There’s something magical about a baby’s sleep. From the baby’s activities the following day to your mood & stamina to sail through the wails, cries and nappy changes and just about everything- it can regulate all of these! Every new parent gets to accept the unwritten Law of Nature quite early – that parenting is inversely proportional to sleep. But even then if your little bundle of joy does manage to doze off, there are several things that affect your baby’s sleep (and ruin your night!). So here I am listing a few things that affect your baby’s sleep.
Things That Affect Your Baby’s Sleep
It goes without saying that hunger drives anyone cranky, the same holds true for babies. Keeping the baby fuller during the second half of the day helps here. Feeding the baby shortly before your own bedtime might just help you catch up on a little longer uninterrupted sleep.
Also read ” 8 Must-Have Baby Feeding Essentials “
2. Bedtime Routine
Human brains take the cue from the practice of following a routine very fast and it’s all the more powerful in babies. The secret to establishing a bedtime routine for your baby is the repetitive nature of your exact actions every night before bed.This may sound so simple that it goes without saying… but the key to a good routine is keeping the routine. Babies who experience consistent routines fall asleep faster. A suggestive night routine is Dinner- Goodnight wish- Massage- Bath- Story time- Night feed- Burp (along with a short walk around the room)- Place the baby in the crib.
Also read ” Simple Tips on Esstablishing Bedtime Routine for your Baby “
Babies generally have body temperature higher than adults. Also, infants are not able to regulate their body temperature very fast. While it’s a normal instinct to wrap the baby, the thumb rule is that the baby should be in one more layer than you would be in a room of the same temperature.
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4. Change in Place
Babies are sensitive to their surroundings. A change in room, sleeping habit (crib or co-sleeping) or going on vacation- these factors impact the baby’s sleep. Try & carry a bed-in-bag or portable crib for your little one when you are traveling. Also when you are out, catch up on your sleep along with the baby and plan your stay keeping in mind one extra night so that the baby gets time to settle.
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5. Change in Person
A new nanny or either of the parents not around affects the baby’s sleep. Babies get accustomed to a specific parent or person who puts the baby to sleep every night. As said earlier, any change in baby’s night time routine impacts the sleep pattern.
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6. Separation anxiety
This is most prominent if there is a sudden change in your own routine. A mother getting back to work and being away from the baby after being around all the time since the baby’s birth, would just add to anxiety levels and impact the sleep. After all, that’s the way the baby will make you make up for the time you had been away! So be prepared!
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7. Medical conditions
An unwell baby is clingy and would want to be in mom’s lap all through the night. Some of the most common troubles are cold, cough & congestion. It’s heartwrenching to see the little one fighting to breathe on such days. Ensure baby’s nose has been cleaned before putting him in bed.
Teething is also a common reason that keeps the babies up several nights because of discomfort.
8. Developmental Milestones
When kids learn a new skill, such as crawling, they want to try it out at every chance they get- be it the middle of the night! Your baby may pull herself to standing or sitting but not be able to get herself back down without help. Although this is just a passing phase and fades away naturally.
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9. Late Naps in the afternoon
The urge to sleep builds up the longer we’ve been awake. So it shouldn’t surprise you if a baby – having awakened from a long nap only a couple of hours earlier – has trouble falling asleep at bedtime. If this seems to be the trouble, try extending the last waking period of your baby’s day.
10. Baby is Overtired
Contrary to the common belief that keeping the baby up till late just to ensure that the baby would sleep longer is untrue. An overtired baby would find it more difficult to sleep or would wake up after short intervals. If overtiredness is the problem, pick an earlier bedtime, and help your baby wind down by introducing some soothing low-key bedtime rituals.
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11. Over Stimulation
At times parents make bedtime routine too interesting making the baby excited or over stimulated. Avoid artificial lights, loud music or too much conversation. If the baby waked up in the middle of the night, keep your voice low and soothe the baby back to sleep.
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12. An anxious & worried mom!
Yes, you heard it right! Researchers have now found that mothers who are depressed or worried may cause sleep problems in their babies or make them worse, rather than the other way round. Picking up the baby, feeding, co-sleeping, and cuddling and even intervening too fast if the baby wakes up midnight are just some of the ways you can affect the baby’s sleep.
Hope this list (which can actually be endless!) help you realize why your baby is up the next time that happens.