“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is great advice, but what if your baby just doesn’t want to sleep? As parents, we’ve experienced our share of sleepless nights with a newborn – and we know it’s not an easy stage to go through. The good news is that there’s likely nothing gravely wrong with your little one. Remember, they’re new to this too and have a lot to learn about this brave new world.
Most babies don't start sleeping through the night (that's about 6-8 hours) until they are about 3 months old or until they are a certain weight (often 12-13lbs). Most infants will not sleep through the night at 1 month of age as newborns will often require feeds throughout the night.
For others, sleeping through the night is a milestone that may take longer to achieve, depending on their feeding, comfort, and attachment needs1.
To help you both get more shuteye, we’re gathered up our top 5 reasons why some babies just refuse to catch some Zs.
- Your baby doesn’t know if it’s night or day
If your new baby is sleeping well during the day but prefers to party all night long, it’s possible they’ve reversed their days and nights. Some things you can do to teach your little one that night is for sleep: Take him or her outside during the day (the sun can help reset their internal clock), try and keep them awake longer during the day and, finally, consider swaddling at night (sometimes their arms wake them up). If you choose to swaddle your little one, make sure you use a safe swaddling technique that allows the airway to be clear and that there is enough room for the legs to move. Swaddling should be stopped once your baby shows signs of rolling over.
- She’s wired
Are your evenings filled with fun activities? Sometimes the things we consider relaxing can overstimulate baby – like dinner with friends or a game of peek-a-boo before bed. Maybe look for other ways to remind your baby that it’s time to wind down.
- They aren’t feeling well
It’s also possible that your little one is just plain uncomfortable. They might be experiencing acid reflux, they might be teething, have gas or be constipated. Is their nose running or are they coughing? He or she might be dealing with a cold or allergies – and we all know how difficult it can be to sleep with those symptoms. Consider checking in with your healthcare provider if you are concerned.
- Your baby needs you
Let’s face it, you’re an amazing parent and your baby knows it. Some moms and dads choose to keep a bassinet next to their bed, so their little tot can feel closer and cozier – at all hours of the night.
If after trying all of these tricks for several weeks, your baby is still having sleep issues, don’t hesitate to speak to your pediatrician at your next appointment. They might have some advice or insight that could help both you and your child get some much-needed rest.