As a new parent, one of the most challenging aspects of caring for your baby is the battle at bedtime. Your little one’s resistance to sleep can be frustrating, leaving you exhausted and wondering why they fight sleep. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons behind bedtime resistance in babies and provide insights into why newborns fight sleep.

 Why Do Babies Fight Sleep?


Sensory Overload: Babies have sensitive nervous systems and can become overstimulated. Their little brains are constantly processing new experiences, and as a result, they may resist sleep due to an overload of sensory input. Bright lights, loud noises, or a bustling environment can keep them awake and alert when they should be winding down.

Developmental Milestones: As babies grow and develop, they often experience milestones such as rolling, crawling, or walking. These exciting milestones can interfere with their sleep patterns as they practise and perfect their new skills. They may resist sleep because they are eager to explore their newfound abilities.

Separation Anxiety: Separation anxiety is a phase that typically begins around 6 to 8 months of age. Babies may become clingier and more attached to their primary caregivers, making it difficult to settle down and sleep alone. This anxiety can lead to resistance at bedtime, as they desire the comfort and presence of their loved ones.

Overtiredness: Surprisingly, babies who are overtired are more likely to fight sleep. When they become excessively tired, their bodies produce stress hormones, making it harder for them to relax and fall asleep. It is essential to establish a consistent sleep routine to prevent overtiredness and create an environment conducive to peaceful sleep.

Discomfort or Illness: Babies may fight sleep when uncomfortable or unwell. Common culprits include teething pain, digestive discomfort, or an underlying illness. If your baby is constantly fighting sleep and displaying signs of discomfort, it is advisable to consult a paediatrician to rule out any underlying health issues.

Tips for Dealing with Bedtime Resistance

  • Establish a Bedtime Routine: A predictable routine helps signal to your baby that it is time to wind down and sleep. Create a soothing sequence of activities such as a warm bath, gentle massage, quiet reading, or lullabies. Consistency is key in reinforcing the routine and aiding relaxation.
  • Create a Calm Sleep Environment: Make sure your baby’s sleep environment is conducive to restful sleep. Dim the lights, reduce noise levels, and maintain a comfortable temperature. Consider using white noise machines or swaddling to create a soothing ambience that mimics the womb.
  • Address Basic Needs: Ensure your baby’s needs are met before bedtime. A full tummy, a clean diaper, and burping can help minimise discomfort and distractions that might interfere with sleep.
  • Offer Comfort and Reassurance: If your baby is experiencing separation anxiety or fighting sleep due to other emotional factors, providing reassurance and comfort can help soothe their anxieties. Consider using gentle rocking, holding, or a comfort object to create a sense of security.
  • Seek Support: Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Reach out to other parents, attend parenting classes, or join online communities where you can share experiences and gain valuable insights from others who have been through similar challenges.

Bedtime resistance is a common struggle for parents of babies. Understanding the reasons behind your baby’s resistance to sleep can help you navigate this challenging phase with patience and empathy. By creating a calming environment, establishing consistent routines, and addressing their needs, you can help your baby develop healthy sleep habits, leading to more peaceful nights for the entire family. Remember, every baby is unique, and finding the right approach may require some trial and error. Trust your instincts, seek support when needed, and remember that this phase will pass, and better sleep awaits you and your little one.

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If you have any questions or want to find out more about my baby sleep solutions services please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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