11 Reasons Why Your Baby Is Not Sleeping

There are two major activities babies do when they are born: eat and sleep. If any of these two are lacking, especially for the wrong reasons, the baby’s growth and general well-being is going to be affected. Here are some normal and abnormal reasons why babies find it difficult to sleep.

1. Daily activities: this can disrupt your baby’s sleeping behaviour. If the day was filled with activities and she is overtired, it will make her fussy at night. Being too tired sometimes leads to the increase in cortisol level, so the baby feels stressed.

2. Sleep disorders: Sleep Apnea, bed wetting, head banging and night terrors can affect your baby’s ability to fall asleep or sleep without frequent interruptions in the night.

3. Your state of mind: This can also affect your baby’s ability to settle in for the night. Parents’ moods are contagious as regards the baby. If you’re angry, sad or stressed, your baby’s going to get ‘infected’. It’s also believed that cortisol, the stress hormone could be transferred to your baby through your breast milk and thus, affect your baby.

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4. Baby’s Temperament: This is another determining factor. Babies that are emotionally sensitive will find it difficult to wind down when it’s time to sleep.

5. Unavoidable transitions: Things like moving houses, long distance journeys and even potty training can disrupt your baby’s ability to sleep well or long enough.

6. Stages of development: learning to sit, crawl, walk or talk are sleep influencers. Babies will want to stay awake ‘practicing’ their new found skills. So don’t be surprised if you wake up to find your baby standing up or engaging in some baby soliloquy.

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7. The teething period: is another natural sleep disruptor because of the uneasy feeling associated with the process. Your baby can start experiencing teething symptoms as early as 3 months and this can go on until they’re two and a half years old so be prepared for this.

8. Control patterns: This refers to comforting mechanisms applied to help babies settle down. It could be breastfeeding, shushing, pacifier or rocking to make them sleep or lure them back to sleep. These things could work negatively after some time when they become a habit. Baby will start waking up frequently just because they want to be comforted. It’s good to leave them to self-settle sometimes.

9. Underfeeding: Baby must get her appropriate nourishment that she didn’t get in the daytime. Of course, that means sleep will be foregone.

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10. Overfeeding: Don’t try to escape the above by overfeeding. If you do that, make sure baby gets to play away all the resulting energy. If not, she’ll be restless at night and if she’s stuck in her cot, there’s going to be some crying and yelling.

11. Environmental pollution: Bright or strobe light, loud or unsettling sounds including music, too hot or too cold temperatures and sharp or foul smell (fragrance, odour or aroma) could keep your baby from nodding off to dream land.

Some of these issues will pass with time while others will require an expert’s attention. If you’re worried about your baby’s sleeping behaviour, go see your doctor or the paediatrician. They’ll know what to do.



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