Why Does My Baby Squirm So Much When Trying To Fall Asleep?

If your baby is squirmy at night and has a hard time falling asleep, you’re not alone. One of the hardest parts about being a new parent is figuring out how to ensure a good night’s sleep for your newborn, baby, and/or toddler no matter what their disposition. There are plenty of reasons why your baby may be squirmy and there are also some solutions.

Creating a nighttime – and naptime – routine is essential for your baby’s sleep hygiene. 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 keep her calm. If however, you still have questions about how to soothe your squirmy baby, keep reading!

Baby Squirming at Night & While Sleeping

If your baby is squirmy or restless before falling asleep it is perfectly normal and there could be a few reasons why. She may be overstimulated or even overtired. It’s important to keep up a consistent bedtime routine that starts the same time every night. This helps a successful pattern of night time 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 nights sleep.

Why are babies squirmy at night?

While every baby is different, there could be a variety of reasons why you have a “squirmy baby.” Here’s just a few:

  • Gas: try “bicycling” their legs or burp them
  • Overtired: try putting them to sleep tired, but awake
  • Stimulation: everything in the world is brand new and exciting to your newborn! Try a consistent and calming nighttime routine before baby gets exhausted

How can I help my restless baby sleep?

There are several methods to try when your baby is a restless sleeper.

  • Swaddling – the tight “burrito” feeling resembles life inside the womb which most babies find soothing
  • Try a Pacifier – the sucking helps soothe a fussy baby
  • Fresh air – a walk outdoors or gentle swing time
  • Consistent bedtime routine – a consistent routine does can do wonders for your little one’s quality of sleep

Keep in mind that helping your restless sleeper can be challenging at every stage. 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.

Will my baby outgrow squirming all night?

It’s perfectly natural that your newborn is a restless sleeper or even that your baby is squirming in their sleep. That’s because most of their sleep is spent during REM sleep – that’s rapid eye movement sleep. This is the stage of sleep where we dream. It’s a more active time of sleep, a light sleep as opposed to a deep sleep. Since newborns sleep for most of the day and need to eat a lot in those first few months, their sleep may appear restless and baby may seem squirmy while sleeping. By the time baby is around 4 months old however, she may be less of a squirmer and more of a sleeper.

How does restlessness affect other behaviors?

It’s perfectly normal for baby to show signs of restlessness and squirminess. The entire world is new and exciting to her, all of which can cause overstimulation. This is why routines are so important. They help establish boundaries, safety, and signal when it’s time to transition to a new activity, even sleep.
If however, your baby seems perpetually fussy, has difficulty making eye contact, or rarely sleeps at all, it would be wise to consult your pediatrician to see if there’s an underlying condition.

Are there specific ways to sleep train a squirmy baby?

When it comes to sleep training, the number one rule no matter which method you choose is to have a consistent routine and schedule. This establishes cues and transition time that allows baby to settle prior to sleep. It’s best to sleep train a baby who is between 4-6 months old. There are quite a few options out there so find the one that works best for you.

Do weighted sleep sacks help squirmy babies sleep better?

The Dreamland Baby line of products help promote infant and toddler sleep to help your baby sleep better. The weighted swaddle is perfect for babies up to 6 months, or try the weighted sleep sack if she’s 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.

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