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Why Doesn’t My Baby Sleep At Night?

Six Reasons Why Babies Don’t Sleep At Night

Eastbourne Chiropractor Dr Gemma Crouch shares six reasons why babies don’t sleep at night.

Is your baby up all night and sleeps all day? You are not alone.

During pregnancy, your baby develops a sleep-wake cycle based on your normal heart rate and activity. If you were active a lot during the night time, such as getting up to urinate often or standing up to relieve some discomfort, then it is likely that your baby has fallen into a similar routine of night time waking.

There are many other reasons, however, why a baby may not sleep at night. Chiropractic can help with some of these reasons and a chiropractic check-up is recommended if you think they apply to your baby. Here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne we see many young babies – much to the surprise of some of our other guests!

 Reason #1: Your Baby Is Uncomfortable

The 1992 American Paediatric campaign ‘Back to Sleep’ recommended that all babies should be placed on their back to get to sleep. If babies are left for long periods of time, such as at night time, or have trouble to remain comfortable in this position, they can become irritable and find it difficult to sleep.

Signs that your baby does not like lying on their back:

  • Arching their back as if in discomfort
  • Lifting their legs up as if in pain
  • Irritability that is consoled with a change in position

If your baby shows one or more of these signs, it could indicate that your baby is suffering from a musculoskeletal (muscles and joints) problem. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to relieve these types of problems in babies.

Reason #2: Your Baby Experienced Birth Trauma

Image of Eastbourne chiropractor Gemma Crouch to accompany her blog on reasons why your baby might not sleep .

Gemma with a young guest

Entry into this world can be a very difficult experience for your little one, even with a natural birth. Intrauterine constraint, back-to-back delivery, breech position and as assisted delivery (such as C-section or forceps) can all cause the delicate musculoskeletal system of your infant to become irritated.

Signs that your baby has a musculoskeletal problem due to birth trauma:

  • A dislike to lying on their back
  • Not easily settled to sleep and waking frequently
  • Irritability
  • A preference to looking one way
  • A preference to lying and feeding upright

If your baby shows one or more of these signs, it may indicate that your baby is suffering from a musculoskeletal problem related to birth trauma. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to help relieve these types of musculoskeletal problems in babies.  Treatments I use are modified to suit babies and young children, they are very gentle and controlled.

Reason #3: Your Baby Is Hungry

The most common reason for a baby to wake at night is due to hunger. Parents should be able to recognise the specific crying and behaviour when their baby is hungry. An irritable cry is more high-pitched.

Night feeds should take place at regular intervals and preferably at a similar time each night. It is best to feed your baby in a cool, calm and quiet environment to avoid over-stimulating your baby.

Reason #4: Your Baby Has Started Teething

At around 3-6 months of age, your baby will start teething. This can make your baby very irritable and cause them to frequently wake during the night. Often, your baby will have a slightly red colour to their cheeks. You may also notice your baby drools or chews on their fingers. Speak to your pharmacist or GP for advice on pain relief for your baby

Reason #5: Your Baby Is Overly Tired

Babies tend to settle to sleep quicker when they have specific sleeping routines and are encouraged to be active during the day. Here are some useful tips to resettling your baby’s internal clock:

  • Wake your baby at similar times every morning
  • Change your baby out of their night clothes soon after waking them
  • Play with them as much as you can during the day and ensure that Tummy Time and all other activities with your child are supervised
  • Keep the room where your baby sleeps at night as cool and as dark as possible

Reason #6: Your Baby May Have Digestive Problems

Excessive gas and reflux can cause discomfort for your baby and disrupt their sleep. After feeds, gentle massage and winding can relieve some of your baby’s discomfort. It is important, however, to be aware of the signs of allergy or intolerance. Seek advice from your doctor if you suspect your child has a food allergy or intolerance.

If you want to find out more about how chiropractic care can help your child or to make an appointment, visit your local Eastbourne Chiropractor at Lushington Chiropractic to find out more.

Thanks for reading,

Gemma