Read our eBook: Ssssssh…The Secret To Better Sleep For Your Baby and discover why your baby may not be sleeping at night, and how to tackle this with a good routine and the right sleep environment.
Why isn’t my baby sleeping?As every new parent knows, there may be many reasons why baby won’t sleep. It’s likely that baby will experience many sleep disruptions as they develop, but identifying common problems could help you establish a routine, and find ways to help baby sleep (and give you a much-needed rest too!)
Here are a few common reasons why your baby may not be sleeping, and how to tackle the problem so that you and baby can rest up.
Is the baby hungry?
This is the most common reason why baby may be wide awake, and a simple problem to solve. You can expect to feed newborns every two hours, but this can differ. Understandably, night feeds can take their toll so try increase feed sizes before bedtime. This will leave baby feeling fuller for longer, and less likely to wake again in a couple of hours.
Does the baby want to play?
If baby isn’t grizzly or unwell, they may just want a little attention! It may help to leave baby to play in their crib on their own – perhaps leave them with a spinning mobile to entertain them before they drift back off to sleep. Often, they’ll entertain themselves before going back to sleep.
Is the baby teething?
Teething can often leave baby feeling grizzly and irritable. Look out for signs of them feeding less, and sore red gums with a flushed face. This could be causing them some pain and stopping them from sleeping. Pick up a night time teething gel to cool and soothe their sore gums.
Is the baby too hot?
If baby is clammy and has a temperature of 37.5°C or higher, they may be too hot. Help lower baby’s temperature by removing any unnecessary layers, and check the ambient temperature of the room. Turn down the central heating if necessary, and dress baby in naturally thermo-regulating materials such as cotton and thin merino wool.
For more information on the best clothing for baby to sleep in, read our guide on what baby should wear to bed for a great night’s sleep.
Are baby’s hands and feet blotchy and blue? They may be too cold and unable to sleep. Make sure their hands and feet are covered in a full-length onesie with built-in mittens. And don’t forget to wrap them up in their very own wool baby sleeping bag too.
Is the baby feeling unwell?
Does baby have a temperature? If you think they may be unwell with a common cold or similar, you may help them get back to sleep by alleviating some of their symptoms. Some common illnesses can be treated with medication while other may just have to run their course. If you’re concerned, contact your GP for further advice.
Could it be nightmares?
As baby turns into a toddler it’s common to find that nightmares can disturb their sleep. If they wake up crying and distressed due to a nightmare, the best thing you can do is comfort them. All they’ll really need is their parents to soothe them back to sleep.
Checked everything off the list above, and still no sleep? If the baby is not responding to any of the above, it’s nothing to worry about. Lack of sleep is common in newborns, so if feeding and cuddles just won’t help, be as patient as you can. Establishing a routine may help baby sleep at night, so give it time.
For more advice on how to get baby to sleep, read our eBook: Sssssh…The Secret To Better Sleep For Your Baby. With further tips on getting baby to sleep, they’ll soon be sound asleep.