Medical Reasons Baby Won’t Sleep
We know. You are a hard-working mommy, and the time when your baby is sleeping should be a much-deserved relaxing break for you and a refreshing rest for your baby. Unfortunately, this is not always the case if your baby struggles with sleep issues. Today we are going to focus on common infant sleep problems and will inform you about the wonderful sleep training benefits for your little one. Sleep training benefits are numerous, but the most important one is ensuring restful sleep and optimal health for your little one.
First, let’s talk about common sleep problems in babies. There are several types of sleep disorders in babies, and the following list will describe each issue in detail so you have a starting off point to work towards improving your baby’s sleep and your own well-being. Then, we will move on to talk about why sleep training is good as well as discuss specific sleep training benefits.
Common medical reasons baby won’t sleep
Snoring is essentially the result of an airway becoming blocked while sleeping. This is a common issue in babies and adults and can be caused by several different issues including a deformed nose (interior or exterior), deformed septum, or deformed uvula. Other causes include poor muscle tone or blocked and stuffy nasal passages caused by a common cold or bacterial/viral infection. As always, set an appointment with your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing this particular issue.
Insomnia is characterized by sleep difficulties during the night as well as during the day (your baby may have difficulty napping as well as sleeping through the night). If these symptoms last for a month or longer, your baby may be diagnosed with insomnia. If is has been over 6 months, the condition is chronic. As always, set an appointment with your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing this particular issue.
Arousal disorders are very common in babies and children, and it is commonly referred to as slow wave sleep. The word arousal does not necessarily mean that your baby is waking up, but rather they are aroused from deep sleep. When this is happening, your baby may appear to be both sleeping and awake (a lot less scary than it sounds!). This can look like crying, moving around or flailing, and even appearing to be disoriented or confused. As always, set an appointment with your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing this particular issue.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes airways to collapse partially or even fully during sleep, resulting in the individual unknowingly waking up throughout the night. With sleep apnea, soft tissues in the airways tense up instead of relaxing, and end up blocking airways and disrupting sleep. Blocked airways cause oxygen levels in the body to drop, leading to a significant decease in general quality of life.
Even if you may not be able to notice your baby waking up with this condition, it can cause a significant decrease in general quality of life. It is important to note that if your baby is breathing loudly and snoring during sleep, you need to take them to the pediatrician immediately. Don’t panic, though, as there are many effective treatments.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central Sleep Apnea is a respiratory condition that is similar to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It causes your baby to wake repeatedly throughout the night, specifically because the brain does not signal the body to breathe. This is a condition that would require medical care and as always, set an appointment with your pediatrician if you suspect baby is experiencing this particular issue.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
Restless Legs Syndrome is a disorder characterized by involuntary motor movements. The cause is likely related to an imbalance of dopamine levels, and RLS has a strong genetic factor as well. This condition affects spinal cord motor reflexes (twitching or kicking of the legs, for example). As always, set an appointment with your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing this particular issue.
Nighttime Sleep Behaviors
Several different sleep behaviors can result in poor sleep. These can include nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, sleep talking, confusion, or even sleep paralysis. As always, set an appointment with your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing one of these issues.
benefits of Sleep Training
The information about the sleep conditions above is not meant to scare you, so don’t worry. There are treatments available for each of these conditions, and your baby will be okay. Luckily, if your baby is having sleep issues it is less likely that they have on of the above conditions, and more likely that their sleep routine and environment needs to be changed. Easy! The first step in learning how to sleep train your baby is determining what the sleep issue is by taking your child to the pediatrician to determine which, if any, medical treatment is necessary.
Next you need to study up and be consistent with your baby, and they will be sleeping through the night in no time. This may be difficult at first, as any transitions with your baby are, but sleep training will surely improve your baby’s sleep as well as your peace of mind.
So let’s get down to the root of this – what is sleep training, what are sleep training pros, and how is sleep training implemented? If you notice that your child struggles with any of the above issues, sleep training may be the perfect solution for you and your family. You may be asking yourself, why is sleep training good? What are sleep training pros? The answer is that sleep training is good for countless reasons, but the most important reason is so you your baby can get the most restful sleep possible to attain maximum health and wellness. Let’s start by discussing how to sleep train your baby and then move on to the sleep training pros!
Sleep Training Methods and Sleep Training Benefits, in a Nutshell
Sleep training is the process of developing a solid routine to help your baby fall asleep, stay asleep throughout the night, and maintain optimal health. It is recommended that you do not implement sleep training with a baby who is younger than 4 months old, as the outcome will be unpredictable. You will only be able to see sleep training benefits if your child is at least 4-6 months of age.
Preparing for Sleep Training Benefits
There are several different sleep training methods to try, but the most important are a consistent bedtime routine and a consistent bedtime that you stick to. As for napping and daytime schedules, it is recommended that you put your baby down for a nap at the same time each day, and do not change the number of naps (until your little one outgrows naps, of course!). This will ensure that you will soon be able to see the sleep training benefits of this system.
Although this may very emotionally difficult at first, the crying-it-out method has potential to be extremely beneficial for your baby as well as yourself. This involves putting a distance between your baby and yourself when it is time to sleep, even if your baby cries. First instinct will be to go into the room and soothe your baby, but in doing so you are disrupting their sleep and causing unnecessary codependency at bedtime.
The idea is that your baby will stop crying at bedtime once they learn it will not bring you into the room. As harsh as this method sounds, it is vitally important for your baby’s social and emotional growth. Your baby needs this time to be alone, just as you do! If this is a little too extreme for you, there is another sleep training method to consider, called Fading.
With the fading method, you would begin by sitting near your baby until he or she falls asleep, and then gradually move your chair farther away from the crib each night until you are no longer in the room. Always remember that checking in on your baby throughout the night is always an option, and will keep your mind at ease (just be careful to not disturb your little one in the process).
The pros of sleep training are endless. Even your baby will realize that sleep training is good, which will show through his or her sleeping through the night and waking a healthy, happy baby. If at any point you are having difficulty implementing sleep training with your baby, don’t hesitate to set an appointment with your pediatrician. Sleep training is good, and most pediatricians will tell you that sleep training is good as evidenced by the endless sleep training benefits obtained through these methods.