Baby insomnia is a well-known problem to many parents. The causes are difficult to pinpoint because unlike adults, infants can’t communicate to us why they’re having trouble falling asleep. it is up to parents to find out why there is a sleep disturbance and how to address the situation. Common causes of infant sleep disturbances are teething, colds, and separation anxiety.
The Basics of Infant Sleep Cycles
The sleep/wake cycle of an infant is extremely different from that of an adult. The infant experiences a shorter sleep cycle that is easier to interrupt than an average adult sleep cycle; hunger, noise, and even light can awaken a sleeping infant. While the interruption of sleep is normal, the lack of sleep is not. Infants sleep much longer than adults. Between the ages of 3 months and 1 year, a baby will sleep up to 12 hours and frequent naps are interspersed throughout periods of wakefulness.
Baby insomnia has a medical name: Infant Sleep Disturbance, or ISD. it is difficult to diagnose because of the sporadic nature of an infant’s sleep. At some time or another, most infants experience difficulty sleeping. There are illnesses and environmental factors that play a part in keeping a child awake. Baby insomnia is a common sleep problem for infants and it is a problem for parents as well. They want to know how to treat the problem.
Parents that have a child that suffers from baby insomnia are advised to rule out causes such as teething or illness first, and then if these problems aren’t the culprit, they are advised to create a better sleep routine for their child. Doctors recommend setting and sticking to regular feeding times, creating a bedtime and sticking to it, and maintaining a quiet, low-light environment for the child while it is trying to sleep.
With close observation by parents, and a loving, patient attitude, baby insomnia doesn’t have to grow out of control. it is tough for parents to cope with because their routine is disrupted by the baby insomnia too, but in the end there’s a resolution for parents that tough it out, identify the causes, and act appropriately. If sleep problems don’t resolve with doctor recommended solutions, then returning to the doctor is advised.
There may be an underlying illness that is unknown to the family that needs to be identified and treated before normal sleep patterns are resumed by the baby.