies typically wake 2 to 4 times a night. But while some babies cry briefly and then soothe themselves back to sleep, others dont. They have not yet learned how to get themselves back to sleep, so they cry out for help.

The key is helping your baby learn how to get herself to sleep. Creating a soothing routine of lullabies, books, and rocking before bedtime is very important. Then put your baby down in her crib while shes still awake. This gives her the chance to learn what it feels like to fall asleep on her own.

If your child is over one year of age, consider offering him a lovey . Babies will often comfort themselves with these objects, which helps them fall asleep. You may also hear your baby singing or talking to herself before drifting off to sleep. These are all ways babies have of putting themselves to sleep.

Recommended Reading: How To Handle A Newborn

Newborn Not Sleeping Here Are 6 Reasons Why

by Emily DeJeuin Newborns Last Updated: April 11, 2020

Newborns are so cute, but newborn sleep can sometimes seem downright ugly! Ask any parent of a newborn, and he or she will likely tell you that long, deep, peaceful sleep is NOT on the list of things their family is enjoying.

And thats usually normal. Newborns arent supposed to sleep 8 hours straight at night their little bodies simply arent designed to work that way at first. But sometimes, newborn sleeplessness can seem excessive. What do you do if your newborn seems tired, but is crying and not sleeping?

We can help! If your newborn is not sleeping, keep reading for our top tips.

He’s Not Seeing The Light

Too tired to go for a walk with the baby before 3 p.m. — or too busy to open all the shades? Keeping your baby in the dark may be causing his crazy sleep schedule. “Infants who get more exposure to light during the day sleep better,” says Dr. Mindell.

Sleep solutions: The key is exposure to morning light. “It suppresses melatonin — a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle — so that it peaks at the right time,” says Dr. Mindell. Move your baby’s high chair or nursing pillow to the sunniest spot in the house and feed him there. A morning walk is a good idea too, even on a cloudy day, but if it’s not doable, turning on a bunch of lamps is a decent substitute. Remember to dim them an hour or two before bedtime, though. “You want your baby to associate light and activity with the day and darkness and inactivity with nighttime,” says Dr. Karp.

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What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome is a term used to describe the sudden and unexplained death of a healthy baby. This happens when the child is put down to sleep and found dead later without an obvious cause. SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies between the ages of 1 month and 1 year. The risk of SIDS is higher when a child is between 2 months and 6 months of ages. It is also more common in boys than girls.

Experts dont know why SIDS happens.

Its important to reduce the risk of SIDS by following certain guidelines. These guidelines include:

Ditch Unsustainable Sleep Aids


Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commissionat no extra cost to youif you make a purchase.

You and I still rely on sleep aids to fall asleep, from keeping the room dark to even sleeping with a fan on. Your baby also relies on sleep aids but, unlike you and me, the ones he uses are unsustainable. Theyre habits that he cant do for himself, which means he needs you to do it for him.

If the only thing that lets him fall asleep is you rocking him in your arms, then theres no way he can put himself to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night.

Cut sleep aids that require you to wake up in order to work, like pacifiers, swaddles, rocking, or feeding.

Instead, encourage your baby to soothe herself to sleep on his own, without your help. You can also encourage sleep aids that dont need you: darkening curtains , white noise, or even lullabies on repeat.

If youre struggling with putting your baby to sleep, you can teach him to self soothe and sleep on his own. Whether youve tried to teach him to self soothe in the past or are just now considering it, take a look at the 5 key mistakes to avoid. Download this amazing resource belowat no cost to you.

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It Has Negative Associations

Its easy to fall into this trap, but its not too late to make corrections. The negative associations happen when you use the crib as a timeout or a place to plop your child for a few minutes when you need five minutes of mommy time to go to the bathroom without a tiny human attached to your hip.

However, if the only thing your baby experiences in the crib is tears, then hes likely not going to relish the idea of being placed in there for sleep.

Find Out More: Why Does Your Baby Cry When Put Down to Sleep?

Where Should Our Newborn Sleep

Your newborn can sleep in a bassinet or a crib. This can be located in a parents room, a siblings room or in the newborns own room. Its important that you have your baby sleep in a safe place. Your baby should not sleep in your bed with you. This is dangerous because of the risk of suffocation, strangulation and sudden infant death syndrome .

You can bring the baby into your bed for feedings, but should return the baby to a crib as soon as you are done. Many experts recommend feeding your child while in a chair to avoid any injury that can happen while sleeping in a bed with the baby. Room-sharing with your baby is recommended, but not bed-sharing.

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How Can I Get My Baby To Sleep Longer Stretches At Night

Being able to reach your baby as soon as your baby starts to come out of a sleep cycle will help both you and your baby get more sleep at night.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies sleep in their parent’s room for at least the first six months of life, and ideally the first year of life. One of the reasons is that it facilitates easier breastfeeding, but also even if you’re not breastfeeding, it does make it easier to attend to your baby at night.

The sooner you can touch or soothe your baby from one sleep cycle to another, you both receive more sleep. The concept of “self-soothing” is not something your baby can learn early in life. This idea that we must teach babies to self-soothe is a social construct. It is not something that we teach babies to do.

The ability to soothe happens naturally through the patterns you give your baby by helping your baby. As your baby learns to trust and depend on you, your baby will begin to have the ability to grow into its independence and ability to soothe themselves through your modeling.

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