Ah, babies. Those tiny humans who cry for just about everything and anything. It can be incredibly perplexing when you hear a baby crying in their sleep, leaving many of us wondering why it happens and what we can do to make it stop. In this article, we'll take a closer look at why babies might cry in their sleep and provide some helpful tips for parents or anyone taking care of little ones.
The Science Behind Sleeping Babies
Before we get into why babies may cry during sleep, let's first look at the science behind sleeping infants.
Baby's brains need more REM (rapid eye movement) sleep than adult brains do (they're smarter, see?) as it helps with cognitive development. However, since all this extra activity makes them more susceptible to waking up from loud noises or sudden movements, most babies will typically wake up every 2-3 hours throughout the night (yikes!).
Now that we know how much effort goes into being a baby sleeper and how easily they can get disrupted from deep slumber by both internal and external stimuli -- let's explore some reasons that could cause your child’s midnight-sobbing escapades:
Reason #1: Nightmares
Yes! Babies have nightmares too -sometimes caused by hunger pangs they may feel while asleep as well or even bad past experiences such as getting stuck on something which next time relates to those bad dreams (.i.e falling off bed). If you've ever dreamt of showing up naked to school once again (who hasn't?) then imagine an infant experiencing that turbulence whilst also not having logical faculties yet to comprehend imagination versus reality!
The best way around this is simple: comfort your little one with a smile/hug after gently(!) making sure they haven’t wounded themselves during any tussling before-hand.
Reason #2: Teething Troubles
Ja, Just Dance it out!
Yep, the famed teething phase when babies might wake up crying—long periods of their lives (EEEEK!). So what brings on this pain for infants exactly? Essentially when teeth are growing and getting stronger within a baby’s mouth - endorphins release in response which cause discomfort or even mild pain, creating a momentary feeling that can be uncomfortable if one doesn't understand where these sensations arise from.
One thing to note is some children may develop Molars earlier than others so make sure you know your child's individual formula for growth/development through discussing with pediatrician/doctor. Rubbing two drops (in total) of clove oil mixed with carrier oil (nope not olive) right onto gums could give fantastic relief as well!
Reason #3: Sleep Regression
Ah yes, The regression - It happened before I knew it would happen too, you know.. just when everything seems settled and perfect -- life throws another curve ball at us. Similarly infamous phases like "the terrible 2s" or "puberty" have nothing on the dreaded sleep regression phase according to many parents everywhere; Basically--when babies’ new developments change current routine breaking sleeping patterns causing uncontainable fussiness.
Think rolling over which makes them feel more vulnerable experiencing unease until they adjust fully- A trick i swear by is gently patting rhythmic motions lulling your infant towards peaceful slumber along while singing good ol' rock-a-bye baby!. Research has shown giving them full autonomy (all day long)/ pushing limits with mental stimulus may help decrease said occurrences as well but please consult a doctor first!).
Reason #4: Acid Reflux
Acid reflux disease (also known as GERD) can exist in young human monikers whilst keeping their favorite rattle-clad stuffed toy under lock & key (overnight baby saviors). More than just a bit of heartburn, acid reflux can actually cause respiratory problems and make it tough to sleep through the night -- particularly if your baby is only sleeping for shorter periods at a time in general.
The best way to handle this is slightly tilting their head above foot when sleeping - adjust individual inclines with doctor's consent and placing upturned plate or book under crib legs!. You can also try transitioning them from milk formula/breast feedings during the day to smaller portions more regularly throughout business hours then larger earlier/smaller late-night meals) as might reduce recurrence symptoms by curbing acidic stomach-attacks accordingly!
Reason #5: Feeling Overstimulated
You know how sometimes you catch your child blissfully playing contently only for later on out of nowhere they completely lose it? Well, that could be due to them feeling overstimulated -OR--just had enough of mom/dad helicopter parenting behaviour! It could be anything sensory-friendly like bright lights, loud noises, or even overuse of technological gadgets.
As soon as tantrums start becoming frequent lately along with difficulty putting tots down after long play-wasting sessions refusing nighttime schedule; getting quiet space away from screens/into interactive activities 2hr before bedtime readying relaxation mood can help alleviate underlying anxiety difficulties!
We hope this article helped shed some light on why babies may cry during sleep and gave you some helpful tips for how to soothe them back into dreamland. Remember that every baby is different (And so are adult naps!) so don't hesitate to consult with your pediatrician about any concerns related directly towards nurturing precious life cycles back into comfort.
Best wishes parents & guardians out there dealing hands-on with these unremitting individuals we call bundles of joy! ????