Babies Fighting Sleep? Here’s the Solution

Babies Fighting Sleep? Here’s the Solution
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Sleeping is one of the most important things that a newborn does. It’s a vital part of growth and development. A good night’s sleep helps your baby to develop into an independent and healthy child. If your baby isn’t sleeping well, it can affect his or her overall development and health. In this post, we discuss the causes of babies fighting sleep and provide you with solutions to help your baby get better sleep.

What Does “Fighting Sleep” Even Mean?

To begin, the phrase “babies fighting sleep” is a little misleading because babies aren’t fighting sleep at all. In reality, sleep is a natural human experience when we’re ready to go there and our bodies aren’t overwhelmed by stress. Similar is the case for babies.
If your baby seems to be “fighting” that instinct to sleep, it’s usually an indication of something else going on with them. Whatever’s happening it is causing the baby to feel they’re not in a safe place to go to sleep. It’s our responsibility to find out the reason behind this crying. It might take some time to discover what your child is trying to communicate which is completely normal!

Reasons for Babies Fighting Sleep

Overtired / Under-tired

It may sound contradictory however, it’s true that an “overtired” baby is not likely to sleep like one who isn’t suffering from sleep debt. The more tired an infant is greater their sleep time (time that it can take to sleep) reduces between sleeping cycles. This disrupts cycles, resulting in lesser NREM sleep. Try not to become TOO obsessed with thinking your child is exhausted. Very rarely do babies have a genuine sleep problem or really chronic fatigue. This is often used as a reason to excuse any sleep-related issues or irritable behavior. However, it could also be an indication that your child is uninterested (aka bored! ) or tired and isn’t yet ready to fall asleep.
Sometimes it is possible that your baby is exhausted and not ready to sleep or overtired and irritable, or even experiencing an “second wind.” If this is just a once-in-a-while schedule hiccup, it’s not an issue at least! Track wake times for a couple of days to determine if there is a recurring pattern. Is the fight less intense when you have a longer wake time or a longer nap time? This might help you come to a conclusion.

Separation Anxiety

If your child is sleeping in a crib or in a different space in your home, they might be fighting with separation but not sleeping. If they are able to sense the separation is likely to occur (like being put to bed in the crib) the child becomes extremely susceptible, and their alarm is activated, making it difficult to sleep.

The more time a baby is away from the mother throughout the daytime the more frequently they look for a connection. Parents who are working full-time, only get to see their babies for a few hours during the evening. The demands of dinner, bedtime, and the chores of the household can make it difficult to build a connection with your baby. Babies are aware of this and get into full alarm when the mother attempt to keep them apart when it’s time to go to bed.

Circadian rhythm

The infants begin developing their circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycle which regulates our bodies at approximately six weeks old. These circadian rhythms become mature enough to allow for establishing a real sleeping schedule between 3 and the age of 6 months. Of course, each baby is different, and there are some who may not be able to establish a proper sleep routine with-in this period.

Day-Night Confusion

If your baby appears to be awake during the night while you and your family are asleep you might be experiencing some confusion between the day and night.

The process of infants adapting to the world takes time. A large part of the adjustment process is the process of getting their internal clocks in the right place for nighttime and daytime. When they were still in the mother’s womb the night and day were the same.

Physical growth and developmental milestones

The main goal of parenting is to allow your child to flourish by allowing them to grow and develop; however, sometimes it’s this growth that puts an unexpected wrench into their sleeping routine.
It’s been discovered that the majority of typical sleep regressions are caused by your child achieving new milestones. They’d practice their new skills rather than sleep.

Babies Fighting Sleep? Here’s the Solution

Things to Do When You Find Babies Fighting Sleep

Watch For Sleep Cues

To prevent an overtired or under-tired baby look out for your baby’s sleep cues. The signs that indicate they’re tired can help you get your baby to bed at the appropriate time.

Learn your baby’s specific sleep cues. They often include:

  • Fussiness
  • Yawning
  • Moving slowly
  • Staring off into space
  • Losing interest
  • Rubbing eyes

Furthermore, crying can definitely be an indication that your baby is exhausted. However, it’s more likely an indication that your child is tired. It is best to take your baby to his crib before they begin to cry.

Stay on Schedule

It is important to understand the patterns of sleep your baby is used to and adhere to a routine. Babies thrive in routine!

Keep in mind that a baby’s sleeping schedule usually has less to do with time on the clock, and more to do with the number of hours that have passed since the last time they woke up. Remember that you’ll have to adjust the schedule of your baby as he develops because with time your child’s sleep hours will decrease so you will have to adjust the schedules accordingly.

Plan a longer afternoon nap.

If your child seems to be ready to stop sleeping in the morning, consider moving her lunch up a bit and putting her down for a longer afternoon snooze.

Stick to a feeding schedule

This can help ensure the regularity of your baby’s sleeping schedule and may help improve sleep habits. For example, the feed that occurs immediately after a nap this can help your baby learn when it is time to fall asleep.

Obviously, this is subject to the baby’s age as well as your personal schedule. newborn babies don’t follow the same routine as 12-month-olds do.

Maintain a soothing sleep training plan

It can be a time of stress for parents, but if you make sure that this is a peaceful, relaxing environment for everyone, your baby will be more likely to be able to fall asleep.

Consider introducing elements such as relaxing songs, bedtime stories, and soft music into your routine at bedtime. This can not only help to soothe your child to fall asleep, but also you could feel a sense of soothing!

Practice Separation

Many times babies struggle with the separation that sleeping brings. It is possible that they totally scream when you walk out of the nursery, and they sleep great during contact naps. In this situation, you are unable to lay them down. In this instance, you could try playing in their sleep area when they are awake. This way they don’t identify it with sleep separation. For example, changing their diapers on the sofa, or nursing them on your bed.

Another option could be “love bombing” your baby with cuddles, kisses, stories, eye contact, singing massage, etc. Prior to and during the time of bed or nap. Think about adding a rough-and-tumble player cuddling before the time of bed, so that your child has lots of contact with you. When you finally complete your bedtime routine, and it’s time to sleep slow down the process. Remember not to stop suddenly and move away. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time and you need to be aware of how fast you’re going through the process. Babies are able to pick up this energy and fight it more.


It is important to remember that babies are always learning and growing. To help your baby get the best sleep possible, you should be patient and keep a lookout for any signs of difficulty sleeping.

If you want to know more about different sleep related disorder check out here.

If you are looking to buy a mattress check out here, also here.