When you’re preparing for parenthood, it’s about more than making sure that you have all of the assets and resources that you need, you have to prepare for some pretty major lifestyle changes, too. One that any parent will likely complain about is the changes to your sleep schedule, especially during that first year.

Care has to be taken to ensure a healthy sleeping routine for your child, but there are issues that can get in the way of it. Here, we’re going to look at some of them, and what you can do to help.



You might have found yourself getting into a routine as of late, only for your baby to suddenly up-end the whole process, suddenly becoming a lot more awake, aware, and less likely to put their head down when bedtime rolls around. Regression is a very common experience, and typically babies will regress around every four months.

Creating a full bedtime routine, including bathing, feeding, cuddles, and lullabies, can help re-establish bedtime as bedtime. Do not try to keep them awake during the day in order to encourage them to sleep, as this can lead to them becoming overtired. In that state, they’re not more likely to sleep, they’re more likely to cry the house down.

(This phenomenon typically occurs around four months, but not every baby will experience it, and not all will experience it at the same intensity or duration. There may also be regressions at other times, such as around eight or nine months, 18 months, and 2 years old, related to developmental milestones or changes in the child’s environment.)


Mixed-up sleep cycles

If it’s a more consistent problem of your baby staying up all night but sleeping all day, then you need to take a more active hand in helping them flip their schedule around. As mentioned, you shouldn’t stop them from sleeping during the day, but not letting their daytime sleep get any longer than three hours can be a tip worth following. You should also aim to better differentiate the times of day.

Avoid making too much noise or using more light than necessary (like turning on the TV) for nighttime feedings, and try to keep the environment dark whenever your baby is napping so that they associate darkness with sleep time.

(While limiting daytime sleep can help, it’s also critical to expose the baby to natural light during the day, while keeping their environment dark at night. This helps set their biological clock to associate darkness with sleep.)

Won’t sleep even when tired

We’ve all experienced being overtired. It’s when your body is tired enough to go to sleep but because you’ve been kept up for too long, you become much more mentally awake and overly energetic. Usually, this happens as a result of not getting enough sleep in general. As such, you might want to try to get your baby to nap a little bit more during the daytime.

You might also want to start putting them down a little earlier at night when they first start showing signs of getting tired. Giving young babies a soother or other sleep aids is always a good strategy, as is rocking or feeding them. Whatever you do, don’t try to cut them off from napping or encouraging them to stay up later so they can get more tired. That’s the cause of this issue in the first place.


Something’s got in the way of the routine

All manner of things can get in the way of a baby’s sleep routine, whether it’s a little bout of illness, having to get up earlier than usual due to a parent having to go to work, or even the major milestones in development, such as learning to walk, can all result in a new disruption.

Anything that marks a transitory period in your baby’s life is going to have to involve giving a little bit more leeway with your baby’s sleep cycles. Again, you should focus on reinforcing the sleep routine as mentioned above, but you should understand that it’s a temporary blip and that it will only take a little while to get back to normal.


They won’t lie on their back

This is an issue that typically happens to babies when they’re very young. A lot of babies do get to sleep more easily on their tummy and find it more comforting and safe, but as a parent, the increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome means that a lot of parents have very good reason to prevent this where possible.

Your baby’s doctor is worth contacting if your baby won’t sleep on their back, as there could be a condition that’s impacting their ability. Otherwise, there are tricks you can use such as swaddling your baby and giving them a pacifier. Over time, they’ll get used to sleeping on their back.


Late-night feedings

You should feed your baby roughly a couple of times during the night. When they’re a lot younger, feeding them every two hours is the norm but, as they get older, you should be sure to keep scaling this back. If they’re not restless for a feed, then once a night can work.

It’s a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about where your baby is, in terms of growth and development, so that you can work out when to start scaling back the nighttime feedings. Of course, if you’re feeding them less at night, then you need to start feeding them more during the day, instead. They still need those calories to grow up healthy.


Excess sweat

If you find that when you pick up your child, they feel drenched in sweat, it can be a little concerning. Excessive newborn sweats at night don’t necessarily need to be an indicator of anything wrong, but it’s a good idea to mitigate it regardless because it’s not likely to be comfortable for them. Anything can cause sweating, from them having been fed recently, to the exertion of crying, overdressing, or even just being in a deep sleep.

If they have any other symptoms of illness, it’s time to call the pediatrician but, otherwise, you just need to make adjustments based on what’s likely to have caused it. This can mean removing a layer of clothing, placing a fan in their room (not too near the crib), and changing their clothes so they don’t get irritated skin from sweaty fabric.

Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS, so it’s important to ensure that the baby is dressed appropriately for the room temperature, and the room is not too hot.

Teething pains

As your baby gets older, then it’s going to start showing signs of teething, such as reddened cheeks, drooling, and biting a lot more often. If they’re teething during the day, then teething pains are more likely to be keeping them up at night, as well.

Some babies start teething early, too, so don’t toss out this explanation if they’re only four or five months old. A teething ring and some nurturing care from the parent is the best thing to help them calm down, but you might also want to talk to your pediatrician about any gentle painkillers to help relieve the worst of the pain.


They’ve recently been sick

If your baby has recently been sick, even if they’re starting to feel better, there might be some lingering symptoms like a sore throat or congestion that could be getting in the way of a comfortable sleep. Don’t expect their sleeping patterns to get back to normal as soon as they’re feeling better.

Again, the important thing is to get your child back to a normal routine by reinforcing bedtime as ever. It might take a while, since your child may have gotten used to you staying up with them while they were will, but they will adjust if you’re persistent. Of course, if there are any other indicators that they’re not back to 100% health just yet, you can always talk to their pediatrician.


Most of the issues above here are, as mentioned, temporary. However, if there are any symptoms of illness, or if the problem persists, you should never feel bad about reaching out for some medical attention.

Contributed Content

Spread the love