4 Common Baby Sleep Problems and How Parents Can Solve Them

Mar 13 • 2017

Sleep can pose difficulties for everyone at times – especially babies. When a baby is having a sleeping issue, it can make him grumpy all day and result in a lack of sleep for Mom and Dad. Identifying a sleep problem in your infant can be hard because he can’t tell you exactly what’s going on. This makes it extra important to know what to look for. We’ve highlighted four of the most common sleep issues for babies below, and what parents can do to help solve them.

Trouble Sleeping at Home

Many babies find sleep easy – if they aren’t at home. Whether this means they’re in the car seat, stroller, or somewhere else altogether, it can be tough to rely on those scenarios to ensure sleep. If you find that your child always falls asleep when you get into the car to run errands, you may need to adjust your schedule to make sure you’re not cutting it too close to that precious naptime. If your little one is rubbing his eyes, is whiny, or is showing other signs of tiredness before you leave the house, don’t ignore them. Consider putting him down for a nap then and leaving the house later when he’s well-rested.

Skipping Naps

Some babies end up skipping naps altogether, which can leave them feeling tired and fussy later. Most babies up to 12 months old take two naps per day, but the morning nap is typically the first to go. If you’re concerned that your little one isn’t napping on the same schedule he used to, keep an eye on him in the evenings. If he’s acting tired around 4 or 5pm, it’s likely a good idea to keep pushing the twice-a-day nap schedule. Analyzing his moods this time of day will help prevent that late afternoon energy boost from skewing the truth. Nap training is an important step if it’s clear that more sleep is necessary.

Issues Sleeping without Being Rocked

Another common issue for parents is trying to get their baby to sleep without rocking or holding him. Babies often associate movement with falling asleep, relying on being rocked or swung to lull them. If this is an issue for your little one, slowly wean him by transitioning from rocking until he’s completely asleep to rocking until he’s mostly asleep, and then continuing to reduce the movement until he falls asleep in your arms simply being held.

Trouble Sleeping Through the Night

Difficulty sleeping through the night can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes of this is hunger, but if feeding isn’t the issue, there could be another problem at hand. Take a look at how your baby is acting when he goes to sleep and determine whether additional sleep training is necessary before he will go from being totally awake to fully asleep on his own.

If you’re having trouble getting your baby to follow a sleep schedule, speak with your pediatrician to get personalized recommendations on sleep training.