You may have been blessed with a good sleeper or a good night’s sleep may be a distant memory once you became a mom. Either way, your little one is bound to have sleep troubles at least occasionally.
Keep in mind, before you label your baby a problem sleeper, it’s important to understand what’s normal for infants. Although it varies, most babies will not sleep through the night for the first three months, and some babies reach that milestone even later.
Typically, by about three months, your baby probably has settled into a somewhat predictable sleep pattern. Although that pattern can also change as your baby grows.
As your baby gets older, he should be able to sleep six to eight hours straight at night. But there are a lot of things that could interfere with his sleep.
The good news is many sleep problems in babies are just temporary. But that may not be much comfort at 3 a.m. However, understanding the most common causes of sleep problems may help you find a solution.
Your baby’s developmental stage, physical condition or a change in his routine can all lead to problems, which prevent both of you from getting enough zzz’s. For example, some babies develop sleep problems due to separation anxiety, which is a normal developmental milestone. It may help to establish a bedtime routine that includes a lot of cuddling and reading to help your baby feel secure.
In other instances, a physical milestone, such as teething, may keep you both awake at night. Offering a cool teething ring may help soothe her sore gums. Teething pain can get worse at night in some babies. If that is the case, ask your pediatrician about giving baby acetaminophen before bedtime.
Even if your baby had been a good snoozer, she might take a step backward at some point. Sleep regression can occur when your baby learns a new skill like crawling or sitting up. She may have too many other things to do besides sleep. After all, who needs sleep when you just learned to crawl or stand up? A bedtime routine may also help your baby relax and get the hint it’s time to settle down.
Of course, changes in her routine, such as when you go back to work or if you are traveling can interfere with sleep. Also, if your baby has an illness, such as a cold or ear infection, she may have trouble falling or staying asleep. In these type of instances, you may just have to cut your little one some slack when it comes to their sleep schedule. A few extra snuggles and a little patience may be just what your baby needs.
Written by MaryAnn Depietro
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.