20 Reasons Your BabyWon’t Sleep

If your baby won’t sleep, you should remember that baby sleep is much different than adult sleep. Many of the things that drive us insane are developmentally normal behavior. An example of this fact is a newborn won’t sleep because he or she needs to feed often. Newborns tend to eat eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period and gradually transition to more extended periods of sleep.

Typically, you can expect your baby can’t sleep for more than four to five hours at a time until they reach the age of three months. However, when a baby is not sleeping, it can be caused by a variety of other items. This article will explain 20 common baby sleep problems and provide you with excellent solutions for the issue.

Sleep Problem #1: Not Drowsy

What It Looks Like

When a baby won’t sleep, he or she may not appreciate that the nighttime is the time for sleeping. If he or she does not, it can be an uphill battle to convince the baby to sleep.

A common baby sleep problem is a newborn can’t sleep because he or she hasn’t developed circadian rhythms. Most newborns do not develop these hormonally driven rhythms until they reach about three months old. However, if an older baby is not sleeping, it could be a lack of these hormonal rhythms, also.

Some babies take even longer to develop strong circadian rhythms. These rhythms are the internal clocks that sync with the 24-hour day and tell us when it is time to be awake and when to be asleep. When a newborn is not sleeping due to this issue, many people believe that they just have to wait it out.

When a baby is in the womb, his or her heartbeat and respiratory rates increase and decrease based on Mom’s schedule. These periods of increase and decrease are based on Mom’s level of activity and the melatonin. This hormone affects the baby’s internal clock. When the baby is born, the melatonin from the mother is removed, and the baby must produce it on his or her own.

Even though this issue is a developmental issue, you can lay the groundwork to help young infants to attune faster. A newborn won’t sleep properly until these rhythms are created. An older baby can’t sleep either unless the groundwork has been established.

What To Do About It

You can help your baby by following these few suggestions:

  • Expose your baby to daylight in the morning and early afternoon
  • Encourage your infant to wake up at the same time every morning
  • Increase your baby’s involvement in everyday activities
  • Avoid artificial light exposure

This last suggestion is a proven tactic to help babies who are not sleeping correctly. Blue light can block melatonin, a hormone produced by your brain to promote sleepiness. When your infant is exposed to a small amount of blue light, it can stop him or her from feeling drowsy or becoming sleepy for over an hour.

This same issue applies to adults as well. You can find a variety of articles about the effects of artificial lighting. It is possible to help everyone in your family sleep better by tackling blue light exposure. It may be worth trying this sleep solution first.

Sleep Problem #2: Hunger

What It Looks Like

A newborn’s need to eat counteracts the tactics you may have tried in the above step. This common baby sleep problem may be the most prevalent reasons a newborn is not sleeping at night.

A typically baby will follow this schedule for feeding:

  • Newborns eat every two to three hours or 8 to 12 times each day. The amount they eat will range from ½ ounce the first few days to 3 ounces by the end of the first month of life.
  • A two-month-old will need four to five ounces every three to four hours.
  • A four-month-old will eat four to six ounces every three to four hours.
  • At six months old, a baby will enjoy eight ounces of formula every four to five hours.

A newborn can’t sleep when he or she is hungry, so at first, no solution may be available for this sleep issue. Young babies have to be feed frequently to grow and thrive, and a baby can’t sleep if they need this nutrient every few hours. However, the following techniques may improve your ability to sleep even though the baby is not sleeping through the night.

What To Do About It

When a newborn won’t sleep due to hunger pains, you can help increase the amount of sleep by dream feeding. This technique suggests you feed your baby a big meal right before you plan to go to sleep. This meal will help your baby feel full to allow you to sleep longer.

If a baby won’t sleep for more extended periods of time, you can try to add a brief delay before feeding the baby when he or she wakes in the middle of the night. For example, you can change the baby’s diaper or talk soothingly to him or her before picking him or her up for the feeding.

This technique will help eliminate the baby’s association with night waking and feeding. Because of a baby’s need to feed during the night, almost all infants develop this association. When a newborn comes home from the hospital, you should always feed on command to ensure the baby thrives.

However, as the baby gets older, you can begin to try these strategies to help you sleep better for more extended periods. As long as your baby is getting the appropriate amount of food and fluids and your pediatrician approves, these techniques can only help to improve your sleep patterns.

Sleep Problem #3: Bedtime Too Exciting

What It Looks Like

When a newborn is not sleeping, you probably just want to play and cuddle. As he or she gets older and the baby is not sleeping, you may want to encourage developmental steps including making sounds, holding the head up, etc.

These practices are excellent for a developing baby. However, when a baby won’t sleep, research supports that some parents make bedtime too active. This common baby sleep problem gets the baby excited right before bed, making it harder for the baby to fall asleep.

The baby’s sympathetic nervous system is animated by rambunctious play and energetic talk, which means the baby can’t sleep. As a parent, you may enjoy cuddling with your baby while watching TV or playing on a touch screen.

However, a survey of over 700 parents revealed that a newborn who was exposed to these types of devices took longer to fall asleep at bedtime. This research also suggested that a newborn won’t sleep unless he or she experiences a quiet time before bed.

What To Do About It

When a newborn can’t sleep due to over-excitement before bedtime, the first step can be to establish a relaxing bedtime routine. This routine can include:

  • Limit screen time at least two to three hours before the desired time
  • Take a bath with lavender soap to help baby relax
  • Sing soothing songs or listen to white noise or other calming music
  • Cuddle with the baby for a while to help him or her feel secure
  • Feed the baby right before baby and change the diaper

Regular bedtime routines will be discussed further in Sleep Problem #4. Another important consideration for a baby who is too excited to sleep is to move the bedtime. If a baby sleeps from 2 in the afternoon until 4, he or she may not be ready for bed at 6:30 or 7:00.If you have other children in the house, you may want to establish an “in the bedroom time” every night. This time can be an hour or two before all the children should be in bed. During this time, your older children do not have to be in bed, but they do have to be in their rooms.

This strategy helps the baby realize everyone is settling down to sleep. It will also help the older children prepare their bodies for sleep. It can be a lifesaver for those parents who struggle with getting older kids to go to sleep.

Sleep Problem #4: Lack Of Routine

What It Looks Like

When a newborn is not sleeping, a common baby sleep problem is a lack of routine. Research suggests that babies who observe a regular bedtime with a routine sleep longer at night.

When a baby is not sleeping, a consistent bedtime routine may help the child fall asleep faster and reduce the times the baby can’t sleep after waking. This routine can be simple and includes such items as:

  • Bathing
  • Softly Singing
  • Dressing for bed
  • Bedtime story

After reading all 20 sleep problems, you will notice that regular routines are suggested a lot when a newborn can’t sleep. This strategy is recommended so often when a newborn won’t sleep because various studies have proven it to be effective.

What To Do About It

Some parents do not believe that regular bedtimes are necessary to avoid sleep trouble. However, the cross-cultural studies associated with sleep issues in babies support another opinion. You will find bedtime for babies is different around the world.

Some mothers or dads have a fluid bedtime while others have an irregular time. Bedtime can be full of fanfare or nothing when a baby won’t sleep. The research suggests that most bedtimes are irregular and without any fanfare. Everyone will have an opinion about set bedtimes etc.

Some information you should consider is that irregular bedtimes can create random morning wake-up times. When a baby wakes up at different times in the morning, it can disrupt a new circadian rhythm. This disruption can cause the baby to mixed up days and nights.

Another item to consider is that when a baby sleeps less at night, he or she must sleep more during the day to make up for the missed sleep. Babies typically take short naps during the day. However, if your baby’s naps are disrupted during the day, it may make him or her overtired, which will cause more sleep issues.

A routine can help eliminate these two issues quickly. Setting a bedtime routine as a family will help increase the amount of sleep everyone in the house gets. This change will help everyone feel less tired during the day, so it may be worth to try a set routine.

Sleep Problem #5: Wrong Bedtime

What It Looks Like

When a baby won’t sleep and you are tired, it is normal to try to force bedtime. Sometimes a parent can overestimate the sleep requirements of a baby.

These two issues can lead to a common baby sleep problem. At first, the baby resists bedtime, making it impossible for him or her to sleep. A newborn won’t sleep if you are trying to force him or her to bed. Another issue happens over time, which is the baby may associate bedtime with the failure to sleep.

This association happens when a baby is not sleeping and develops a resistance to sleep or insomnia. The other side of this issue is when parents try to make the baby stay awake too long. A baby can’t sleep if he or she is irritable due to lack of sleep.

A newborn is not sleeping and is very active and energetic. This situation makes it easy to keep the baby awake too long because it can be confusing when a newborn can’t sleep and active.

This activity makes you think the baby is not yet ready for sleep. However, the baby may be overtired, which means instead of being alert because he or she is well-rested, he or she is actually active because his or her stress response system is in high gear.

What To Do About It

The first step in solving this issue is to determine if the baby is overtired. You can look for the following signs to help you decide whether he or she is over-tired or not:

Lack of interest in people and the environment

  • Avoids stimulating objects
  • Pulling on ears or rubbing eyes
  • Yawning
  • Eyelids flutter
  • Clingy
  • More active as the night continues

This step is vital to understanding your baby’s needs. With this information, you can begin to decide if your baby’s bedtime is too early or too late. If you think the baby’s bedtime is too early, you may want to push it back.

However, you can help your child adjust to the time set by establishing positive routines around the set bedtime. You can also leave the room, so you are not continuing to stimulate the baby. Another technique is to use the ‘cry it out’ method.

If you determine the bedtime is too late, pick an earlier time to stop the baby from becoming overtired. Along with an earlier bedtime, you can also help your baby wind down by using low-key soothing bedtime rituals.

Sleep Problem #6: Intervening Too Quick

What It Looks Like

When a baby is asleep, he or she will sometimes cry out or make noises. These babies are still asleep or only half awake. Babies are sleep talkers, and when you intervene too quickly, then a baby won’t sleep.

This mistake is a common baby sleep problem for new parents because it is easy to misunderstand the difference between this fitful sleep and when the baby is not sleeping. When you touch or talk to your baby during this time, you are actually waking the child.

A baby can spontaneously resettle themselves sometimes during this fitful sleeping pattern. A study was conducted, which showed that some babies waking in the night would go back to sleep quietly while others fussed for a short time and then went back to sleep.

However, when a parent talked or touched the baby, all of he or she awoke. These same parents said that their newborn is not sleeping through the night when asked.

What To Do About It

Most parents believe they are proactive by intervening quickly. They think that responding rapidly will help the baby go back to sleep fast. You may feel that your newborn can’t sleep or your newborn won’t sleep.

However, you may be interfering with a tired baby or awakening a sleeping baby. This issue can be easily fixed by following these steps before intervening:

  • First, you should allow your baby a minute or two to settle back down before taking any action. You will know after a minute if the baby can’t sleep or not.
  • After one minute, you can walk closer to the crib, but don’t talk or touch the baby.
  • If the baby is not screaming but just moving and crying out, you should continue not to speak or affect the baby.
  • If the crying is increasing, you can now gently pat the baby’s back of talk soothingly, but try not to pick the baby up unless it is feeding time.

You can avoid becoming the cause of your infant’s sleep problems with these steps. Another technique used by some experts is to allow the baby to ‘cry it out.’ However, this technique is not always as effective as the above-listed steps.

Sleep Problem #7: Wake Up Time Too Interesting

What It Looks Like

When a baby won’t sleep, sometimes it causes you to have the same issue. Your newborn is not sleeping, and you are not sleeping, so why not entertain you both with some bonding time.

This statement may sound fantastic at first, but it may make it where your newborn won’t sleep because he or she is having too much fun. Too much stimulation at bedtime makes it where a baby can’t sleep, but another common baby sleep problem is too much stimulation after waking during the night.

Some people do not realize that babies are born knowing how to be a social being. They know how to:

  • Identify loved one’s voice
  • Detect the differences in people’s faces
  • Communicate with you and others
  • Understand your displeasure and other feelings

Recognize their native language when spokenWhen a baby is not sleeping, he or she can easily be stimulated by your voice or other ways of communication because he or she is equipped to be a social creature. When a newborn can’t sleep, you should be sure not to make wake-ups too exciting.

What To Do About It

You can solve this issue by not engaging the baby in conversation or play. This one step will help to ensure your baby goes back to sleep quickly. Sometimes, your baby has a variety of nighttime needs.

When taking care of these needs, you should do it quietly and efficiently. Another technique is to do these things in the dark so you can avoid artificial lighting, especially blue light. If your baby does not go back to sleep, you should never engage in play or create a loud atmosphere.

Instead, you can try playing soft music or white noise to help lure the baby back to sleep. You can use reassuring quiet words or gentle kiss but try to avoid loud, exciting voices. Some mothers recommend swaddling the baby to help him or her ease back into sleep.

The most important piece of advice is not to play with your baby during the wake ups at night because it can cause the baby to want to wake up during the night.

Sleep Problem #8: Inconsistent

What It Looks Like

When a baby won’t sleep, you become tired and maybe frustrated. It is easy to begin to go through the motions when you have no energy because your newborn is not sleeping. This rote way of creating a bedtime routine can cause sleep problems for your child.

This tired mind issue can also make you get off-track quickly from a bedtime routine. When a baby can’t sleep, you may use overly-stimulating soothing techniques on certain nights. Other times when your baby is not sleeping, you may believe nothing is working and use a ‘cry it out’ method.

This changing of techniques is human nature and happens to almost every new mom when a newborn won’t sleep. However, these inconsistencies can be confusing for your baby, which then turns into a common baby sleep problem. When a newborn can’t sleep, this confusion can even make sleep problems worse.

What To Do About It

You can avoid this simple mistake by creating a single, consistent approach to the baby’s sleep problems. This plan can be written down so the tired mind can easily follow it. The first step is to determine a sleep pattern for your newborn.

Each baby has a sleep pattern during the different developmental stages:

  • 0-3 months- short bouts of sleep with lots of movement- total average of sleep is 13 to 16 hours a day
  • 3-4 months- extended periods of sleep (five hours or more)-total sleep average is 12 to 16 hours
  • 5-6 months- sleeps without interruption for five to 10 hours a night- total sleep average is still 12 to 16 hours
  • 7-12 months- some infants are still not sleeping longer than five hours a night- the standard is still 12 to 16 hours each day

These sleep patterns can help you decide which approach is best for you, but remember that a variety of outside factories affect these patterns. When you plan a sleep approach for your baby, it also has psychological benefits for you.

This plan will stop the inconsistencies and remove the feelings of frustration, despair, and guilt parents sometimes feel when a baby won’t sleep. Your sense of competence and confidence will be boosted when the plan works.

Sleep Problem #9: Napping Too Late

What It Looks Like

When trying to sleep, it becomes an automatic process which is out of your control. You are at the mercy of biological processes which cannot be completely controlled.

When a baby won’t sleep, these two biological processes may not be developed completely. The first process is called the circadian rhythm, which is also called the ‘body clock.’ This clock tells your baby when it is time to be awake and when it is time to be asleep. It takes time for this clock to develop. This common baby sleep problem is discussed in Sleep Problem #1.

The other process is known as Sleep Homeostasis or Sleep Pressure. Sleep pressure is your body’s natural physiological urge to sleep. This pressure increases the longer you are awake. So, when a baby can’t sleep at night, it should not be surprising.

A baby who has been awake for only a few hours after a long afternoon nap will have trouble falling asleep at night.

What To Do About It

If your newborn is not sleeping at night, an excellent first step is to try to extend the last waking period of your baby’s day. This statement means not to allow your baby to fall asleep in the afternoon.

When a baby is not sleeping at night, he or she will probably want to sleep during the day. This desire will make keeping him or her awake in the afternoon difficult. Using this technique, when a newborn can’t sleep will require you to be patient because you cannot create the perfect schedule immediately.

This goal can be completed in small steps. For example, when a newborn won’t sleep, set the new nap time about 30 minutes before he or she would previously nap. Over a week or so, you can continue to make the last nap of the day earlier.

Another strategy to help to accomplish making a longer last waking time is to increase the length of the morning nap. You can do this by trying the following procedures:

  • Fill the baby’s belly before nap time
  • Establish a calming pre-nap routine
  • Ensure the nap space is nap-friendly
  • Create a consistent nap schedule

When other parents have lengthened the sleep pressure building time, they have reported that their babies needed less help getting settled and did not experience as many sleep problems.

Sleep Problem #10: Self-Soother

What It Looks Like

When a baby won’t sleep, a common baby sleep problem is the baby does not know how to self-soothe. If a newborn is not sleeping, sometimes you may tell yourself you have to wait until the baby is older.

However, science has proven that humans wake up at all ages during the night frequently. Most of the time, people do not remember these awakenings the following day. They have learned over the years how to self-soothe themselves back to sleep. So, hoping for elimination of night awakenings is probably not a realistic plan.

These same awakenings happen when a baby can’t sleep. However, when a baby is not sleeping, it is likely the baby has not learned to self-soothe. Some babies, when left alone, can resettle themselves without stress or waking others.

What To Do About It

Some experts advise you to avoid soothing a baby to sleep. Our natural tendency when a newborn can’t sleep is to feed, rock, hold him or her until asleep. However, research shows that babies who fall asleep in the arms of a parent are less likely to be a self-soother. These same parents also report more night wakings.

It sounds simple to withdraw from trying to put the baby to sleep. However, it is natural for a baby to cry and protest when you do not engage in this behavior. Some babies will experience separation anxiety if you are not present.

Some experts suggest that soothing a baby to sleep trains the child to associated sleep with this soothing. This association makes it almost impossible for the child to sleep without the soothing. These facts make it complicated when trying to create a self-soother.

When a newborn won’t sleep, you can avoid intervening too soon as discussed previously. However, you can try other steps to encourage self-soothing. These tips will help your baby become a self-soother without you having to withdraw:

  • Use a musical crib toy to soothe the baby
  • Be sure to be consistent at bedtime and follow the routine
  • Establish and maintain a calming night waking routine
  • Practice allowing the baby to fall asleep on his or her own
  • Wear a piece of clothing like a scarf during the day and then hang it near the baby while he or she is napping or at night

Sleep Problem #11: Resisting Back Sleeping

What It Looks Like

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) introduced a recommendation in 1992 that a baby can’t sleep on his or her tummy due to an increased risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Since the introduction of this recommendation, the rate of SIDS has dramatically reduced.

You probably know this fact, and you always put your baby on his or her back to sleep. However, your baby won’t sleep lying on his or her back. A newborn won’t sleep, or possibly a newborn can’t sleep while lying on his or her back may be a sign of a common baby sleep problem.

If your baby fusses or cannot settle when you put her or him down to sleep on the back, it can mean that the baby is feeling insecure. A baby feels more secure on his or her tummy. You may be frustrated with this situation, but do not worry. Your newborn is not sleeping on his or her back, but there are some strategies to help with this issue.

What To Do About It

When your baby is not sleeping on his or her back, the first step is to consult with your pediatrician. A doctor may want to check the baby for any physical explanations for being uncomfortable sleeping on the back. Some physical explanations for discomfort while the baby is lying his or her back include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Back pain
  • GERD
  • Muscle Strain
  • Constipation
  • Broken bones

However, it is unlikely that the issue is associated with a physical explanation. Most likely, the problem comes from the baby not feeling as secure on his or her back as he or she does on the tummy. If security is the issue, you may want to swaddle your baby. You can also try rocking the baby to sleep.

It would be best to try to skip the sleep positioner, because a consistent routine may have better results. It can be exasperating, but keep laying the baby on the back. Eventually, he or she will get used to this position and fall asleep.

Sleep Problem #12: Teething

What It Looks Like

When a baby can’t sleep, another common baby sleep problem is teething. When your baby shows any of the following signs, he or she may be teething:

  • Excessive Biting
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Irritability
  • Ear Pulling
  • Rash around the Mouth
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Baby is not Sleeping

A baby won’t sleep if the pain from teething is waking her or him. Some individuals believe that when a newborn is not sleeping, it cannot be teething pain because the baby is too young. This belief is wrong because teething related sleep issues can start at any age during the first year.

A newborn can’t sleep if his or her gums are being bothersome. Some infants get their first tooth at two to three months, which means a newborn won’t sleep. However, other babies do not get their first tooth until over the age of one. One of the ways to tell if teething is the issue is to look for other symptoms of teething.

These symptoms may not be present when the baby wakes at night, but look for them during the day to provide you with insight into the cause of the baby not sleeping.

What To Do About It

Once you are reasonably sure the issue is teething, you can take some steps in helping your baby. You should never ignore your baby; however, you can try avoiding picking him or her up when they wake in the middle of the night.

Instead of holding the baby, you can try to offer a teething ring. You can also sing a lullaby, play soothing music, provide white noise, or give gentle words and pats. This alternative to picking the baby up leaves room for him or her to settle down on his or her own.

If none of this suggestions work, you may try rubbing a cold, clean washcloth on your baby’s gums. The roughness of the washcloth may provide some relief from swollen or painful gums.

If your baby shows signs of severe pain from teething, you should contact your pediatrician. The doctor may recommend giving the baby some infant acetaminophen at bedtime to help him or her sleep better without pain.

Sleep Problem #13: GERD

What It Looks Like

Sometimes when a baby won’t sleep, it is caused by a medical condition. An example of a common baby sleep problem associated with a medical issue is GERD. GERD is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or Acid Reflux.

Almost all newborns and infants have experiences some amount of discomfort from GERD. However, a baby can’t sleep if he or she is experiencing severe acid reflux or pain. When a newborn is not sleeping, he or she may be having a reflux episode.

Some babies suffer acid reflux more than others, which may be the reason the baby is not sleeping. This fact is back by a variety of studies which monitored the esophageal acid levels in newborns. After a reflux episode, the newborn can’t sleep more often than at another time.

Acid reflux is not classified as a disease until it causes the following symptoms:

  • Refuses to feed
  • Blood in stool or vomit
  • Anemia or iron deficiency
  • Failure to thrive
  • Inflamed esophagus

When your baby exhibits the above symptoms, he or she may be experiencing GERD. However, if your baby is only showing some of these symptoms, he or she may be suffering from a less severe form of acid reflux referred to as GER.

What To Do About It

At first, this common sleep issue may seem scary. You must remember that acid reflux is normal in babies. If your newborn won’t sleep or shows other signs of the less severe GER, you can help by following some tips.

You should avoid acidic foods when breastfeeding or feeding your baby. After feeding your baby, you can place him or her in an upright position for about 20 minutes or so. These two tips can help reduce acid reflux and improve baby’s sleep at night.

It is vital to contact your doctor if you believe your baby has the more severe GERD. A physician has a variety of tests that can help diagnose this condition. These tests include endoscopies and esophageal pH tests.

If your baby does suffer from this more severe form of acid reflux, he or she may need specialized treatments such as medication therapy. These treatments help to prevent damage to the esophagus as well as prevent the baby from choking.

Sleep Problem #14: Allergy

What It Looks Like

A common baby sleep problem is allergies. Typically, a baby does not eat anything but formula or breastmilk. However, it is possible that a baby is not sleeping due to an allergy. This allergy is an intolerance to a particular protein found in milk.

It is estimated that 2% to 7% of infants suffer from this allergy. Formula-babies make up most of these numbers. However, if a mother drinks milk or consumes other dairy products, a breastfed baby can also develop a cows’ milk allergy.

If your newborn is not sleeping, look for these common symptoms of a milk allergy:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Other Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Rashes
  • Coughing
  • Runny Nose

A baby can’t sleep if he or she is affected by these issues. If he or she does have an allergy, the baby won’t sleep, may have more awakenings during the night, shorter periods of sleep, and a dramatic reduction in the total time of sleep.

What To Do About It

If your newborn can’t sleep, try removing all cow milk products from his or her diet. If you are breastfeeding, you should remove all milk products from your diet. You can purchase soy formula which does not contain cow milk products.

In one study, a group of experts investigated the reasons behind why a newborn won’t sleep comfortably. They found that the newborns with a cow milk allergy increased their total sleep time by 22% after removing all cow milk products from their diets.

Another more extensive study reinforced the results found in the first study. Before the allergy was identified, the babies slept for an average of 5.5 hours in a 24-hour period. After the removal of cow milk, these same babies average over 13 hours of sleep in a day.

It should be mentioned here that a cow milk allergy is different from a lactose intolerance even though the symptoms are similar. Lactose intolerance deals with the principle sugar in all milk, which would include goat, human, cow, etc.

It is rare for babies to suffer from lactose intolerance. Most of the time if a baby suffers from an intolerance, it is because he or she was premature, is malnourished, or had an infection in the small intestine. All of these issues are temporary, which makes the lactose intolerance typically brief also.

Sleep Problem #15: Sleep Disorder

What It Looks Like

A baby is not sleeping may be a sign of a sleep disorder. A common baby sleep problem is snoring with 20 to 25% of all babies having this issue. A few years ago, snoring was considered harmless. However, recent research may suggest it can be harmful.

Snoring in babies may be a sign that the child suffers from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. If your newborn is not sleeping and suffers from this syndrome, he or she may be experiencing a collapse or partial collapse of the upper airways.

This collapse of the upper airways means the baby can’t sleep and wakes up. Other symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome include:

  • Labored or irregular breathing
  • Snoring with pauses or gasps
  • Restless sleep
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Crankiness

If your newborn can’t sleep and shows all of the above symptoms, he or she may have the syndrome. However, you must remember that there are a lot of reasons why a baby won’t sleep besides this medical condition.

What To Do About It

The first step if your baby snores is to consult your doctor. This condition can be troublesome because your newborn won’t sleep. It can be harmful also because a severe case of sleep apnea will deprive the suffer of oxygen.

If a child is deprived of oxygen, it can lead to serious cognitive, development, and health problems later on. Another severe side effect of this condition is the increased risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) because the baby doesn’t awaken when they are experiencing breathing difficulties.

Your baby snoring does not mean it has obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or some other sleep disorders. A variety of other items can cause snoring. If your child is exposed to second-hand smoke, he or she is at significant risk of snoring.

You may be feeling a little worry about this sleep problem, but don’t panic. Your pediatrician can screen your baby and identify any sleep disorders. The thing to remember is these disorders are treatable, and the developmental effects can be reversed.

Sleep Problem #16: Passive

What It Looks Like

A baby won’t sleep when he or she is not tired or becomes too tired. So, a baby can’t sleep if he or she is too active or not active enough. Some newborns are naturally super active, while other newborns are more passive.

A common baby sleep problem is where a baby is not sleeping because he or she is naturally passive. If a child is delayed in gross motor skills, it may be the reason a newborn is not sleeping. A mellow newborn won’t sleep because he or she has not used enough energy at nap time to be ready for bed.

What To Do About It

If your newborn can’t sleep, you can wait until he or she shows signs of being tired before putting them to bed. These signs include:

  • pulls on ears
  • fist close
  • yawning
  • problems focusing
  • arm and legs movement is jerky
  • frowns
  • sucking on fingers

If your newborn never seems to be tired, you can also try to motivate more movement during the day. The baby can be kept active by taking him or her to the park or use vestibular stimulation. This type of stimulation gets the body moving and can include swinging or sliding or moving the arms.

Sometimes when a baby does not get as much activity as he or she requires, he or she can get aches in the muscles similar to restless leg syndrome. This pain can cause the baby to wake or stay awake, but you can eliminate this issue by ensuring enough muscle movement during the day.

You can tickle your babies toes to get the feet and legs moving. You can also help the arms and hands move by getting the baby to hold on to your finger and gently push the baby’s arm up and down.

A solution for this issue is to rub your baby’s legs and arms before laying them down for bed. You can use a warm bath, warm, dry towel, and massage as the perfect transition to bed. A tip for a relaxing bedtime routine is to try lavender because it has properties that ease stress and helps the body prep for sleep.

Sleep Problem #17: Loves To Play

What It Looks Like

This common baby sleep problem is almost the complete opposite of Problem #16. In this issue, the baby loves to play too much and craves interactions all night long.

This issue can cause frustration and hopelessness when you are tired and want to sleep while your baby won’t sleep because he or she wants to play. Your newborn is not sleeping, and you are worried. It is going to be okay because the baby may be just what experts call high needs.

This term is not a medical diagnosis; it is a term to describe the issue when a baby is not sleeping because of wanting attention. You can look for the following signs in your baby:<

  • Cry is urgent
  • Muscles seldom relax
  • Feed frequently
  • Unsatisfied
  • Can’t be put down
  • Baby can’t sleep

What To Do About It

When a newborn won’t sleep, it can be a sign they are overactive. However, many of the solutions already discussed can help in this situation. An established bedtime routine and massage can be an excellent way to help your baby relax enough to sleep.

A newborn can’t sleep unless you are consistent. You should try to never give in to the baby’s desire to play when it is bedtime. It is also essential to ensure every caregiver are on the same page. Your baby sweet smile and giggles may be hard to resist, but do not play with him or her. If you do play, you will be sending the message that if your baby is cute enough, you will play at night.

A newborn’s light perception can cause confusion between day and night. In this case, it is vital you act like it is night even if everyone else is wide awake. You can accomplish this act by leaving only a few lights on, speaking quietly, and only sing songs meant for bedtime.

At first, a high needs baby may make you feel desperate. However, if you are consistent, he or she will eventually get with your program. It is essential not to play with the baby at night regardless of how cute he or she is.

Sleep Problem #18: Rocker

What It Looks Like

When you first brought home your baby, you would tell your friends that my newborn is not sleeping. When a newborn won’t sleep, you are willing to try just about anything to help him or her fall asleep.

Many people probably suggested some type of rhythmic movement, including rocking to help your baby get to sleep. When a newborn can’t sleep, and you are tired, rocking can be a lifesaver because it works as a natural sleep aid.

Babies love to move, so just about any rhythmic movement will help when a baby is not sleeping. However, even though this movement is excellent in the first weeks and months after birth, it can turn into a headache later on. Every time the baby won’t sleep, you will be rocking the infant to sleep.

You have created a sleep association, which is a common baby sleep problem. The baby has associated rocking with sleeping, which makes him or her expect to rock every time. This association even applies when the baby wakes during the night. This practice can become exhausting.

Some individuals will take this information and will never rock their babies when the baby can’t sleep. Rocking has benefits such as bonding time and relaxation for both of you.

What To Do About It

The first solution is only to rock your baby until he or she is drowsy but awake. You can place the infant into the crib to fall asleep on his or her own. This process allows you to get the benefits while eliminating the sleep association.

It is okay if you already have created the sleep association because you can begin to transition from rocking asleep to falling asleep on his or her own. The baby must master two small skills. The first skill is allowing the baby to fall asleep somewhere besides your arms. The second skill is to fall asleep without rocking.

Some people use the cry it out method which allows the baby to learn to put him or herself asleep. However, you may be uncomfortable with this strategy. An excellent replace is to create a new sleep association. This process requires patience and consistency. You can gradually replace the rocking with white noise. You can follow these tips to help you accomplish this replacement:

  • Begin by playing white noise while you are rocking the baby for four to five nights in a row.
  • When the baby is tired, you can slowly begin to transition him or her from your arms to the crib.
  • If the baby starts crying, it is recommended not to immediately pick him or her up but instead use a reassuring, soothing voice.

Sleep Problem #19: Anywhere but Home Sleeper

What It Looks Like

Another common baby sleep problem is he or she will sleep in the car or at daycare, but the baby won’t sleep in his or her bed at naptime. At daycare, you know your baby sleeps every day from 12:00 until 2:00.

However, on the weekends at home, the baby is not sleeping during naptime. In fact, he or she may not even sleep but a few minutes. You are keeping to a routine, but the newborn won’t sleep. Another common baby sleep problem is the newborn sleeps during short car rides, but immediately wakes up when you arrive at home.

When the newborn is not sleeping after returning home, you can become frustrated or overtired. When a baby can’t sleep, he or she becomes cranky and overtired. Being irritable and overtired makes it even harder for the newborn to get to sleep.

What To Do About It

At first, you may think you are doing something wrong, but you are not. When a newborn can’t sleep, it can be a variety of reasons. At daycare, they have to handle a multitude of children, which requires them to stick to a rigid schedule such as:

  • 8:00 am Breakfast
  • 8:15 am Wash-up
  • 8:30 am Playtime
  • 8:45 am Bathroom Break
  • 9:00 am Story Time

At home, you do not need such a rigid schedule. Your baby wants to be with you, and he or she is inquisitive. If you know your child is getting enough sleep, you may be providing too much stimulation too close to nap time.

If you are running errands close to your infant’s nap time, he or she may fall asleep. Also, as previously mentioned, rhythmic movement is a natural sleep aid, so falling asleep in the car is natural.

You can allow the baby to finish the nap in the car seat. However, you must carefully monitor your newborn when sleeping somewhere other than a crib. The issue at nap time can be solved by ensuring a more relaxed atmosphere for at least an hour before putting the baby down to nap.

Sleep Problem #20: Sleep Regression

What It Looks Like

Sometimes a newborn won’t sleep well in the beginning, but then a routine happens. This routine is excellent for you because you can sleep when the baby sleeps. A newborn is not sleeping for seven to eight hours but still gives you some rest typically.

A newborn can’t sleep without feedings during the night, but will gradually sleep for longer periods. However, at about two to three months old, a normally sleepy baby may develop this common baby sleep problem.

A baby won’t sleep at this age because he or she is curious about life and life is too fun for sleep. This problem is referred to as sleep regression. It happens at two to three months but happens again between eight and twelve months.

However, you should remember that sleep regression can happen at any age. Life can become too fun at all stages. A baby can’t sleep when there is new stuff to play and people to engage. The world around this baby causes the baby is not sleeping issue.

What To Do About It

The best way to solve this issue to establish a routine. This routine can include:

  • Playtime
  • Song
  • Reading
  • Feeding
  • Bath
  • Soft Noise or Music
  • Cuddle Time

You can also be sure that the baby is getting enough sleep during the day but not too much sleep. An overtired baby can’t sleep or settle down to sleep. It is vital to remember during this time that sleep regression is only temporary. The baby must adjust to the new developmental abilities of being able to explore the new world, but once this adjustment is made, he or she will return to better sleeping patterns.At this time, you can also work to reduce the number of times the baby wakes up during the night for feedings. A variety of options for this reduction are available, and some have been explained in the above sections.

When a baby wakes, he or she may be ready to play again, but do not engage in play during the night. If you entertain the baby, he or she may think it’s time to play every night at the same time. This desire can quickly turn into an unwanted routine for you and your baby.