Why Do Babies Fight Sleep: All The Answers About Your Baby’s Sleep

Baby sleep

Your baby has been yawning, fussing, and rubbing eyes for hours but refuses to go to sleep? You are not alone; most parents have been there at some point or another. Now you must be wondering, why does my baby fight sleep?

It is not uncommon to hear about a baby fighting sleep. While sleep routines are an excellent means to build and strengthen a baby’s rapport with his/her parent or guardian, it is not always an easy task to put your baby to sleep.

Let’s look at the possible causes of- Why do babies fight sleep?

1. Overtired

While exhaustion does mean sleep time, over-exhaustion can be a problem. Most babies are primed to fall asleep during a particular window, and if they miss that window, it becomes difficult for them to fall asleep –leading to crying and fussing.

2. Not Tired Enough

Babies also may be fighting sleep because they are not tired enough. This could be a rare event, like the day’s nap is more prolonged than usual. It is bedtime, but since the baby isn’t tired and sleepy enough, he’s awake and full of energy. In this case, an easy solution would be to tire out the baby by playing for a while.

3. Hungry

Another simple answer to –“Why my baby fights sleep” is hunger. Your baby might be hungry and thus is unable to sleep on an empty stomach. This could be because the baby is growing, and their dietary demands are changing.

4. Overstimulation

A noisy house brimming with horn blaring, toy cars running, and commotion can make the baby overexcited, leading to him fighting sleep. Try to slow down the household and calm the baby an hour before bedtime.

5. Light Sleep

A lesser-known reason for infant fighting sleep is them waking up during their light sleep period. Unlike adults, babies can take up to 20 minutes to reach deep sleep. If they wake up before reaching deep sleep, they can become cranky and fussy.

6. Illness

An often overlooked answer to- “Why do babies fight sleep” can be illnesses. Your baby might be sick and unable to sleep because of the discomfort caused. Look out for colds, coughs, ear infections, stomach aches, etc.

The Bottom Line

Why do babies fight sleep? The causes can be varied-from illnesses and discomfort to bad sleep habits and routines to overstimulation and hunger. The cause may often not be singular; preferably, two to three problems could be causing the baby uneasiness.

So, how to get a baby to stop fighting sleep? Here some tips to keep in mind.

infant sleeping

Build a routine

Routines will help set the baby’s body clock and will make it easier to fall asleep. Bedtime rituals like the last feed, a warm bath, etc., can be helpful.

Wind down

Calm the baby and wind down the house an hour before sleep time. Eliminate loud noises and rough play sometime before the baby’s bedtime. This will help in alleviating the baby and preventing overstimulation.

Eating habits

Try to create and maintain the baby’s sleep habits. With growth, the baby’s dietary needs might change; make sure to keep abreast of them.

Nap and Sleep Schedule

Do check out our blog Is it the right time to introduce cereals to baby

About the author


Charlotte is a health, beauty and wellness blogger and a mother of two, who lives between India and London

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