Have you ever experienced being ready for your bedtime routine and then you feel your baby fighting sleep? Instead of dozing off, your baby starts crying loudly? It can totally get into your nerves and be frustrating, right?
Well, the thing is, many babies go through the phase of sleep fighting, and most parents have endured this phase at some point in their child's growth. At this point, the best idea for you to do is figure out what triggers your infant fighting sleep.
There are many reasons for your baby fighting sleep. Some of these include separation anxiety, overtiredness, and interrupted circadian rhythm, among others. Once you have noted the cause of the fuss, you can find ways to solve those sleeping issues, and your baby can finally fall asleep soundly throughout the night.
Why do babies fight sleep?
The only way you will be able to address your infant's sleeping problem is by knowing the reason why they are struggling to sleep. Babies could be fighting sleep because of the following reasons:
a) They are overtired
The most common reason for your baby fighting sleep is being overtired. Whenever one is exhausted, they tend to sleep longer and better. Infants, on the other hand, will fight sleep if they feel fatigue. They tend to become hyper, cranky, and loud. Babies can become too tired to fall asleep quickly, especially when they miss their sleep window.
b) The baby is not tired enough to fall asleep
Oppositely, your baby may be fighting sleep also if they are not tired enough. This shows that their sleep needs may change as they grow and develop. It would be because you have not involved them a lot during the day, or maybe they slept for long hours during the day.
c) The baby has separation anxiety
As a parent, you will not realize the separation anxiety in your infant until they hit 9 or 10 months. When separation anxiety strikes your baby, they start fighting sleep. Even if your baby was previously a good sleeper, they may begin fighting sleep since they are afraid to leave you. Most babies go through this developmental phase, and it is difficult to change it.
d) The baby is probably hungry
In their first few years, your baby is undergoing some serious growing. For your baby to develop well, they require a lot of nourishment. If you do not feed your baby correctly, they may start fighting sleep due to hunger. Ensure your baby is well-fed and burped before falling asleep. After all, even you as an adult would have a hard time sleeping with an empty stomach.
e) The baby is going through an illness
Sometimes, your baby is fighting sleep because of discomfort coming from an illness. Since being ill can be distracting, it doesn't only affect your baby's health, but it may also lead to your infant fighting sleep.
f) Environmental disruptions
Take a close look at the baby’s sleeping situation and note what the baby might be reacting to. Check whether their clothes may be too tight or something in their room is too stimulating, such as noise or too much brightness. The reason for your baby fighting sleep might be due to the environment she is exposed to or even the baby's clothes.
Will an overtired baby eventually sleep?
It can be tough to get an overtired baby to fall asleep. An overtired baby is an exhausted baby, which can be a reason for them to fight sleep. It is honestly one of the challenging parts of being a new parent to get an overtired infant to sleep.
However, an overtired baby can eventually go to sleep. You can help your baby go to sleep even when they feel overtired. However, the time it takes for your overtired infant to go to sleep will vary from several minutes to an hour.
You can help your overtired baby to get to sleep by:
- Rocking your baby gently
- Swaddling your baby
- Singing a lullaby by using a quiet voice and a slow-paced melody
- Cuddle your toddler until they sleep
These activities can assist you in getting your baby to sleep even when they feel drained. Note that it might take longer to get the baby to fall asleep than when they are not tired.
How will I know if my baby is overtired?
The most frustrating hurdle you will ever face as a parent is convincing an overtired baby to sleep. The more you attempt to soothe a tired baby, the more they will fight sleep. When your baby is overtired, their stress response system gets high. While it can be challenging to identify the signs of an overtired baby, some signs would make it easier for you. Some of these signs are:
- Your baby is less able to handle frustrations
- The baby has difficulties trying to fall asleep
- The baby keeps on yawning
- Too much crying
- The baby has catnaps instead of their regular naps
Does your baby need a new and comfortable cot mattress? Check out our recommended best baby cot mattresses now!
How do I get my baby to stop fighting sleep?
Sometimes your baby will need a little help to get some sleep. If your feel your baby fighting sleep, do not panic because there are things you can do to help them doze off. Sleep consistency is critical in your attempt to stop your baby from fighting sleep. You must stick to your plan to get the best results, and the baby's schedule will become easier with time. Your steps will depend on why your infant is fighting sleep.
Here are some of the solutions to settle your baby from fighting sleep:
1. Get to understand your baby's awake moments. This will assist you in knowing how long your baby can handle being awake.
2. Practice separation. Ensure that you train your baby for separation from you to prevent them from having separation anxiety. You can do this by going out of the room for a few seconds at a time until the baby starts doing well without you.
3. Your baby might be fighting sleep due to overstimulation due to congestion around the baby's sleeping area.
4. Make day time for playtime. When your baby is more active during the day, they will not fight and sleep better at night.
5. Develop and keep a soothing bedtime practice. These practices include taking a bath and cuddling with your baby to help them sleep.
6. Establish a nap and sleep schedule for your baby.
7. Ensure that you are feeding your baby appropriately since the infant may fight sleep due to hunger.
8. Create a conducive environment for the baby to sleep, like using black curtains.
9. Adjust your baby's sleeping and eating schedule to allow them to have less or more wake time.
10. Put down your baby awake so that they can soothe themselves to sleep. This will help them learn to get to sleep without you being there.
11. Attempt to respond to your babies sleeping challenges with calmness and patience.
12. Experiment with the bedtime of your baby.
13. Playing white noise will also help your baby from fighting sleep.
14. Create a cooler bedroom for your baby.
15. Avoid overheating. Too much heat in your baby’s bedroom causes discomfort, making the baby fight sleep.
16. Establish the sleep signs of your baby. Some of the sleeping signs you can identify to get your baby to sleep are yawning, rubbing her eyes, and ear pulling.
17. You can also hold your baby in your arms until they fall asleep.
18. If the baby is fighting sleep, you can use gentle rocking, rhythmic patting, talking, or singing softly to the baby before putting them in their baby cot.
19. You can resettle your baby’s sleeping schedule if they wake up after their sleep cycle.
20. Plan a longer afternoon nap, especially if your baby is dropping their early morning nap.
Your baby goes through different developmental stages, and at some point, the baby might start fighting sleep. Your infant will be unable to settle down and cannot even close their eyes. It can be frustrating as a parent, especially since you know how quality sleep is important for your baby.
You need patience, love, and working tips. With the tips shared above, your child should fall asleep soon. Try out as many options as possible and make sure the child is full, clean, and healthy. Sometimes the problem might be small or bigger than you understand.
If you’ve tried everything and the problem persists, talk to your child’s doctor to rule out health issues. The child might also be suffering from separation anxiety or being overtired.
With a baby fighting sleep, you might also be caught up in a cycle of less sleep. Therefore, as a parent, try as much as possible to understand your baby until you find the perfect solution to stop your baby fighting sleep.