The first few months of parenthood can be tough, especially if your little bundle of joy is not a good friend with sleep. You are stressed, tired and worried about a million things, and the only thing you want is a few hours of good sleep. The problem? Your baby does not seem to be on the same page!
It is not uncommon to hear about parents who struggle to put their baby to sleep. These tricks and explanations will help you understand why your child is not sleeping as much as you’d want him to, and what you can do to make things easier.
- Your baby is not eating enough, or he is eating too much. If your child is breastfed, things should be easy: feed him whenever he wants, as much as he wants. There is no overfeeding in breastfed babies. However, if your baby is on formula, you have to get the quantity right depending on his age. A pediatrician can help you with this, but never neglect your instinct, as babies are different and they have different needs!
- The temperature is too high. Many new parents tend to put too many clothes on the baby, thinking that he will be cold. Some even choose to put a thin hat on the baby’s head, even when they are staying inside. The result? The baby will swear, overheat, he will feel uncomfortable and not fall asleep easily. Even more, he can wake up after a short time and get back to crying; you would do the same if you would feel hot and sweaty! Keep your baby in thin clothes during sleeping; whatever is comfortable for you is comfortable for him.
- The baby is too tired. “We keep the baby awake during the day time, so he will be tired and sleep at night.” Many parents follow this rule, but it is entirely wrong.
The more tired the baby is, the more difficult it will be for him to fall asleep. For this reason, you have to make sure that he gets plenty of sleep during the day. Remember that in their first months of life, the baby should sleep for most of the day.
- It is too quiet. In the uterus, there is plenty of noise all the time, and the baby is used to this. That is why newborns fail to fall asleep in a quiet environment. White noise will help tremendously; you can use a hairdryer or vacuum cleaner to help your baby fall asleep.
- The baby does not feel safe. In the first months of life, the child is completely depending on the parents to survive. His instincts tell him to “keep them close” as much as he can, that is why he is crying whenever he feels alone.
Co-sleeping works very well for many parents, and they successfully get their baby to sleep most of the night without waking up. If you find your baby crying when you put him alone in the crib, you have to understand that it is a fundamental need for him to be with his parents. He is not trying to manipulate you; he is just not feeling safe!
Of course, there can be many other reasons why your baby is not sleeping, that is why you should check with your pediatrician first and rule out any medical cause.
The good news? While the baby is getting older, he will learn how to sleep alone through the night so that you will get some well-deserved sleep!