Why do babies fight sleep so much?


We all love our little ones too much to say but we also get frustrated with them, especially when they won’t take a nap and you know they are tired.

It’s sometimes even more infuriating when you FINALLY get them off to sleep and they wake within 10 minutes (either because something wakes them or they wake themselves.

Why is it that some days your baby will just go straight to sleep with no fussing and other times they just don’t want to be put down? And why do some babies fight sleep in the day but not at night or vice versa?

Well ‘Secrets of Baby Behaviour’ have suggested the following:

It is thought that babies have 6 different states or moods: crying, irritable, quiet alert, drowsy, active sleep, and quiet sleep and depending on their state or mood, will have more or less trouble drifting off.

Babies are constantly learning and are really inquisitive so want to take everything in; they look at your face, expressions, movements as well as listen to noises, voices and feeling new textures. We don’t always remember how much a baby takes in on a daily basis and some babies just want to continue learning so fight sleep with all they have.

The sciency bit says that when your little one is over stimulated, their body releases a chemical to stimulate their brain and if we try and put them to sleep while they are over stimulated, they can really struggle. It’s like when we have a lot on our mind and you just can’t drift off. Some babies will process these chemicals quicker than others so it really can just depend on your baby.

So, ‘Secrets of Baby Behaviour’ recommend a few things to help with irritable babies before naps.

1. Don’t over stimulate your baby before a nap time/bed time. (This seems quite obvious but we really need to think about what counts as stimulating)
2. Avoid caffeine if you are breastfeeding your baby
3. Slow down your play activities around 40 minutes before nap time. Don’t try and tire them out by doing lots with them just before bed.
4. Have a routine. This could mean reading a book before naps or sitting somewhere quietly and singing quietly.
5. Sometimes white noise can be the answer – I know when Isabella was tiny the hoover would send her to sleep.

AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS??? I go for a nice long walk with Isabella in the pram!

How else do you get your little ones to sleep?

For more information, see: http://www.secretsofbabybehavior.com/2010/05/why-do-some-babies-hate-being-drowsy.html

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