As parents, you must have dealt with your baby’s tantrums while you want to make him sleep. When your baby tries the best he can to pull away from you, cry and fight sleep in every way possible, you might get confused and little worried sometimes. Every parent faces this problem at least once. You might have tried everything with your baby, and if he still fights sleep by screaming and throwing tantrums, you must have asked yourself, Why?
Sometimes, babies deliberately try to avoid sleep. If you try to put them to sleep by coercion or repeatedly trying to put them to sleep, your baby may not like it at all. The repeated attempts irritate the baby, and he may start throwing tantrums and start crying.
Reasons For A Baby Fighting Sleep
– Not Tired Enough
It’s not very common, but sometimes your baby is not tired enough to go to sleep. Babies sleep a lot, but sometimes they need more wake time than you expect them. As the babies grow older and become toddlers, they need longer wake times than earlier. You must recall how much sleep time your baby has had and how much wake time does he need every day.
When babies get tired, they like to go to sleep, but when they become overtired, they get irritated due to lack of sleep. You must be able to acknowledge your baby’s sleep window. When your child is drowsy enough to go to sleep, but not too tired to start crying, it is better to put your child to sleep during that time. When you miss your baby’s sleep window, he can get too tired to fall asleep, and you might have to work a lot harder to put him to sleep.
Babies grow rapidly, and their appetite also increases quickly. Sometimes, you might feel that you have fed your baby enough, but your kid may want more milk. You don’t want to overfeed your baby as well as it can cause digestive issues. However, if your child is fighting sleep, make sure that he is not doing it out of hunger.
– Separation Anxiety
Until around nine or ten months, the separation anxiety does not usually strike the baby. When your child gets older, he might fight sleep due to a discomfort he feels in your absence. It peaks around the age of 18 months, and after that, your baby may not fight sleep even in your absence.
While awake, If your baby is engaged in a lot of play that he enjoys, he might not like it when the sleep cycle hits. He might feel drowsy but does not want to miss the fun he was having. If baby’s brain was engaged in a lot of activity or seeing new things or learning new things, he is likely to fight sleep sometimes.
Babies are very soft creatures and sensitive to even a little bit of variations of any kind. He or She may not like the cold mattress or sheet that you think to be very comfortable. If the bedding is not warm enough, it can irritate the baby.
– Unknown Territory
When you put your baby to sleep in a crib for the first time, he may feel being left out in a dangerous place all alone. Your arms are a lot more comfortable to a baby than a bigger and wider crib where baby can move his arms and legs freely.
– Habitual To Being Held
Mothers breastfeed their babies to sleep, tap them on their back and sing sweet lullabies to make them fall asleep. Your child becomes dependent on the affection he gets while sleeping. It is sweet and natural for parents to shower a lot of affection on their babies, but they must maintain a balance. Make sure that you allow your child to develop independence while sleeping gradually. When you leave your baby in a crib, he might miss the element of affection he gets while falling asleep.
How To Deal With A Baby Fighting Sleep?
– Don’t Overstimulate Your Baby
Children are very delicate, and overstimulation can disturb their sleep cycle. It’s nice to engage with your kid, trying to talk to him, etc., but make sure that you don’t overdo that.
– Never Miss A Sleep Window
You will always know it when your baby becomes drowsy and feeling sleepy. You should never miss the sleeping window of your baby. When your child becomes tired, try to make him fall asleep.
– Never Coerce A Baby Fighting Sleep
You have to be extremely patient with your babies. When they feel that you are forcing them to do something, they will always resist it. Even if they are sleepy and fighting sleep a little bit out of any reason, you should be gentle with them. If you try to force them to fall asleep, they will feel it and get irritated even more.
– Move Bedtime
Moving bedtime to an earlier time or a later time can help in changing the baby’s sleep fighting habits. If you think your child is not tired enough to sleep, shifting bedtime to a later time can help you.
– Feed Schedule
You can reschedule the feeds that you give to your baby. When your baby gets hungry too quickly due to growth, you might have to make some adjustments to the feed schedule of your baby.
– Provide Affection For Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is not as common as other causes such as missing the sleep window, but it can be the reason for your baby throwing tantrums during sleep time. Don’t be harsh while dealing with the separation anxiety of your child. Perform a gradual separation technique at bedtime. After making your child fall asleep in his bed, leave the room. If your child cries, come back to show him that you are around. Don’t lift the baby out of bed, just tell him that you are around. After a few repetitions, your baby will be able to sleep comfortably on his own.
– Nap Routine
Many parents overlook the importance of a nap routine. A good nap routine can help your baby during his wake time to be fully energetic and in falling asleep comfortably. Some babies might have a nap routine in place, but find it difficult to transition from the playtime to sleep time. A story or lullaby while falling asleep after the play time can bring their energy levels down and relax them.
– Give Your Child The Space He Desires
Once your baby starts growing into a toddler, he may want a greater space for himself. Give your child some break and allow him to play with his toys a little more. Understand your child’s needs while he is growing and does not want you to rule his life completely.
To Sum Up
You must be patient and try to understand your child’s needs when he fights sleep. Sometimes, babies just don’t want to sleep. You cannot even force yourself to fall asleep when you just don’t feel like sleeping. How can you make your child fall asleep every time you wish. You should understand the importance of a nap routine and most likely, you won’t have to deal with your baby throwing tantrums when you try to make him fall asleep.