How to Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems

The Key to Preventing Sleep Problems in BabiesCrying Baby

Many babies encounter sleep problems during their first years of life. It is quite common, actually, and normal to have to cope with sleep problems in babies. This is said so as to not encourage any sort of concern that is out of the ordinary should you experience sleep problems in babies. But while the problems may be normal, however, they are still preventable and a solution to the problem should be lobbied for. This, of course, is both for the good of the infant and for the parent that is likely struggling for some sleep.

There are no right or wrong ways to put your child to sleep. All within the realm of the law and your cultural human decency is generally acceptable behavior that can be applied to encouraging your baby to sleep. Every child is different, so a variety of methods may be helpful in getting your little one to rest peacefully. It is important to note that methods for putting babies to sleep are generally not generic, and often suggest specific steps that may not work on your child. For this reason, consult your pediatrician for the best method for your individual child.

Individuality Counts

Sleep problems in babies might seem like impossible issues that cause no end of sleeping difficulties for both the children and the parents. The reality is that most babies grow out of this phase and the general problems are also avoidable, at least in part. Newborns, for example, have irregular sleep patterns that cause sleep problems in babies. By two to three months of age, however, your child should be on a reasonably regular sleep schedule. This includes having a bedtime routine that revolves around time you spend with your child alone as a way to bond, perhaps over a story or two.

Bedtime includes all of the steps that you take to prepare your child for bed. This should be as individually unique as your child is. Include stories and cuddle times, as well as other moments such as teethbrushing, that foster the individual bond that you have with your child. Part of preventing sleep problems in babies is comforting them and letting them know that they are safe and in the care of someone who loves them dearly. Many sleep problems in babies are as a direct result of not spending enough time with a parental figure.

How to Solve

Many parents, whether or not they’ve had other children, can be baffled when they realize something is wrong with their child. There are feelings of frustration and despair, as well as deep concern and indecisiveness with how to handle your child’s sleep problems.

Whether your child’s sleep problem is nightmares or wetting the bed, your child is at the forefront of your mind. When your baby wakes up with a blood-curdling scream in the middle of the night, it’s frightening. More frightening is a baby who will not be calmed with a touch, a bottle, or a new diaper. You’ll wonder what is hurting your child or if he has mild (or severe) discomfort of some kind.

Some children wake in the middle of the night and bang their heads against the rails of the crib. Your child’s sleep problems are not at always apparent, and it is not your fault that you can’t figure out what is wrong. Some children sleep all night, others cry all night. A big myth is that a child will cry if left unattended but will eventually fall asleep.

This is, however, not true of a child whose body cycle does not cause him to become sleepy. If your child is crying at the same intensity all night, he’s not looking for attention—he is indicating that something is wrong; it’s time to ask your doctor about your child’s sleep problem. Look for signs of sleepwalking or head banging. Think back—does the child eat on a regular schedule, or do you have to feed to create a schedule?

* Migraines
Children who do not eat or become hungry on a regular schedule may be indicating their lack of a cyclic metabolism. These infants and children are prone to migraines, which can occur when a child is hungry. This is not to imply that the child is neglected or unfed. It is more indicative of a situation where the child does not complain of being hungry, so a bottle or feeding isn’t given. If the child goes to bed without eating on a regular schedule, he might sleep himself right into a migraine that will appear if his body decides he’s hungry, or if his blood sugars are low.

Don’t assume that a migraine headache is impossible in an infant, or that a child would obviously wake up and cry if hungry. If you’ve worked for years to determine what is wrong with your child, one night he may come to you holding his head—and only then that you as an unsuspecting parent might think to investigate headaches as potential source of your child’s sleep problem.

 

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