All parents have had trouble putting their little bundle of joy to sleep at one time or another. There are many causes for babies not falling and staying asleep. Some of them we can tend to. Others we simply have to ride out. Following are seven of the top reasons why babies have difficulty sleeping.

  1. Baby is hungry. This is the most common reason babies wake up, especially in the first three months of their lives. Infants need to eat at least every four hours, and usually more often. Babies with full tummies are able to sleep much more easily than hungry babies. When feeding at night, try to feed baby in a dark, unstimulating place, so she can get back to sleep more easily when she is full.
  2. Baby is over-stimulated. Some babies go to sleep well staring up at mobiles, but others need a place that doesn’t give them much to look at while they are sleeping. Often, babies will wake out of a light sleep and drift back to sleep, but if something catches their attention, it can keep them from going to sleep.
  3. Baby needs to be changed. If baby isn’t clean and dry, it can be difficult for him to go to sleep. When you’re trying to help baby nod off, make sure that he has a clean diaper.
  4. Baby is cold. Often, helping your baby sleep is a matter of simply adding a blanket. Babies need to be slightly warmer than adults to be comfortable. Swaddle infants tightly, as this gives them a feeling of added security. Older babies should be swaddled more loosely, or simply covered up with the blanket.
  5. Baby is too hot. It’s easy to get carried away snuggling baby in and cover her up with too many layers. Babies generally need one layer more than adults. If baby is having trouble staying asleep, consider taking a layer of blanket off.
  6. Baby’s clothing is irritating. Some babies are sensitive to certain types of clothing, making it difficult to stay comfortable while they are sleeping. Try using cotton garments for your baby’s sleeping clothes.
  7. Baby is teething. If you’re noticing drooling, or irritation around baby’s mouth, chances are good that he has teeth coming in. Consult with your pediatrician. There are plenty of over the counter remedies to help sooth baby’s gums.