Let’s face it, whoever made up the saying “sleeping like a baby” never had a baby.
We all know sleep is fleeting when you have a little one. That doesn’t mean you should just accept it, as there is normally a reason why your bub isn’t dozing off. If you’re a sleep-deprived mumma who wants to make a change, read on.
Contrary to popular belief, babies don’t usually cry just for the sake of it. Not in the middle of the night anyway. They want to sleep just like the rest of us! When you are awake at 3am pacing the floor with infomercials playing in the background, getting your little one to sleep can seem like a hopeless case.
Here at Mum Central, we see you and want to help you get more sleep! Unfortunately, babies can’t tell us why they are not sleeping. So next time your precious one gives those teensy lungs a workout at some ungodly hour, these are the seven questions to ask yourself.
1. Are they thirsty or hungry?
This is the most obvious question to ask if baby is not sleeping well, especially in those first few months. During the times when your baby is experiencing a growth spurt, it is highly likely their hunger will interrupt their sleep. This is also the time they are finding their feeding routine, which means no routine to begin with.
The solution to this is pretty simple. Extra feeding = extra sleep!
2. Are they hot or cold?
Is it summer? Is it winter? Is the window open? Are they wearing too many bed sheets? Are the pyjamas they are wearing suitable for the weather?
Babies are just like us. They will wake up if they are too hot or too cold. So either snuggle them up or help them to feel cooler and sleep will follow.
3. Is something making them uncomfortable?
Have a check around the area where your little one is sleeping. Are they lyiing on something lumpy? Has a button on their PJs come undone? Or has their wrap become loose?
It is the worst being uncomfortable in bed. Not only can your baby not tell you what is making them uncomfortable, but they also can’t fix it themselves. So get in there, Super Mum and solve the problem!
4. Do they need their nappy changed?
Ugh… nobody wants to change a nappy in the middle of the night. However, accidents do happen. A full nappy is ridiculously uncomfortable, as well as unhygienic. Once baby is changed and feeling clean and dry, they might just fall back asleep.
5. Are they feeling unwell?
This is never a question you want to answer “yes” to. Nobody wants to see their baby in pain or feeling ill. A simple cold can keep your little one awake through the night. Some of the most obvious signs for a baby feeling unwell are things like a runny nose, a little cough or a temperature. Depending on the age of your baby, there are medications such as Children’s Panadol or Nurofen For Children which can help you take some of the discomfort away and give both of you a better night sleep.
6. Are they teething?
Let’s not sugar coat it… teething is terrible! Once your baby hits about three months old, starts dribbling and holding their hand in their mouth a lot, be prepared for sleep to suffer. Unfortunately, this is something which is mostly unavoidable, especially on that awful night before a tooth cuts through. At times like this, teething gel or other pharmacy teething remedies can be super helpful.
No sleep and teething can also prompt you to ask our final question…
7. Do they just want some comfort?
Last, but definitely not least, sometimes your bundle of joy just wants to be close to you. Remember, you can never give your child too many cuddles no matter what age they are. Babies may not know much yet, but they know they love you. There is nothing like a cuddle from your favourite person in the world to make you drift off to sleep!
While you’re working your baby’s sleep pattern out. make sure to check our previous post about how to fake your own sleep so you don’t look like an extra from The Walking Dead!