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Why do babies fight sleep?

To the shock of many new parents, babies are not born with the ability to sleep through the night. There are thousands of books on the subject because trying to get your baby to sleep is difficult. These readers explain some of the common culprits preventing sleep and how to ensure you and your little one get some much-needed rest.

Patti Read

Patti Read

Patti Read, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and owner of Goldilocks Sleep Solutions.

They Are Suffering From Sleep Debt

In my experience, when a baby is fighting sleep, either protesting initially falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night and not wanting to fall back asleep, or waking up too early in the morning, they are suffering from sleep debt. When the body is overtired, it releases cortisol so that it can stay awake even though it should be sleeping. This stress hormone makes it very hard for your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.

By offering your baby more sleep at biologically appropriate times so that they can get the most beneficial and restorative sleep, you will help them chip away at their sleep debt. They are no longer overtired, and falling asleep and staying asleep becomes easier. The best way to do this is usually by moving bedtime earlier to let them fall asleep before their cortisol levels spike and give them a second wind.

Watch your baby for their sleepy cues, like rubbing their eyes, tugging their ears, or getting extra fussy. These are the cues that they are ready for sleep. An even better tip is to track when these cues are happening every day so that you can start putting your baby to bed before they even happen because they are a sign that they are over ready for bed!

Claire Grayson

Claire Grayson

Claire Grayson, Co-founder of Personality Max.

They Have FOMO

Watching [a] baby with her eyes so heavy, fighting sleep as if her life depended on it, I got very curious about this phenomenon. Why do babies fight sleep? From my research and observations, the simple answer is FOMO!

The fear of missing out is very much present in babies like in adults. Your little ones don’t want to close their eyes and miss out on all the fun things happening around them, so they do their best to keep their eyes open.

Another shocking revelation is that babies fight sleep when they’re overtired. Their stress hormones send signals to their body and release adrenaline, much like us adults. Unfortunately, babies can’t take a jog around the neighborhood or work out this adrenaline any other way than crying and making a fuss.

For tips on how to deal with them, I’ve learned that consistency is all that there is to do. Build a timetable, and stick to it as much as possible. This will help your baby to build a routine and understand that daytime equals activity and nighttime equals sleep.

Zarina Bahadur

Zarina Bahadur

Zarina Bahadur, CEO and Founder of 123 Baby Box.


Hungry or Undertired

Babies are reluctant to sleep all the time. Most parents have the same question: Why is my baby not sleeping? Most new parents struggle with their infant’s sleeping pattern. The reasons for it aren’t alarming. When a baby isn’t tired enough, he might not feel [ready] to sleep. He might cry to show his reluctance.

Another reason why your baby might not be sleeping can be hunger. Make sure your baby is well-fed before sleep. If you’ve made sure your child is tired and has had enough food but is still not sleeping, you might need to check if his sleeping place is comfortable and warm enough.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night?

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