Why Does My Baby Fight Sleep?

Why Does My Baby Fight Sleep?

As a new parent, you know the struggle all too well—your baby fighting sleep can feel like a never-ending battle, leaving you wondering why your little one resists the very thing they need (and you miss) the most: a good night’s sleep.

If you're experiencing this struggle, know that you're not alone. From separation anxiety to teething troubles, our little bundles of joy have quite the repertoire of sleep-sabotaging techniques. We’ll explore the reasons behind this behavior and provide tips and tricks to help your little one finally stop fighting sleep and settle down for some much-needed rest.

Signs Baby is Fighting Sleep 

When our little ones resist snoozing, it could be because they simply don't want to miss out on any action or snuggles! However, feeling overstimulated, hungry, or uncomfortable can also keep our babes up. This often happens when our little ones are reaching a new milestone, such as teething or traveling. 

Watch out for those physical cues like eye-rubbing and frequent yawning. Little ones may also show their sleep resistance by arching their back or turning their head away. Paying attention to their emotional state is crucial too, as they may become cranky or clingy as they battle to stay awake.

Why Babies “Fight” Sleep 

Sometimes our babies get stuck between two extremes – they can be either too tired or not tired enough, both of which make it more challenging for them to self-regulate, relax, and catch some Zzz's. Perhaps they've had a bit too much playtime or missed their sleepy cues. Another common culprit is overstimulation, which can make it tough for them to unwind and settle down. 

Separation anxiety can also play a role, as babies may struggle to fall asleep when they feel separated from their caregivers. Just like us adults, they feel anxious when separated from their loved ones, which can also make it harder for them to snooze. Finally, any physical discomfort—such as teething pain or gas—makes it more difficult to drift off.

How to Get Baby to Stop Fighting Sleep 

The good news? For every reason your baby resists sleep, there are just as many practical solutions to help them overcome sleep resistance once and for all.

  • Conquer the Hunger Games: A hungry baby will naturally find it difficult to drift off. It's essential to ensure they're well-fed before settling them down to sleep. If you sense some lingering hunger, a late-night feeding might do the trick.
  • Create a Sleepy Sanctuary: When your baby is uneasy, it can be tough for them to slip into a comfortable slumber. Check their clothing, diaper, and room temperature to ensure they're comfy and content. For all-night coziness, we recommend our sleep bags– designed to keep your little one comfortably snug and snoozing.
  • Master the Bedtime Routine: If baby is overtired, they also may have trouble falling asleep. Try to establish a consistent bedtime routine and stick to it, so your little one knows when it's time to sleep. Make sure they also get plenty of naps during the day to avoid overtiredness.
  • Soothe Those Gums: Ah, the teething phase—a hurdle for both you and your baby. If your little one is finding it hard to settle, their discomfort could be attributed to those pesky emerging teeth. Ease their pre-bedtime tension by offering teething toys or a chilled washcloth to soothe their tender gums.
  • Bridge the Separation Gap: When separation anxiety kicks in, your baby might find it challenging to sleep without you nearby. Consider co-sleeping or utilizing a baby monitor to create a sense of closeness, even when you're not physically in the same room.

With these tips, you’re ready to conquer the world of baby sleep resistance. Once you identify the cause behind your baby fighting sleep, you’ll both be getting more Zzz’s in no time. You got this!