The advice expressed below is solely based on the authors own experiences and opinions. We recommend that you always seek the advice of your own or your child's Medical Provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your child's specific health.
When suddenly we don’t get enough sleep, we realize how important it is in our daily lives. Are you spending lots of nighttime hours on a baby who won’t sleep? It’s a challenge for parents when a baby won’t sleep – whether at night or during the day.
Find out more here about what to do when baby won’t sleep. We present advice to help you and baby find dreamland.
MY BABY WON’T SLEEP
My baby won’t sleep – is that you talking to friends, family, and colleagues? Sleep is essential for everyone, and no matter what our age, we need to rest. When our eyes close, we find new energy for all the adventures ahead. Good sleep is especially important for children as they digest the inputs of the day while in dreamland; that’s how they gather the energy to learn new motor and mental skills.
Therefore, it’s a challenge when baby won’t sleep, and it’s perfectly normal that you, as a parent, pay attention to the reason why. Sleep has a huge influence on the family’s daily life. When everyone is rested, the family has the energy for tackling the day.
HOW DO I GET MY CHILD TO SLEEP?
Requirements for sleep differ widely among children. Is your baby not sleeping? Generally, a newborn tends to sleep more than a baby of several months, and older children sleep less than infants, though for longer at a time.
Curious how you can help your infant get to sleep? There are some simple tips to help the child sleep at night. Getting baby to sleep is a matter of sticking to settled routines and making it enjoyable for baby to be put to bed. Many infants enjoy a warm bath, baby massage, and quiet singing before being put to bed, and older children often enjoy it when someone reads them a story.
Below we present additional advice on getting children to sleep.
TIPS ON GETTING BABY TO SLEEP
Regardless of the child’s age – newborn, infant, or older baby – the best strategy is to put the child to bed before he or she gets overtired. An overtired child will often cry and fuss and be unable to settle down.
Does baby stay awake? There’s no need to expect your child to fall asleep immediately upon being put to bed, and it’s perfectly alright for baby to be looking around for a bit before falling asleep. Is the child uncomfortable or whiny? You may lightly caress the child to let him or her know you are near, and small and gentle rocking movements may be helpful, too.
1. LOWER THE LIGHTS AND ANY SOUNDS/NOISE
Do you sleep with the light off? Most people turn off the light at bedtime, and that’s why you should do the same when it’s time for baby to sleep. Turn off most of the light when you put the baby down so that it’s not a dramatic change when the rest of the light is turned off.
At the same time, it’s a good idea to soften music, TV, loud conversations, and other noise if baby is restless. A calm environment will help baby calm down and fall asleep.
2. CHANGE THE DIAPER
It’s not always easy to get a newborn to sleep, and in the case of repeated waking, the reason may be that the diaper is wet. Do not put on a bright light while changing the diaper, and to the extent possible, avoid entertaining or playing with or talking to the child. That is a signal to your precious one that it’s time to sleep, not to play.
3. OFFER A BIT OF WATER
If the child keeps waking up, you may offer him or her a bit of water. That way, you may be sure he or she is not thirsty, and at the same time you show that meals are not served during the night. Nighttime needs to be uneventful if baby is to sleep.
WHEN BABY DOESN’T SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT
Is your baby not sleeping through the night? Most parents look forward to the day when the little one sleeps through the night. With a newborn or infant in the family, that day is somewhat off in the distance as feeding is required every two or three hours. With increasing age, your child will start sleeping through the night, giving you a chance to get several consecutive hours of sleep.
Though you may be following all the advice presented above, there is no guarantee that your child will fall asleep in the evening. Some children require only little sleep and do not start sleeping through the night until they are more than 1 year old. Do you have a non-sleeping child over 1 year of age? Ask your child’s health professional for advice if you need more guidance with respect to getting baby to sleep through the night.
BABY’S SLEEP NEEDS
Children differ in terms of their need for sleep, and if your baby doesn’t fall asleep right away upon being put down, there could be several reasons.
A newborn needs a lot of sleep, but infants often keep waking up because they are hungry. At about 4 months, baby typically sleeps more readily – the instances when he or she does not go to sleep are further apart – and at about 6 months, most parents find that the child sleeps 6 hours at a stretch without a problem.
A child 1 year of age and more typically sleeps between 10 and 12 hours a day, but older children may need less.
Thank you for being among our readers.
I’m Marie, mom to a little boy. And I’m the woman behind the Moonboon company making organic and sustainable baby accessories that respect people and the environment.
Have a look at our baby accessories here.
I want for my son to sleep in optimal conditions, and I want the same for your baby. That’s why I’m especially proud of our GOTS certified hammock and the specially designed motor that has helped me and many other parents sleep better at night.
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