WHY DO BABIES FIGHT SLEEP?

What is the price of having a baby? Almost immediately, the sacrifice of sleep, comfort, and sanity pop into mind, alongside the inconsolable wailing through the night that, in other words, stand for the source of most parents’ nightmares. Sure, a baby is the light of the parents’ lives, and of course, there is every possibility that the baby will soon grow out of his/her habit of a crying day in day out, but until then, all the parents can do is pray through their sleepless nights. Whether you’re here as a desperate parent, or just as a curious scholar, there’s one thing that you should know- that is, babies don’t want to fight sleep. In fact, it is during the infancy period that babies need the most rest, as growth hormones are released at a higher rate in infants compared to adults, thus making them sleepy. Most infants sleep for sixteen hours per day, but some can sleep for more than twenty hours. That said, infants can still make a fuss when being put to sleep, which leads one to wonder, why do babies fight sleep?

What is the price of having a baby? Almost immediately, the sacrifice of sleep, comfort, and sanity pop into mind, alongside the inconsolable wailing through the night that, in other words, stand for the source of most parents’ nightmares. Sure, a baby is the light of the parents’ lives, and of course, there is every possibility that the baby will soon grow out of his/her habit of a crying day in day out, but until then, all the parents can do is pray through their sleepless nights. Whether you’re here as a desperate parent, or just as a curious scholar, there’s one thing that you should know- that is, babies don’t want to fight sleep. In fact, it is during the infancy period that babies need the most rest, as growth hormones are released at a higher rate in infants compared to adults, thus making them sleepy. Most infants sleep for sixteen hours per day, but some can sleep for more than twenty hours. That said, infants can still make a fuss when being put to sleep, which leads one to wonder, why do babies fight sleep?

Here are the reasons why babies fight sleep:

  • Babies Feel Overtired
  • Babies Are Not Tired Enough
  • Babies Are Overstimulated
  • Babies Are Under Stimulated
  • Babies Feel Hungry (learn about breastfeeding)
  • The Temperature Is Unsuitable for The Baby
  • Babies Have Separation Anxiety
  • Babies Have a More ‘Social’ Personality
  • Babies Have a Medical Condition

Overtired Baby/ Baby Not Tired Enough

Among the many familiar reasons why infants seemingly fight sleep is because the parents missed the child’s ‘sleep window’- that is, the best time for a baby to fall asleep. The baby can either not be tired enough to sleep or be too tired to sleep. Hence the racket he/she is making. Fret not, however, as there are a few solutions to this problem. The parents can either keep a sharp lookout for a baby’s sleep window through the baby’s actions, be it eye-rubbing or yawn. It might take a few tries to get right, but when you do eventually recognize the tell-tale signs of a child’s sleep window, the baby will be significantly easier to put to bed. Besides that, the parents can also evaluate the number of naps the baby is taking, and increase or decrease them, depending on whether or not the baby is not tired enough or vice versa.

Overstimulated Baby/ Baby Not Stimulated Enough.

Now, take in the baby’s surroundings. Is there a lot of background noise? Can the TV from the living room be heard, or is the fan making weird creaking noises? Babies are fascinated by everything and anything that moves or makes sounds, which is both beneficial (for the baby, as they are learning new things) and entertaining to watch. However, sometimes the stimulation proves to be too much for the babies, and they start crying out for it to stop. Other times, babies can find it hard to sleep when there’s too little stimulation, which is not surprising when one thinks about how babies had the constant companion of their mother’s heartbeat when they were still in the womb. To make the baby more comfortable, parents should observe their infants reaction to increased/decreased stimulation, and draw their conclusions from there.

Hungry Baby

Another common reason why babies fight sleep is that they are hungry. If the parents feed the baby right before they fall asleep, the parents run the risk of not giving the baby a full meal, as the baby is too tired to drink till he/she is full. Hence, the baby would wake up at regular intervals to be fed. The solution to this is to feed the baby right after they awaken, as the baby is the most energized at the time. Another answer to this would be that parents can take note how much milk the baby drinks each day to ensure the baby gets enough milk. To know exactly how much milk, the baby needs, parents, can consult a pediatrician. However, do keep in mind that during growth spurts, babies tend to drink more milk than usual.

Temperature Does Not Suit Baby

Much like adults, too warm or too cold a temperature can affect babies’ sleep; unlike adults, babies cannot get up to alter the temperature to their liking.Parents can then use this method known as the ‘toe test’- where the baby’s toe temperature is taken and the room temperature altered to the baby’s liking to know if the child is uncomfortable.It is because babies are often swaddled in blankets and covered up, and parents might overlook the fact that under the sheets, the baby is burning up.

Baby Has Separation Anxiety

Besides all the above factors, parents might want to take into consideration that some babies have separation anxiety. If your child starts crying the moment you leave the room, or can’t stand to be away from you, the then chances are that the infant has a fear of being separated from you. Among the solutions to this, is to go out of the room for a minute, and pop back in repeatedly. Gradually, the child would understand that you’re not leaving them, but only in another place.

Baby’s Personality

However, sometimes when babies fight sleep, it may not be because of any other reason than the fact that the baby does not want to sleep. Everybody has their personality, and that includes babies too. Some babies are so eager and curious about the world that they just refuse to go to sleep for fear of missing out on the fun. These babies tend to grow up to be more sociable and outgoing people- but in the meantime, as babies, they should first focus on growing up. To encourage the child to fall asleep, parents could build a soothing bedtime routine, such as giving them a message and reading them bedtime stories. The parents could also ensure that the surroundings are calming and peaceful- less noise, dark surroundings, etc. to ensure that the child could be lulled to sleep comfortably.

Baby Has Medical Condition

Lastly, if all of the above have been tried and your baby still fights sleep, it might be time for a check-up with your pediatrician. The child’s sleep could be affected by a medical condition, such as:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux (wherein stomach contents are regurgitated, causing pain to the baby)
  • Simple cold (which may interfere with the baby’s appetite and sleep patterns)
  • Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease (which causes painful sores in the mouth and throat)

Regardless of the situation, the pediatrician should have the best possible cure for it.

Why do babies fight sleep? It is well known that babies can be fussy and noisy, especially before bed, but with the right handling, babies could be lulled to sleep comfortably. The reasons stated above should be able to help any parent to calm their infant down and ensure a good night’s sleep, where nobody wakes up crying or screaming.

What Are The Benefits Of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a very personal decision and one that often calls for very strong opinions either in favor or against it. The choice to do so or not is really up to the mother and the unique situation she and her baby find themselves in, but it’s always necessary to stay informed on the pros and cons. It’s a well-known fact that a lot of medical experts and institutions like the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend breastfeeding, and here we will talk about the most significant benefits breastfeeding can bring to you and your baby.

Breastfeeding is a very personal decision and one that often calls for very strong opinions either in favor or against it. The choice to do so or not is really up to the mother and the unique situation she and her baby find themselves in, but it’s always necessary to stay informed on the pros and cons. It’s a well-known fact that a lot of medical experts and institutions like the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend breastfeeding, and here we will talk about the most significant benefits breastfeeding can bring to you and your baby.

Breastfeeding Benefits For The Baby

  • Nature’s perfect food: Breast milk is the ideal food for a baby. Think about it, breast milk is the result of years of evolution, so what could be better for your baby than nature’s choice for nutrition? It contains the ideal mix of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins, all the nutrients that a newborn needs to grow and be healthy, and this is backed up by all the benefits found on breastfed babies.
  • Statistically beneficial: Studies have shown statistics where breastfed babies have a considerably lower risk of suffering from all types of illnesses, including childhood leukemia. Some other benefits that have been found in these babies are a better brain development, a healthy weight, and of course a stronger immune system resulting in a lower risk of infection.
  • Helps the immune system: Breast milk contains all types of antibodies, creating a strong and capable immune system for the baby, fighting off infections much more quickly. The antibody that has been most linked to being passed on to the baby through breast milk is IgA (immunoglobin A), which is often found on the mucosa. A higher count of IgA has been proven to help and prevent all sorts of allergies, and lower the risk of suffering from asthma.
  • Let’s talk about colostrum: As good as regular breast milk sounds, there’s something even better that comes from the breast. Colostrum is also known as the pre-milk, and it’s a thick and yellow liquid that comes out of the breast during the first few days after the birth.

This liquid is  even more of an ideal nutrition for the baby. It’s thick consistency and yellowish colour it’s due to the high quantity of protein it has, and it also contains a lot of essential substances for the growth of the baby, such as insulin and epidermal growth factor. Feeding your baby with colostrum for as long as you can produce it helps them develop their digestive track, and gets them ready to receive the milk that comes later.

  • No bad eating habits: Apart from all the useful substances and nutrients breast milk contains, breastfeeding is also beneficial for your baby to develop healthy eating habits. When you breastfeed your baby, they will eat until they are satisfied, no more or less. Learning to eat only until they’re full from such an early stage is really helpful to prevent future eating problems.
  • A few things to take into consideration: Even though breast milk is a source of almost every nutrient your baby needs, there are still some notes that have to be clarified. When it comes to nutrients, especially vitamins, it must be clear that for the baby to get them, the mother has to have a sufficient intake. If the mother doesn’t have a balanced diet, then the baby won’t get as many benefits from the breast milk as they could.

It is also important to point out that Vitamin D supplements are often recommended by doctors, as the babies don’t get enough sunlight and mothers frequently don’t have enough intake. This results in breast milk not providing enough Vitamin D, and the baby also not producing it with the help of the sun rays. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends that children receive 400 IU of Vitamin D daily.

Breastfeeding Benefits For The Mom

  • You will heal faster: Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland. This hormone has many effects on the body, the two most important ones being the contraction of the uterus and the ejection of milk by the mammary glands. Therefore, oxytocin is released during labour, being responsible for the contractions, and with the stimulation of the nipples in lactating mothers, making the milk come out.
  • This means that when a mother breastfeeds, she releases more oxytocin, which makes the uterus contract, helping with the post-labour healing. So one benefit found in breastfeeding mothers is that they heal much more quickly than a mother who doesn’t.
  • It helps with PPD: Postpartum depression is a condition that affects more women than we think, but studies have found that breastfeeding could help prevent it from happening. Oxytocin doesn’t only have physical effects, but it also works psychologically.

This hormone is linked to maternal behaviour and a connection with the baby, so by releasing more oxytocin during breastfeeding, mothers show more affection and a lower amount of anxiety regarding their baby. Plus, the simple act of feeding your child yourself is known to be a great way to connect with the baby, which helps to form a more significant bond.

  • A natural contraceptive?: When women breastfeed continuously, menstruation and ovulation pauses. This is nature’s way of making sure there will be a considerable amount of time between pregnancies. A rest from your period is always a nice thing, and an extra method of contraception is useful too. But keep in mind that this isn’t a 100% safe method, and needs to be used alongside other forms of birth control.
  • Statistically beneficial for the mother too: Breastfeeding has also been linked to statistics that show many health benefits for the mother as well. For example, women who breastfed showed a lower risk of suffering from breast and ovarian cancer for reasons that haven’t been determined yet. Some other benefits are a lower risk of suffering from osteoporosis, as breastfeeding mothers absorb calcium much more, and it can also make you lose weight.
  • It’s convenient: The ultimate reason to breastfeed your child comes down to convenience. Breastfeeding saves you time and money, as it’s free and you don’t have to do much. Just a little privacy and you’re good to go.

As we said in the beginning, whether a woman chooses to breastfeed or not is entirely up to the her and the situation regarding the birth, the baby, and the health of the mother herself. We just recommend taking into consideration all the significant benefits that come with breastfeeding, for both the mother and the baby.

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