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Why Does My Baby Fight Sleep? All Questions Answered!

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Why Do Babies Fight Sleep

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How often have you been in a situation where your baby has been up for more hours than they should, fussing, rubbing their eyes, yawing, but, no matter what, they’d refuse to sleep? We can bet, we all have been there!

The baby fighting sleep isn’t a whole new concept and has been there for quite some time. While most parents would understand it as them not willing to sleep, which is true, but why? Why are they unable to settle down despite them being sleepy?

Let’s get this most asked question answered through this blog post, highlighting the reasons babies fight sleep and how can parents help them get the rest they need.

Why Do Babies Fight Sleep? The Causes!

Here are a few reasons that can help you understand why your baby is fighting sleep even though it’s past bedtime:

1) Baby is Overtired

When compared to you getting overtired while binge-watching your favorites, staying in one place, it isn’t the same case with babies.

Unlike us crashing anywhere, a baby has a window as a part of the bedtime routine during which they are primed to fall asleep. Nevertheless, if the window gets missed for any reason and your little one isn’t falling asleep, your baby will become overtired, mostly irritated, fuss, and it would be difficult to get your baby to sleep.

2) Isn't Tired Enough

Likewise, your baby also fights sleep when they are not tired enough. The reason is an isolated event, like a longer nap than usual, or a sign of the developing and growing, changing their sleep patterns.

3) Overstimulation

As you might be informed multiple times, it is true that one must avoid screens an hour before bed to have a faster and quality sleep. It’s mostly the same with the toddler too, but beyond screens. Overstimulation here could mean noisy toys, exciting play, loud music, etc, anything that can lead them to feel overwhelmed, causing them the inability to calm down for sleep.

4) Baby's Separation Anxiety

If your baby has always been your shadow and has wanted to be held all day long, then it is possible that they might be feeling some separation anxiety. This shows mostly during bedtime. This is often seen from anywhere between 8 to 18 months.

5) Circadian Rhythm

Circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that regulates the body, begins to develop in infants at around when they are 6 weeks old. When these circadian rhythms mature, they establish their own sleep schedule, around when they are 3 to 6 months old.

Having said that, of course, each baby is different. This means some babies may not establish their sleep schedule until after that.

6) Hunger

In the initial weeks or earlier years, post-birth, the little ones are doing some serious growing up, this demands plenty of nourishment. For which, while parenting, make sure to give your baby the appropriate number of feedings in a day, as per their age and need.

7) Ill Baby

The baby may fight sleep due to the discomfort caused by the illness that can affect their sleep cycle. As parents, make it a point to keep an eye open for symptoms of illnesses, such as colds and an ear infection.

Why Does My Baby Fight Sleep? Helping the Little One to Stop Fighting Sleep!

Here are a few tips that are useful when trying to make the baby fall asleep and help to create a positive sleep environment:

1) Be Aware of Baby’s Sleep Cues

To avoid the baby fighting sleep, watch closely for signs to know if your baby is tired and put the toddler to bed within minutes. These sleeping cues can involve eye rubbing, avoiding eye contact, yawning, fussing, or losing interest in play.

2) Establish a Soothing Bedtime Ritual

The ritual could involve anything that interests them and helps them soothe, such as, taking a bath, cuddling in their favorite chair, reading books, etc, to help them fall asleep. The key is to stay consistent and maintain the order around the same time each night.

3) Establish Day and Night Behaviors

Try to play and interact with your baby during the day and also expose them to lots of sunlight. Alternatively, make sure to be less active and more sedate before the infant’s bedtime.

4) Avoid Noises

An hour before bedtime, try to eliminate physical play, screens, and loud noises to encourage good and quality sleep.

5) Have a Sleep Schedule

Based on the baby’s lifestyle, create a nap and sleep schedule. When doing so, consider the overall sleep needs, ensuring proper day and night sleep.

6) Proper Feeds

Make it a point to ensure that your baby gets enough and the needed feeds within a 24-hour period. Newborns would feed on demand, that is, every 2 to 3 hours, while on the other hand, the time between feeds increases as the baby grows.

7) Conductive Sleep Space

Make sure that the baby’s sleep space is conducive to sleep. To make it so, try using white noise, blackout curtains, or other elements to encourage a restful environment for the baby.

To Conclude: Being Patient the Baby Fighting Sleep!

We understand that it could get challenging when the baby is restless, however, try to be patient and calm with the baby’s sleep challenges. Why? Babies feed off your emotions, so make sure to stay relaxed and keep the baby calm too.

Also know, the time you spend helping your baby sleep works as an investment in their development, growth, and happiness.

Why Do Babies Fight Sleep FAQs

1) How do I get my baby to stop fighting sleep?

Here are a few ways to help you stop fighting sleep:
  • Know that baby's sleeping cues
  • Avoid noisy toys
  • Practice sleeping separately
  • Be aware of your baby's sleep window
  • Make time to play during the day
  • 2) Why do overtired babies fight sleep?

    When a toddler is overtired, their stress response system increases, triggering a flood of adrenaline the (fight-or-flight agent), and cortisol (which helps to regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle) into their little bodies.

    3) Why do babies fight sleep?

    Here are a few reasons why babies fight sleep:
  • Baby is Overtired
  • Isn't Tired Enough
  • Overstimulation
  • Baby's Separation Anxiety
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Hunger
  • Ill Baby
  • To know more about these, check out the blog post above!

    Reviewed By :

    Nimrat Sidhu - Pediatration

    Nimrat Sidhu - Pediatration

    Dr. Nimrat S Sidhu is a practicing pediatrician for about 5 years now and holds an MD pediatrics degree. She was the topper of her batch, has always had a keen interest in her core medical field, and is specially trained for neonatal resuscitation.

    She has published multiple research papers on pediatrics and is interested in topics like Neonatal care, skincare, baby growth, vaccination, growth, and development.

    On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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