Baby Insomnia Symptoms & Treatment
Whether you’re a new parent or the parent of a toddler, making sure that your child sleeps – meaning healthy sleep for long stretches of time - seems to be a constant issue. Some babies fall into sleep patterns that make bed time a breeze, while others may have difficulty and/or need more help from their parents. Many parents lament that their baby never sleeps, or have concerns about infant insomnia, and even worry if sleep insomnia in babies is a thing. While it may look like baby insomnia symptoms, infant insomnia is a very difficult thing to diagnose. Chances are, your newborn infant is getting used to the world and life outside of the womb and they’re still learning how to sleep. Creating a nighttime – and naptime – routine will help at every stage of development. That means a calm, quiet environment and little to no stimulation other than perhaps some soft music. That said, some parents swear by white noise machines that create ambient sounds meant to soothe and comfort. There’s also snuggling, rocking, shhing, similar to what life was like in the womb. These are the things that are familiar to your baby and will likely help them get to sleep faster. If however, you still have questions, keep reading for some FAQs about baby sleeplessness!
Can babies have insomnia?
When it comes to diagnosing insomnia in your baby, you may be waiting for confirmation for a while. That’s because unlike adults who can articulate reasons for lack of sleep (stress, anxiety, sensitivities, etc.) sleep irregularities in infants are more typical. This is because as babies grow and develop, their sleep patterns change… and change again… and will change some more. Developmental milestones like sitting up, rolling over, crawling, and walking can cause some sleep disturbances, and so can the more obvious development – teething. If you have serious concerns about your baby’s sleep, or lack thereof, consult with your pediatrician as there may be an underlying cause.
How do I know if my baby has insomnia?
Some families struggle with sleep at every stage but insomnia with a newborn is likely just typical newborn behavior. Sleep disturbances can simply be a matter of a lack of routine and consistency, or even caused by developmental changes. Remember, most babies require around 14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, while newborns may sleep even more - up to 19 hours a day! In addition to sleep, they also need food, which is why newborns will wake every few hours to eat. Again, while this may cause any new parent to question can infants have insomnia, chances are your baby is doing just fine.
What causes baby sleeplessness?
If your baby is restless before falling asleep there could be a few reasons. She may be overstimulated or even over tired. Remember, the entire world is new to her – and everything she experiences during the day can be considered stimulating. That’s why it’s important to establish a consistent bedtime routine that starts at the same time every night. This helps a successful pattern of nighttime sleep. Also, follow your baby’s sleep cues. If she’s rubbing her eyes or even pulling her ear, that could be a signal that she’s over tired. It’s best to put baby down when she’s just a little tired to better ensure a good night’s sleep.
How can I help my baby sleep with insomnia?
Remember, a little baby sleeplessness doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby has insomnia. Most sleep issues disappear over time as baby grows and hits new milestones. A consistent bedtime routine is key in ensuring your baby gets her sleep!
Here are some infant insomnia treatments to try when your baby has trouble sleeping:
- Swaddling – the tight “burrito” feeling resembles life inside the womb which most babies find soothing
- Fresh air – a walk outdoors or gentle swing time before bed can really help!
- Create a calm sleep environment – dim lights, soft music, little to no stimulation
- Consistent bedtime routine – a consistent routine is essential to your little one’s quality of sleep
Keep in mind that lack of sleep in your baby can cause a lack of sleep for you, too. So if possible, try to take some time every day, even a few minutes, to get outside, breathe some fresh air, and spend some “me” time. It’s likely that the better you feel, the more patience you’ll have in caring for your little one… and that can make the time spent with baby less stressful.
Do weighted sleep sacks help babies with insomnia?
The Dreamland Baby weighted swaddle is perfect for babies up to 6 months, or try the weighted sleep sack if your baby is older. The gentle weight naturally reduces stress and increases relaxation through deep-pressure stimulation to give your baby feelings of security and comfort – like a hug! Weighted sleep sacks are proven to calm your baby and help baby sleep better for longer stretches of time.
Here are some additional benefits of our weighted sleep sack:
- Relaxes and induces sleep
- Increases serotonin & melatonin
- Naturally reduces stress and anxiety
- 100% soft, natural cotton for comfort
- Bottom zipper for easy diaper change
- Perfect for learning to sleep in longer stretches
- 100% safe for babies
How long will a baby have insomnia?
If you’re concerned that your baby’s sleeplessness is due to something other than typical developmental milestones, please consult your pediatrician.
Can a toddler have insomnia?
Insomnia in a toddler may look like constant bedtime refusal and/or struggles getting them to bed. This will typically subside when consistent bedtime routines are established, and limits are set regarding bed time. That wind down at the end of the day is important as routines give your child a sense of safety and security. If your toddler seems to be struggling with regular sleep, please consult your physician.
Do weighted blankets help toddlers with sleep insomnia?
If your toddler has insomnia, there are a lot of products on the market that will help soothe your toddler. White noise machines, swings, black out shades. Of course, there’s also the Dreamland Baby line of products that help promote infant and toddler sleep. Ideal for children 3 to 8 years old and over 30 pounds, the 4 lb Dream Weighted Sleep Blanket is designed to keep your child warm and cozy now and for years to come. It is safe for kids and toddlers as long as the weight is appropriate and the child can remove the blanket independently. Use it while sleeping, napping, or just lounging around. The Dream Weighted Blanket feels like a secure and comforting hug and provides deep pressure stimulation to help naturally reduce anxiety, alleviate sensory overload and promote healthy sleep patterns. When it comes to insomnia in your toddler, it’s definitely worth a try!