Most of the time, illness, teething or developmental growth can disrupt the sleep routines of infants. However, persistent sleep problems need to be discussed and require expert solutions. Some babies, especially the elder ones, may find it hard to break the habit of feeding or swinging during bedtime.

Night wakings can have a variety of subtle causes, making them difficult to understand and modify. Another common newborn sleep issue is getting too much daytime sleep, and not enough daytime feeds. This can result in multiple nighttime feedings. Creating a flexible but predictable feeding schedule during the day can help your baby get more ounces when the sun comes up.

Facts every parent should know about infant sleep.

While adults can go to a state of sleep quickly, infants don't do so. Babies need to be parented to sleep and not just put to sleep. Learn to acknowledge and recognise the stages your baby sleeps in. Newborn babies have confusion with day and night, as their circadian rhythms are in a stage of developing within the first three months. It explains why some babies sleep all day and stay up all night. 
    Babies have shorter sleep cycles, taking a long time to get into deep sleep mode.
  • Babies learn and grow in their sleep. Over the first three months, their brain grows by 1% every day, which explains why they require 16-18 hours of sleep and feeding. 
  • Night wakings of your babies are biologically normal and required for growth as it is the best time for feeding, and digestion, as growth hormones are released. Sleep matures with time, so don't keep worrying, as your baby will sleep longer and develop self-soothing skills. 

Common sleep problems & solutions for newborn babies

1. Baby falling asleep only if we swing

Is it necessary to keep your baby moving to get her to sleep at night or for naps? Are you awkwardly lowering your baby into bed while she is still swinging or rocking? Like babies who need to nurse or bottle feed to sleep, your baby has a sleep association — with motion.

Action step: To help your baby leave this habit, gradually decrease the amount of swinging or motion over several months. You can substitute it with other methods, like humming, patting or making them sleep in your arms. As parents, you can take rounds and take care of the baby.  

2. Baby is inconsolable

As parents, you would try several methods to soothe the baby, try breastfeeding, humming, and patting to calm a baby who is upset. However, there may be problems when the baby is distressed or starts crying at night. And how can you soothe a baby who cries even without waking up? 

Action step: Sleep patterns are the primary culprits for babies crying while sleeping. Observe their sleep patterns, and try to implement methods to identify why they face nightmares or troubles while sleeping.

  • Please take note of the sound of their cry. A baby who wakes up in the middle of the night crying because they are wet, hungry, cold, or even sick will not fall asleep for a minute or two. Those cries will quickly escalate and serve as your cue to respond

3. Baby has a shorter sleep cycle

Babies can be restless sleepers, especially newborns. It can be due to the internal clocks, which can make them have irregular sleep routines. 

Action step: Newborns require regular feeding. Thus the new mommies should rest adequately and adapt to the baby's routine. Care and affection should be shown as this period are crucial for the baby and mom.

  • Get your baby outside for a daily dose of sunlight, as it helps their brains to identify when to sleep and awake. Create a flexible baby schedule to keep a bedtime target.

4. Naps are hard to come by

It is one of the common sleep problems among infants and babies. They can be fussy, crying over the whole night and not consolable easily. However, it would be best if you had a good nap routine. 

Action step: Improve nighttime sleep with the daytime schedule. Know when and how much your baby should be sleeping, and implement new methods to put them to sleep. Keep the room dark, have a gentle voice, and make the room silent and quiet for a quick, peaceful sleep for the baby. 

  • Consider incorporating a dream feed into your nighttime routine. Before bed, gently lift your baby out of bed and feed them while sleeping.

5. Nap times interfere with parents' schedules

During family events or holidays, the newborn babies and their sleep routines could disrupt your schedules and cause more fussiness. Babies sleep less as they grow older. If your baby seems content with her new schedule and sleeps well at night, celebrate this milestone and move on.

Action step: Fix proper schedules, and incorporate them effectively with your baby's sleep routine. If they can adapt to the schedule, it is a great opportunity. Research states that parents can implement a better schedule by introducing bedtime routines. Add some quiet music, or patting, whichever helps you to make them sleep soon.

6. Sleep schedules are unpredictable

    Are you uncertain about your infant's tiredness or hyperactiveness? It can disrupt sleep schedules, as they won't get a difference between daytime and night. Sleep regression is common for children under two years for several reasons: 
    • Appetite change
    • Increased fussiness
    • Multiple nights wakings

    Action step: Choose a consistent nap location and create the appropriate ambience. Ascertain that the room is dark, quiet, and not excessively hot or cold. The right sleepwear can assist the baby in settling faster. Notice sleep cues: 

    • Yawning 
    • Rubbing eyes
    • Fluttering eyes

    Observe these signals and set a routine for them to sleep appropriately. Start sleep training appropriately after a few months for a good sleep time

    7. Restless sleep due to late-night feedings

      Does your baby not sleep without nursing and rocking first and still gets up multiple times throughout the night due to late-night feedings? We've got you covered. 

      Action step: If you're willing to give sleep training a shot, it can be a good option for babies who wake up frequently throughout the night to feed. In either case, your child requires assistance learning to self-soothe so she can fall asleep independently.

      Tips for building a baby's bedtime routine: Here, we present some tips and action steps to follow while building your bedtime routine. According to research, a consistent bedtime routine can help your child sleep better, with fewer and shorter late-night wakeups. An added benefit? In those situations, parents' moods usually improve as well

      Let's get started

      • Avoid screen time. Time spent in front of the television would keep babies awake late at night. Researchers discovered that 13-month-old infants lost one minute of sleep per minute spent on a touchscreen device during the day.
      • According to experienced mothers, focus on breastfeeding as the babies feel the warmth and heartbeat of the mother during that process, making them more attached. 
      • Be consistent and stick to the bedtime routine of your babies, as it would alter or disrupt their sleep patterns.
      • Sing a song. As lullabies date to ancient times, they can help to relax and soothe babies with a beautiful rhythm. 
      • Focus on feeding. Feeding your baby before fifteen minutes can make them feel more sleepy, and it's easy to put them to rest soon. 
      • According to research, babies who get a rub-down before bedtime produce more of the hormone melatonin, which aids sleep.

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      Wrapping Up

      We hope the above-listed pointers gave valuable insights on how to deal with the common sleep problems of your infants. These can be implemented to ensure your baby sleeps well and has excellent development during the initial years of growth. Please let us know your queries; we will happily solve them in the comments section.


      1. Which is the common infant sleeping problems?  

      Waking up and crying several times during the night, irregular sleep routines, and restlessness due to late-night feedings can be some examples of infant sleeping problems. 

      2. What is the primary reason for lack of sleep in infants? 

      Illness, developmental changes, nap time, and environment determine the babies' sleep routine. However, waking up at night is biologically normal among infants, as they require feeding for growth and development. 

      3. What can I do to improve my newborn's sleep? 

      You can sing a lullaby, stick to the bedtime routine, and focus on the feeding intervals to improve the little one's sleep routines. 

      4. What affects a baby's sleep? 

      Several factors play a role in determining the baby's sleep. It includes health issues, screen time, food habits or feeding intervals that determine the sleeping patterns or schedules of the baby. 

      5. What are the things a baby should not sleep in? 

      Do not sleep with your baby in a carrier, sling, car seat, or stroller. Babies who sleep in these items are at risk of suffocation.

      January 06, 2023 — Aatish Mandot
      Tags: Baby Care