What Causes Bad Sleeping Habits in Babies?
For new parents, getting a full night's sleep can feel like a distant dream. It’s no secret that babies can be unpredictable, and their sleep cycles can be a cause of stress for parents. From sleep regressions to teething, there are many reasons why babies may have difficulty sleeping. Let’s explore some common sleep problems in babies under 12 months, discuss what causes these problems, and provide solutions to help your little one get the sleep that they need.
Sleep regressions happen when your baby suddenly stops sleeping well. These regressions typically occur around the four-month, eight-month, and 12-month mark. Your baby may start waking up multiple times at night or refuse to sleep altogether. The cause of sleep regressions is not fully understood, but experts believe it’s due to changes in a baby's developmental stages. Keeping their bedtime routine consistent and predictable will help you and your baby stay comfortable.
Sleep associations occur when your baby associates certain conditions with sleep. This could be a blanket, pacifier, or even your presence in the room. While these associations can be comforting to babies, they can also hinder good sleeping habits. If a baby has difficulty falling asleep, they will want all of the conditions that helped before. Teaching babies to self-soothe at an early age can improve sleeping habits and help them fall asleep on their own when they wake up in the middle of the night.
Too Much Stimulation
Too much stimulation before bedtime can cause babies to be more alert, making it difficult to fall asleep. This can be caused by loud music or bright lights, as well as being overstimulated by play or mobile devices before bedtime. Lower the lights and keep noise levels low. Avoid playing with them or any device an hour before bedtime. Reading or singing a lullaby at bedtime can help calm them down.
Tummy trouble can include issues with digestion, acid reflux, and colic. Baby will show signs of discomfort and have trouble falling or staying asleep. To help alleviate these problems, feed your babies while seated upright, holding them in that position for about 30 minutes after feeding. During bedtime, try using a wedge or raising the head of the crib slightly. This will help prevent acid reflux and other tummy issues.
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