Sleep Problems

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It is perfectly normal for all babies to go through periods of sleeplessness even after they have initially got into a good sleep pattern.  There are several reasons for this.

  • Baby is refusing to sleep:  

At 2 or 3 months, the baby is too excited by all the new discoveries and people he is seeing that he/she wants to stay awake. Enforcing a bedtime routine or even starting the sleep training may help solve the issue. If the baby is still a night owl, parents might have to respect the baby’s preferences and adjust routines and schedules based on this natural pattern.

  • Baby is witnessing some changes in his/her life: 

Any change or events or illness could threat the baby’s bedtime routine. These include: a cold or an ear infection or a stuffy nose and also emotional challenges like getting used to a new babysitter, traveling or even major milestones such as mastering crawling or learning to walk or separation anxiety. During these periods, it might be good to comfort the baby rather than trying to enforce the bedtime routine until the baby seems to having adjusted. In case of illness, the paediatrician should be consulted.

  • Baby is teething and waking up during the painful nights:

It is advised to soothe the baby’s pain by offering a teething ring or comforting words or pats. However, it is not recommended to pick up the baby, otherwise, he/she will expect this kind of care every night. If the pain is persistent, a paediatrician should be contacted and asked about applying a topical teething cream or giving the baby acetaminophen at bedtime.

  • Baby is napping less and having trouble to sleep at night:

If the baby’s sleep schedule is changing, he/she will be napping less. If that is the case the baby should be happy and sleeping good at night. In case the baby is napping less and fussing or having trouble to sleep at night, then the baby might be overtired and in need of some nap-time encouragement such an abbreviated bedtime routine.

  • If the baby is an early riser:

It might be good to try to keep the baby sleeping more by ensuring to dim the lights of his room, keeping noise out, trying to put the baby to sleep at different bedtimes, pushing the first nap forward, shortening daytime naps, and holding back breakfast time. If the baby is still an early bird, parents might have to respect the baby’s preferences and adjust routines and schedules based on this natural pattern.

Routine, and in particular a bedtime routine and a nap time routine is very important in establishing good sleep patterns.  If you are using a good routine and the baby is still waking up or not going to sleep, persevere and consider the above reasons, and you will find your baby will settle back into a good sleep pattern again.