Sleep Problem in Babies – From Colic to Swaddle

There’s nothing quite like waking up after a great night of sleep, ready to face the challenges and pleasures of a brand new day. Unfortunately, sleep is often disturbed by one of several common sleep disorders. Sleep problems fall into several categories. Sometimes insomnia involves not being able to get to sleep, and sometimes it means you can’t stay asleep. Sometimes you can sleep like a log, but are risking other health problems, as in teeth grinding, sleep walking, or sleep apnea, in which you stop breathing while you are asleep.

The causes of the various sleep disorders vary from psychological causes, like stress or depression, to physical problems like obesity. Medications can cause you to sleep too shallowly or to deeply, or can cause restless legs. Women are more likely to suffer sleep disorders, with the hormonal cycle sometimes causing sleep problems. Alcohol or drug abuse can cause sleep disorders. Older people are much more likely to have sleep disturbances for several reasons. For one thing, they are more likely to be on medications that cause restlessness. Also, they are more likely to have other ailments, such as an overactive bladder or pain from arthritis.

Symptoms of Sleep Problems

A person who is suffering with a sleep disorder is obviously going to feel tired and run down. There are some other general symptoms, like a impairment in one’s productivity. Unfortunately, accidents, including car wrecks, are often the result of someone missing sleep. People who don’t sleep well at night often fall asleep in front of the TV or at school. They might have trouble concentrating, and find it hard to keep from over-reacting to emotional upsets. It might be hard to remember things, and it might be impossible to keep going without a steady supply of coffee.

Sleep disorders can be difficult to diagnose. A person may be receiving treatment for another problem, such as depression, when in reality, a sleep disorder is causing their symptoms. Sometimes doctors don’t think to consider a person’s sleep habits when they are deciding on treatment for a patient. If you are seeing a doctor about a sleep problem, a good idea would be to keep a record of your sleep patterns for a week or two first, and take it to show the doctor. You will likely have a blood test to check for possible disorders, and the doctor will probably have you fill out a questionnaire, such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. If warranted, you might be requested to spend a night in a sleep laboratory, where the electrical activity of your brain, heart, muscles, and eyes will be monitored throughout the night.

Treatment for sleep disorders depends on the type of disorder. In some cases, an external aid, such as a new mattress, white noise machine, or even just a pillow between the knees can make the difference between sleeping like a baby and being up and down all night. Medications are often prescribed for sleep disorders, but implementing good sleep hygiene is perhaps the most important treatment of all. Sleep hygiene refers to going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, relaxing before bedtime, and similar healthful habits.

Sleep Problems in Kids

It is quiet difficult for parents to know that their kid is having a sleep disorder. As no mother or father can keep an eye on their child for all the day and night. But according to recent studies, it is estimated that about thirty percent of kids may have a sleep order at some point in their lives. If you have a baby and is not able to sleep, then it is more likely that she is having some digestive problem. Young babies often do not sleep due to gas problems or they are colic. If you think, that your baby is colic then the first thing you should do is to buy a good anti colic bottle. It is said these bottles reduces gas and other digestive problems to a certain degree. You should also try blankets or swaddle. The newborn babies have good sleep in swaddle as they feel warm and secure.
baby not sleeping
Newborns sleep approximately 16-17 hours a day with periods of wakefulness lasting 1-3 hours. It is normal to include a bath or shower,pyjamas, a drink, cleaning teeth, a toilet visit, a bedtime story, a goodnight kiss and then lights out as parents leave the bedroom. Some persistent sleep problems can be treated with behaviour strategies to reduce the behaviour that caused the problem. If this sounds like your child, the child may have a sleep-onset association disorder. However, most newborns have not developed a night/day sleep cycle, so their periods of sleep and wakefulness can vary to all hours of the day.

  • Put limits on what you let your child do here.Don’t let them stall for time.
  • These strategies aim to teach your child about the importance of sleep and how to sleep better.
  • A parent must be aware that their child or baby can learn how to sleep on their own.
  • Most parents will have to adjust their own sleep schedules to accomodate newborns.
  • Make sure that lights are out at an appropriate time.
  • Your health professional will work with you and your child to find a behaviour strategy to help him sleep better.

Crying baby
To correct this problem, children must learn how to sleep at all times including nap times, on their own. Most people think of insomnia as night after night of sleeplessness, followed by a string of bleary-eyed days. This will give your child the sleep they need. If your child’s persistent sleep problem is a medical condition or sleep disorder, it might need some kind of medical treatment. Most parents find it easier to begin the teaching process at bedtime, but for others nap time may work better. But insomnia simply means sleeplessness — even for just one night. The next day they are more likely to wake up refreshed and be better behaved. For example, if your child has sleep apnea that is caused by enlarged adenoids, she might need an operation to take out her adenoids. When a parent starts teaching their child how to sleep with out people’s assistance, the child will most likely cry in frustration.

All children, at some point, will have trouble sleeping, whether it’s because they watched a scary show earlier in the day, haven’t established a regular bedtime routine, or are simply excited about the next day’s events. Nightmares are quite common in young children. This should improve her breathing during sleep. Don’t worry, this is not abandoning or ignoring the child. Of course, one or two bad nights wouldn’t merit a trip to a sleep center. They often begin between the ages of 18 months and three years. Infants go through a complete sleep cycle about every 50-60 minutes, so they are in light sleep and could wake up many times each night! If the child is an infant, be sure they are safe and not wet, hungry or sick.

Not only do pediatric sleep problems affect child health, but they can impact family dynamics and parental or sibling sleep. Nightmares aren’t usually a sign of emotional disturbance. Newborns just sleep any old time, on and off, all through the day and night. Infants go through a complete sleep cycle about every 50-60 minutes, so they are in light sleep and could wake up many times each night! Children may suffer from problems falling or staying asleep; physiological problems such as obstructive sleep apnea abnormal or disruptive behaviors during sleep such as sleepwalking or other parasomnias symptoms that occur near sleep onset such as restless legs syndrome, and daytime symptoms such as excessive sleepiness, cataplexy and others. They may happen if your child is anxious about something or has been frightened by a TV program or story. By age four months, your baby will probably be sleeping a 6-8 hour chunk at night, and by age 6 months, about 10-12 hours.

Newborns just sleep any old time, on and off, all through the day and night. After a nightmare, your child will need comfort and reassurance. But that’s not to say that they won’t wake up during that time! By age four months, your baby will probably be sleeping a 6-8 hour chunk at night, and by age 6 months, about 10-12 hours. If your child has a lot of nightmares and you don’t know why, talk to your GP or health visitor. Most babies still wake up at least once a night even at age nine months. But that’s not to say that they won’t wake up during that time! Early-infant sleep is quite different from the sleep of adults. Some can get back to sleep by themselves, and some need you to help them fall back asleep. Most babies still wake up at least once a night even at age nine months.
Colic baby with mom
Infants younger than six months spend 50 percent of their sleep time in active rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, compared with 20 percent in adults. Depending upon their age, children should sleep for anywhere from nine hours (for 12- to 18-year olds) to 15 ½ hours (for a 1-month old). Any interruption or abnormality in a child’s sleeping patterns should be closely examined by a pediatric sleep medicine specialist. Some can get back to sleep by themselves, and some need you to help them fall back asleep. Infants enter sleep through an initial active REM stage, in contrast to adults, who don’t commonly enter REM sleep until 90 minutes into the sleep cycle. Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Program consists of a multidisciplinary team of professionals whose primary focus is providing pediatric-specific care for children living with sleep disorders and their families. Active REM emerges more often during a sleep cycle in infants, resulting in shorter sleep cycles. Until six months of age, quiet REM (also known as quiet or indeterminate sleep) cannot be subdivided into the four electroencephalographic (EEG) stages known in the mature sleep pattern.

Using Swaddle to overcome sleep problem in young babies

It is said to be familiar to babies, as it recreates the secure and cozy feeling of the womb. Over-swaddling or using double swaddle blankets can lead to overheating. Babies are used to being snuggled tight in the womb. Snug swaddling soothes babies by reminding them of being in the wombSwaddling helps prevent over stimulation. It has also been said that swaddling babies prevents spontaneous movements called the moro or startle reflex from waking them*—which allows for a much more peaceful night’s sleep.

  • This factor has been linked to SIDS.
  • While being wrapped tightly in a blanket doesn’t sound great to most adults, it is for a new baby.
  • Swaddling helps to contain baby’s own jerky movements that can startle him or her awake.
  • This is the benefit that compels so many parents to try swaddling.
  • Signs of an overheated baby include damp hair and sweating.
  • Hospital nurses, friends and your mother will all tell you that babies do sleep better when they are wrapped.
  • Baby is able to self-comfort by sucking on fingers or hand if swaddled with hands near face – the normal infant has been observed post delivery to bring hands to face within 30 minutes.
  • Imagine: Getting your newborn to stop crying in a few simple folds!

Today parents can use swaddles that are specifically designed to allow excess heat to escape which provides ventilation for baby. Many people feel that a newborn needs to have their hands free so that they can practice using their arms, figure out how to get their hands into their mouths so they can self-soothe by sucking on fingers, etc. Every baby is different, and what works for some may not work as well for others. It’s not magic, though. Several studies have linked swaddling to a higher risk of respiratory infections and, if done improperly, hip dysplasia. However most of the movement of your newborn baby’s limbs is actually unintentional and random. While there is research that supports the benefits of swaddling – as well as plenty of anecdotal evidence – you will need to monitor your baby and see how they respond to the feeling of being wrapped.

Research has shown that swaddling can decrease crying by 42% in infants 8 weeks old or younger. Swaddled babies may overheat, especially if their heads are partially covered, which can cause hyperthermia and even death. Immobilizing their arms actually helps them to develop better motor skill organization. Generally, swaddling is recommended for at least the first few months of life. But the baby-wrap is not so successful with wailing babies beyond that age. There is ongoing debate over whether swaddling prevents infants from waking easily, hinders weight gain or, most troubling, increases the chance of SIDS. What these researchers found is quite simple. When your baby shows the first signs of rolling, we recommend you start transitioning your baby to sleeping arms free. Most parents only swaddle their babies when they are newborns. Today, these life saving recommendations are taught in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices across the nation.
baby in swaddle
For the first 4 or 5 months of your baby’s life, he or she may experience the Moro or startle reflex in which their arms or legs jerk in response to a falling sensation. Researchers from the Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Medical School have weighed in on the swaddling debate, acknowledging that it may help your baby sleep better and cry less. Once they are one or two-months-old, many babies don’t need the extra warmth or security they were getting from swaddling anymore. And, we have cut SIDS deaths by over 50%. It’s an enormous success and cause for celebration, but our work is far from done. This is normal but it can cause your baby to awaken, especially if they are in a light sleep phase.

They have expressed concern, however, that swaddled infants are at a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia than infants who are not swaddled. Studies have shown that swaddling doesn’t help infants with excessive crying once they are two-months-old anyway. For more than a decade, SIDS rates have stubbornly refused to drop. This is where swaddling helps. Roughly 17 percent of newborns show some signs of dysplasia that usually resolve over time without treatment. And, the U.S. Research has proven that by restricting motor activity and mimicking the security of a mother’s womb, swaddling comforts babies. Center for Disease Control has reported that, for the past 15 years, infant suffocation deaths, like Reneja’s, have risen an alarming 14% per year. This results in less crying, more stable heart rates and the ability to sleep through the startle reflex.

Coping with a colic baby

Babies with colic can have lengthy bouts of crying at any time during the day, and sometimes their crying gets worse in the evening. The causes of colic remain unclear and symptoms vary from baby to baby. When my kids were babies, I despised the woman in the baby-lotion commercial — the one with the clean hair and the content baby — because she made me feel like a bad mom. As many as one in five infants are colicky, a condition characterized by inconsolable crying and fretfulness for hours at a time — sometimes round-the-clock but usually at the same time of day, typically in the late afternoon or evening. It can be rough on parents, who are desperate to soothe their baby but have a hard time finding anything that works.

  • However it is thought that it may be related to a baby having difficulties with digestion, or taking in too much air while feeding, leading to pressure in her stomach.
  • Her baby cooed while my babies cried.
  • These babies often have excessive gas and may repeatedly pull their knees to their stomachs and clench their fists in distress.
  • It tends to kick off at a specific time of day – often the late afternoon or early evening, ‘arsenic hour’ – and can last for hours.
  • The symptoms of colic can begin in the first few weeks and will normally end by the time a baby is around three to four months old, although it can continue up until six months.
  • As least I think her baby cooed.

Soother tapes and devices may help baby fall asleep. A colicky baby will pull up his knees, clench his fists and scream and scream and scream. Bear in mind that your tried-and-trusted techniques may not work every time. I couldn’t really hear over my sons’ wails. A bedtime routine is a worthwhile investment for the future. Nobody’s exactly sure what causes it – although there are plenty of theories around – but everyone agrees on two things: it doesn’t cause any long-term harm to your baby and it’s a shocker for any parent to handle. Colic means that, even though your baby is healthy, she may just cry for no obvious reason. When you already feel like a terrible mom, comparing yourself to others is like pouring salt on a wound. This is best introduced as soon as possible with perhaps a warm bath before bedtime and a quiet feed and cuddle before sleep.

Babies like to be held, so pick them up. While this can be stressful, remind yourself that you haven’t done anything wrong, and that this phase will pass. Watching new mothers doting over their peaceful babies while her offspring screamed convinced Andrea Kahl of Kings Park, New York, a mom of two, that she was the worst mother around. From 3 months babies are becoming more aware of their environment, so other methods of settling them to sleep can be considered. Yes, it sounds simple—and it is.

Dealing with colic can be tough, and some parents feel depressed, helpless and even angry when faced with their persistently crying baby. We had a seemingly happy baby, a perfect little boy, and then the crying came on. Mobiles and soft play things above the cot prevent boredom and make baby‘s cot a more enjoyable place to be. The idea that you can “spoil” a baby by holding him too much is a myth. I can remember the moment I realized something was up: It was 2 or 3 a.m., and I was in the nursery, doing this trick I’d come up with to calm him, where I paced back and forth and rocked him in a slowed-down version of a football running back carrying the pigskin, one end of the room to the other, back and forth, back and forth. If your little one is crying or fussy, he might just need to be close to you. Before, it had seemed to soothe him. Pick him up, rub his back, rock back and forth, whisper in his ear, and show him your love and attention. Now, nothing soothed him.