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    Help! My Baby Does Not Sleep! Learn More About Baby Sleep Issues and Their Solutions

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    Help! My Baby Does Not Sleep! Learn More About Baby Sleep Issues and Their Solutions

    Updated on 17 May 2023

    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Sameer Awadhiya

    Dr Sameer has more than 10 Years of Experience as a specialist and more than 19 years of total experience - MBBS| DCH, DNB

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    Do you remember the days when you used to lie down, shut your eyes, and simply drift off to sleep? Remember those blissful Saturdays when you could sleep in without a care in the world? And can you recall a time when your wake-up call was the sound of an alarm clock, not the cries of a baby?

    When your baby struggles with sleep, it affects the entire household. While it's natural for young infants to wake frequently during the night, an older baby who remains awake all night can exhaust even the most resilient parents. If your baby is struggling to sleep through the night, you're likely feeling desperate for answers. You want to understand why your baby won't sleep and, most importantly, how to help them sleep better.

    There are several reasons why a baby may have difficulty sleeping, and when your baby is visually impaired, additional factors come into play. In this article, we've gathered five common reasons why babies face sleep challenges. Some of these issues apply to all babies, while others are specific to blind babies. After each sleep problem, we provide a potential solution, offering ideas to help you overcome your baby's sleep hurdles.

    Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Choose a solution that seems suitable for your situation and give it a week-long trial. If it doesn't yield the desired results, you can move on to another option. Rest assured, with patience and persistence, you'll discover the approach that works best for your little one.

    Sleep Problem #1:

    Your baby easily falls asleep while being rocked and sung to, but they wake up frequently throughout the night, requiring the same soothing routine to fall back asleep.

    Solution: Your baby needs to learn the skill of self-soothing and putting themselves back to sleep. While falling asleep comes naturally to babies, it's important to teach them how to do it independently. You can start by introducing a soft toy or blanket during cuddle time. Later, place the toy or blanket in the crib when you put your baby to sleep. The familiar object will remind them of pleasant times with you, and when they wake up, they can find comfort in the toy and easily drift back to sleep.

    Another technique is to lie down with your baby on a larger bed that accommodates both of you. Your baby can snuggle up to you and eventually fall asleep on their own, allowing you to get up afterward. Gradually, you can try getting up just before they fall asleep. Then, lay them down, give them a kiss, and sit next to the bed. With time, you should be able to lay your child down and leave the room.

    Also read: Six Sleep Mistakes Parents Make and How to Avoid Them

    Sleep Problem #2:

    Sometimes your baby takes long naps during the day and struggles to wake up, while other times they remain awake and playful throughout the night.

    Solution: It's crucial to teach your blind baby the cues that distinguish between day and night. Establish a consistent nighttime routine so that your baby understands when the evening hours begin. Alongside following a simple schedule involving dinner, bath, and a bedtime story, incorporate specific nighttime songs, storybooks, and toys that are only introduced during the evening. When you start singing a nighttime song, for instance, your baby will recognize that it's getting late and almost time for bed.

    Another helpful practice is to point out nighttime sounds to your baby. Taking them outside in the early evening to listen to the chirping crickets, for example, can be soothing and aid in their transition to the nighttime routine. As your baby grows older, they will associate the sound of crickets with evening time.

    You may also like: Establishing good sleep habits: 3 to 6 months

    Sleep Problem #3:

    Your baby is either very calm throughout the day or has delays in their gross motor skills, which can affect their readiness for bedtime.

    Solution: Encourage your child's activity during the day. Stay active, visit the park, and provide ample opportunities for vestibular stimulation (such as swinging, sliding, or engaging in playful activities with your baby). In other words, aim to tire your little one out throughout the day!

    Infants who don't engage in sufficient physical activity may experience muscle discomfort at night, similar to the sensation of "restless leg syndrome," due to inadequate muscle usage during the day. Consider massaging your baby's legs and arms before bedtime. A cozy moment after bath time, wrapped in warm, dry towels, can be a perfect opportunity to gently massage your baby, promoting relaxation and serving as a seamless transition to bedtime.

    Sleep Challenge #4:

    Regardless of how tired she may be, your baby seems eager to engage in play! The issue here might be that your baby craves interaction and finds nighttime to be a fun time.

    Sleep Strategies: Many of the aforementioned solutions can be helpful in this situation, such as establishing a consistent bedtime routine and relaxing your baby before sleep with a soothing massage. However, the most crucial aspect when dealing with an overly interactive baby is to remain consistent! Resist the urge to engage in play with your baby and ensure that all caregivers are on the same page. It can be difficult to resist those adorable smiles and infectious laughter at 2 am, but whatever you do, avoid playing. This reinforces the notion that being cute enough will lead to playtime with mom and dad during the night.

    Moreover, if your child has limited or no perception of light, nighttime play can cause confusion regarding day and night. It is important to consistently create an atmosphere of nighttime, even if everyone in the household is awake. This entails keeping the lights dim, speaking softly, and singing specific songs reserved for the nighttime routine. While it may feel challenging, maintaining consistency will eventually help your baby understand that no matter how adorable they are, playtime is not permitted during the night.

    You may also read: Baby sleep facts and myths every parent should know

    Sleep Challenge #5

    When people inquire about your baby's sleep, you find yourself explaining that they sleep soundly at 1 pm but struggle at 1 am. If your baby takes lengthy afternoon naps but experiences difficulty sleeping at night, you may need to consider taking drastic measures.

    Sleep Strategies: I understand that long afternoon naps provide an opportunity to accomplish household tasks, but many blind babies simply cannot nap during the day. Period. It came as a surprise when our Vision Specialist informed us that she had never encountered a blind toddler who could manage daytime napping and still sleep well at night. Aren't babies supposed to nap? While napping is beneficial, considering that your baby only sleeps for a maximum of four hours at night, even a two-hour nap during the day would result in a total of six hours of sleep within a twenty-four hour period, which is insufficient for proper brain development. If skipping the nap allows for ten hours of sleep at night, it is necessary to do so.

    Following this advice, Ivan experienced a significant improvement in his sleep patterns. In less than a week, Ivan transitioned from four to six interrupted hours of sleep at night to ten to twelve uninterrupted hours. We experimented with new sleep schedules and discovered that Ivan can manage a half-hour nap around 2 pm. He wakes up cheerful and ready for the remainder of the day, subsequently sleeping well at night. While we have also incorporated various other sleep strategies into our routine (Ivan particularly enjoys the massage), reducing the daytime nap has undeniably had the most significant impact.

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    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Sameer Awadhiya

    Dr Sameer has more than 10 Years of Experience as a specialist and more than 19 years of total experience - MBBS| DCH, DNB

    View Profile

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