We all know that sleep is essential to our overall health and wellbeing, but what happens when your baby just won't stop crying at night? It's enough to make even the most patient of parents start questioning their sanity. In this article, we'll be discussing whether it's normal for a baby to cry all night and what you can do about it.
Understanding Infant Sleep Patterns
Before we dive into why your little one may be crying all night, let's take a quick look at infant sleep patterns. Newborns will typically sleep between 14-17 hours a day in short bursts of around 2-4 hours at a time. As they get older, babies will usually begin sleeping longer periods during the night with fewer waking intervals.
Fun fact: Did you know that newborns spend more time in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep than adults do? During REM sleep, infants often twitch or move their arms and legs which can cause them to wake up crying.
Why Do Babies Cry During Sleep?
One thing many parents struggle with is understanding why their baby cries while they're asleep. After all, if they're not awake then what could possibly be upsetting them?
Well first off (1), the act of crying can happen during any stage of sleep and doesn't necessarily indicate that something is wrong or distressing your child. Babies are still learning how to self-soothe which means they might cry simply because they don't have any other coping mechanisms yet.
Another reason babies may cry during their slumber is due to physical discomfort from things like wet diapers, hunger pains or seasonal allergies (2) making it hard for them to settle down into deeper areas of restful slumber.
Possible Reasons Your Baby May Be Crying All Night
Now that we've covered some basic information about infant sleeping patterns and why babies can cry even when they're asleep, let's take a look at some possible reasons why your baby may be crying all night.
When your little one is getting new teeth it can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience for them. Along with the usual array of symptoms like increased drooling, you might find that your child is particularly fussy around bedtime due to sore gums (3).
If you think teething might be what's causing extra cries during the night (besides sounding solidly vampire-ish), consider offering chilled objects for them to bite or maybe even lightly massaging their gum area with something cool for soothing relief.
In today's world there are a million different distractions competing for our attention and it seems babies are no exception. If you suspect your little one might be overstimulated from watching TV or being on just one zoom call too many (4) during the day, try cutting back hours before sleep time in order to limit any further excitement/distractions affecting their rest.
Unfamiliar Sleeping Environment
Sleeping in a strange place often proves challenging – especially if you've just moved into a new home or have taken them somewhere novel overnight. New bed clothes/bedding could also factor since they carry different smells & textures compared to everything familiar back home.
Tips For Getting Your Baby To Sleep At Night
Now let's talk about practical ways that will help both parents and infants achieve healthy sleeping habits (5):
Create A Consistent Bedtime Routine:
Developing enforced routines by sticking to preferred schedules helps instill good sleeping patterns as children eventually recognise how these rituals signal winding down time prior falling into sustained slumber.
Make The Room Dark And Comfortable:
It’s best practice to use blackout shades/blinds thwart outside lights disrupting familiarity which creates stability & comfort conducive towards deeper sleep.
Keep The Room Cool:
The ideal temperature at night usually falls between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal comfort.
Swaddling You Baby:
Older folks might remember when swaddling was viewed as an ancient form of 'torture', now the multi-cloth wrap around a baby also helps simulate and replicate conditions that soothe infants. It creates memories that mimic being in-utero, providing stability (6).
Remember that if you're struggling to get your little one to sleep all night even after trying these methods it's ok to ask for help from family or medical practitioners. Sometimes babies may cry excessively due to underlying health issues like colic or ear infections which should not be ignored.
Sleepless nights are never easy but they're part of what makes parenthood beautiful in their own special way! Remember -- every child is unique with different needs and will potentially experience various roadblocks when it comes down getting healthy sleeping habits established so patience & trial-and-error is crucial.
We hope these tips have been helpful whilst attempting create peaceful slumber zones for both you and your little ones.
Good luck, parents – you've got this!
(1): This shouldn't come as news to anyone; if they can just randomly fall asleep somewhere while doing something (like reading), why couldn’t babies shed tears during some light dreaming?
(2): Poor infant; doesn't even know what pollen means 🙁
(3): We too, feel bad for them.
(4): Can't blame them though - haven't we all gone through zoom fatigue before? At least they don't need adult beverages afterwards...
(5): On both sides.
(6) : Do not compare swaddled kids with burritos.