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If there’s one thing a parent can relate to when chatting with another parent, it’s the lack of sleep they are getting. The reality is, parents are often sleep deprived with a baby in the house. But the good news is, there may be solutions to it that we have not yet discovered.
First, let’s get into the ‘why’. Do you know why babies tend to wake up or be more active at nights, even when they have been fed enough? If you don’t, today’s your lucky day! Here are several reasons why your baby loves staying up and what you could do to put them to sleep.
Why Your Baby Won’t Sleep And The Solutions
Reason 1: Separation Anxiety
“My baby keeps waking up or gets scared at night.”
Separation anxiety happens commonly in young children between the age of 6 months to 3 years old. However, you don’t have to worry about this situation as it is a normal part in a baby’s development. Separation anxiety can occur when your baby realises how dependent they are on the person who took care of them. They get more aware of the world around them, which can sometimes feel unpleasant and unsafe to them.
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You might feel stressed when your little one cries due to this, but the first step you have to take is to not feel guilty for leaving your baby. Instead, try to focus on helping your baby understand the situation and let them feel more secure. You may try to be separate from them for a short while, and gradually increase the duration.
During the separation, you should also try to leave something with them that makes them feel connected to you in order to help them to calm down. For instance, a blanket or toy you normally use or play with them. This sort of action can help them feel more calm and secure, making them feel like you are nearby.
Reason 2: Confused Between Day & Night
“My baby sleeps more during the daytime and is more awake at night.”
Can you believe that baby was born by not knowing it is day or night? It’s almost funny to think about as adults, but it’s true! When they are still in the tummy, they won’t know when it is morning or night, as they are unable to see through the world outside. This may continue for a while until you establish a certain routine for them based on the daylight and night time.
To help your child differentiate daytime and night time, you may try limiting their daytime naps and letting let them stay up more. When night comes, you can try to keep the room as dark and quiet as possible, so that they are able to understand that it is time for sleep!
Reason 3: Teething
“My baby cannot sleep at night AND during the day!”
Teething is a stage of baby development that is impossible to avoid. Most babies begin teething somewhere between 4 to 7 months of age, of course, some babies might start later. However, it can be stressful for both you and them, especially as they are struggling with pain from the tiny teeth breakthrough! A fussy teething baby may be harder to calm down, regardless of whether it is day or night.
To know how to calm your baby, first, you should identify if it is teething that is disrupting your baby’s sleep. A baby that drools excessively, loves to chew on something, or fussy could be signs of teething. There are several methods you can consider to solve this:
- As teething can cause sore and irritable gums which results in fussiness, you can provide your baby with a teether or teething ring to calm their irritated gum. You may also give your baby a cooling gum massage! Make sure to clean the teethers regularly and avoid sharp items for the baby to chew on as it can be risky or hurt your baby’s gum.
- Give your baby a cooling treatment as sore gum can be relieved by the cooling sensation. One way you could do it is by using a clean cloth and soaking it into the water before putting it into the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes. Once it’s cold, you can take it out and once it is at a more comfortable temperature, simply apply it to your baby’s gum!
- Try applying gentle pressure to their gum or simply rub it with your fingers (make sure your fingers are clean before sticking it into your baby’s mouth) to provide relief for the baby’s sore gum.
Reason 4: Overstimulation
“My baby is always very active at night and doesn’t want to sleep.”
You might have noticed that your baby becomes very excited after some visitors play with them, and most probably cannot fall asleep, even after an hour. This is because your baby is overstimulated by somebody playing with them, which might have messed up their daily sleeping routine.
To avoid this situation from happening, you should stick to your baby’s regular sleeping hours as the usual night routine every night. You might have to stop the playtime in about half an hour or more before bedtime. You should also try your best to keep your baby in a quiet area away from loud noises and bright light.
When a situation arises that you need to put your baby to sleep later than usual, you can always try encouraging them to feel sleepy by giving them a relaxing newborn massage. If your baby is prone to colic, you can try giving them the colic baby massage which focuses more on their abdomen to make sure they are fully comfortable before sleep. If you do not know how to do baby massage for colic, you can learn from our massage therapist or your family doctor for in-depth demonstration and knowledge.
Consistent schedule and calming tricks are most important to help your baby in getting longer and more comfortable sleep! They are also able to help babies fall asleep very quickly. Don’t give up if they don’t work at first. Simply give it a try a few more times and it might just work! All the best mama and papa!